BRICS leaders back talks between Russia, Ukraine, push for multilateral reforms

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with leaders of the other BRICS nations including Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa, discussed the situation in Ukraine during their virtual summit today, and backed talks between Russia and Ukraine. The leaders also pushed for strengthening and reforming of the multilateral system.
The Beijing Declaration, adopted today following the virtual summit between the leaders of the five nations, PM Modi, and the Presidents of the other four nations – Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping, South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa and Brazil’s Jair Bolsanaro — also said that “China and Russia reiterated the importance they attach to the status and role of Brazil, India and South Africa in international affairs and supported their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN.” China and Russia are part of the Permanent Five of the UNSC.
On Ukraine, the statement said:
“We have discussed the situation in Ukraine and recall our national positions as expressed at the appropriate fora, namely the UNSC and UNGA.
“We support talks between Russia and Ukraine. We have also discussed our concerns over the humanitarian situation in and around Ukraine and expressed our support to efforts of the UN Secretary-General, UN Agencies and ICRC to provide humanitarian assistance in accordance with the basic principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality established in UN General Assembly resolution 46/182.”
On Afghanistan, it backed a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan while emphasizing the respect for its sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, national unity and non-interference in its internal affairs.
It stressed on the need “for all sides to encourage the Afghanistan authorities to achieve national reconciliation through dialogue and negotiation, and to establish a broad-based and inclusive and representative political structure.”
On terrorism, the leaders expressed strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and recognized the threat emanating from terrorism, extremism conducive to terrorism and radicalization.
They leaders committed themselves to combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including the cross-border movement of terrorists, and terrorism financing networks and safe havens.
“We reiterate that terrorism should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group…..We reject double standards in countering terrorism and extremism conducive to terrorism. “
On energy security, an important topic in view of the energy security issues in the wake of the Ukraine conflict, the statement said: “We emphasize the fundamental role of energy security in achieving sustainable development goals. While recognizing that the energy transition of each country is unique according to national circumstances, we underscore the prime importance of securing universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy in line with Sustainable Development Goal 7.”
On food security, another key issue, it said: “As BRICS countries produce around 1/3 of the world’s food, we stress our commitment to furthering agricultural cooperation and driving sustainable agricultural and rural development of BRICS countries aimed at safeguarding food security of BRICS countries and the world.
“We emphasize the strategic importance of agricultural inputs, including, inter alia, fertilizers, on ensuring global food security. We reiterate the importance of implementing the Action Plan 2021-2024 for Agricultural Cooperation of BRICS Countries, and welcome the Strategy on Food Security Cooperation of the BRICS Countries.”
“We appreciate the role of India and Brazil as members of the UN Security Council for 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 respectively. The presence of four BRICS countries in the UN Security Council provides an opportunity to further enhance the weight of our dialogue on issue of international peace and security and for continued cooperation in areas of mutual interest, including through regular exchanges amongst our permanent Mission to the United Nations and in other international for a,” it said.
Amid the West’s propounding its version of human rights to the world, the BRICS Declaration said “We reiterate the need for all countries to cooperate in promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms under the principles of equality and mutual respect. We agree to continue to treat all human rights including the right to development in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis.”
“We agree to strengthen cooperation on issues of common interests both within BRICS and in multilateral fora including the United Nations General Assembly and Human Rights Council, taking into account the necessity to promote, protect and fulfil human rights in a non-selective, non-politicised and constructive manner and without double standards. We call for the respect of democracy and human rights. In this regard, we underline that they should be implemented on the level of global governance as well as at national level. We reaffirm our commitment to ensuring the promotion and protection of democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all with the aim to build a brighter shared future for the international community based on mutually beneficial cooperation.”
It urged major developed countries to adopt responsible economic policies, while managing policy spillovers, to avoid severe impacts on developing countries.
It also reaffirmed its support for an open, transparent, inclusive, non-discriminatory and rules-based multilateral trading system, as embodied in the World Trade Organization (WTO).
“We will engage constructively to pursue the necessary WTO reform to build an open world economy that supports trade and development, preserve the pre-eminent role of the WTO for setting global trade rules and governance, supporting inclusive development and promoting the rights and interests of its members, including developing members and LDCs. “
It called on WTO members to avoid unilateral and protectionist measures that run counter to the spirit and rules of the WTO.
On strengthening and reforming multilateral system, it stressed on Making multilateral organizations more responsive, effective, transparent, democratic, objective, action-oriented, solution-oriented and credible, so as to promote cooperation in building international relations based on the norms and principles of international law, and the spirit of mutual respect, justice, equality, mutual beneficial cooperation and realities of the contemporary world. (UNI)


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