Pretoria: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today underlined that multilateralism, international trade and rule based world order was facing “strong head-winds” as she called for joint action by the BRICS nations against money laundering, terror financing and de-radicalisation.
Ms Swaraj, who is on a five-day trip to South Africa, attended the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Foreign Ministers’ meeting. It was held with the purpose of laying the foundation for the annual summit of the association in Johannesburg next month, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend.
”Our deliberations here will contribute to enriching intra BRICS-cooperation further,” Ms Swaraj said.
“India attaches importance to the role of BRICS in consolidating co-operation”, Ms Swaraj was quoted in a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs.
She also called for joint action by all the BRICS nations, for long-term growth challenges.
“Though, the global growth has exhibited signs of recovery, the challenges to long-term growth continue to persist. Ensuring that the benefits of globalisation are shared widely remains a challenge,” she added.
“PM Modi had given a call for a BRICS Counter-Terrorism Strategy for joint-action with a focus on money laundering, terror financing, cyber-space and de-radicalization as our priorities,” Ms Swaraj said.
“Our leaders have also called for making UN Counter Terrorism framework efficient and effective. We reiterate our commitment to implement our Leaders’ mandate on counter terrorism under South Africa’s BRICS Chairship,” she said.
Addressing a press conference later, Ms Swaraj said the BRICS nations discussed the need to strengthen cooperation in the areas of security and countering terrorism.
“You are all aware of strong statement on counter terrorism which emerged from BRICS Summit in Xiamen. I am sure the deliberations we have had in today’s meeting will be taken forward to the BRICS Leaders’ Summit in Johannesburg next month,” she said.
“We are fully committed to a successful Johannesburg BRICS Summit, which Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is looking forward to,” Ms Swaraj said.
BRICS brings together almost 42 per cent of global population, with impressive growth, investment and trade share, she added.
“BRICS meetings are keenly watched world over and our decisions have profound impact globally. In today’s meeting we exchanged views on current issues of global significance in political, security, and economic spheres,” she added.
China’s Wang Yi, South Africa’s Lindiwe Sisulu, Brazil’s Marcos Bezerra Abbott Galvao and Russia’s Sergey Lavrov were the leaders attending the meeting.
BRICS Cooperation in strategic areas of security, counter-terrorism, UN reforms, peacekeeping, de-radicalisation, cyber security, energy security, global governance, and international and regional hot-spot issues are deliberated in detail during National Security Advisor’s meetings, she said.
“It is imperative now that the common ground reached in our NSAs meeting on setting up a BRICS Security Forum is implemented fully,” she said.
Ms Swaraj will also chair a meeting of Foreign Ministers of India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA ).