The BRICS nations on Monday pledged their support for free and fair trade policies and a more inclusive United Nations at the ongoing BRICS summit 2018. Meanwhile, India used the opportunity to further its bilateral ties with strategic neighbour China.
The BRICS nations said they oppose the "new wave of protectionism" and the systematic impact of unilateral measures that are incompatible with WTO rules, apparently referring to US President Donald Trump's tough trade policies. The statement came as Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from top US trading partners, including Canada, Mexico and the European Union.
The participating ministers reaffirmed their resolve to foster a global economic governance architecture that is more effective and reflective of the current global economic landscape, increasing the voice and representation of emerging markets and developing economies, it said. They reaffirmed their commitment to conclude the International Monetary Fund's 15th General Review of Quotas, including a new quota formula, by the 2019 Spring Meetings. Emerging countries like India, China, Brazil and Russia, has been asking for increased voting rights in IMF, which would reflect their growing share in the world economy.
They also deplored the continued terrorist attacks, including in some BRICS countries. "They urged concerted efforts to counter terrorism under the UN auspices on a firm international legal basis, and expressed their conviction that a comprehensive approach was necessary to ensure effective fight against terrorism," the statement said. "They recalled the responsibility of all States to prevent financing of terrorist networks and terrorist actions from their territories," it said. They expressed concern over the ongoing conflict and heightened tensions in the Middle-East region, especially with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian situation.
All the nations also reaffirmed the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, to make it more effective and efficient and to increase the representation of the developing countries so that it can adequately respond to global challenges.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also underlined that multilateralism, international trade and rules-based world order was facing "strong headwinds" as she called for joint action by the BRICS nations against money laundering, terrorist-financing and de-radicalisation. "Our meeting today takes place at a time when multilateralism, international trade, and rules-based world order face strong headwinds," Swaraj said. "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. "
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given a call for a BRICS Counter-Terrorism Strategy for joint-action with a focus on money laundering, terrorist-finance, cyber-space and de-radicalization as our priorities," 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.
The other foreign ministers attending the meeting were China's Wang Yi, South Africa's Lindiwe Sisulu, Brazil's Marcos Bezerra Abbott Galvao and Russia's Sergey Lavrov.
Meanwhile, Swaraj and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi met and discussed ways to maintain momentum in bilateral ties.
Describing the meeting as "continuing multifaceted engagement between two large economies", Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted: "Both leaders discussed ways to maintain the momentum in bilateral and multilateral cooperation."
Swaraj will also chair a meeting of Foreign Ministers of IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa), another bloc working to deepen coordination among the three countries on major global issues.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Jun 05, 2018 10:59:15 IST