Reflecting India’s firm resolve to combat terrorism, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday called for the establishment of a BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) security forum to intensify cooperation among members of the grouping in strategic areas like security, counter-terrorism and deradicalisation.
Addressing the BRICS foreign ministers’ meeting in Johannesburg, she referred to the recent BRICS National Security Advisors’ (NSAs) meeting which had deliberated in detail on issues like UN reforms, peacekeeping, energy security, international and regional hot-spots and other such issues.
The meeting was attended by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Brazil Foreign Minister Marcos Bezerra and South African Foreign Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.
The meeting is being held to prepare the ground for the 10th BRICS Summit later this year in Johannesburg at which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead the Indian delegation.
She recalled that BRICS Leaders had given their foreign ministers a ‘robust mandate’ on counter-terrorism at the Xiamen BRICS Summit last year. PM Modi had called for a BRICS counter-terrorism strategy for joint-action with the focus on money laundering, terrorist-finance, cyber-space and de-radicalisation as priorities of the five-nation grouping, she added.
“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 chairmanship,’’ she said.
The minister said the BRICS meeting was taking place at a time when multilateralism, international trade, and rules-based world order faced strong head-winds. Though the global growth has exhibited signs of recovery, the challenges to long-term growth continue to persist. Ensuring that the benefits of globalisation were shared widely remained a challenge, she added.
She noted that BRICS countries had contributed to global stability and growth in a world drifting towards uncertainty. The grouping had played an important role in shaping the global economic and political architecture.