BRICS Summit 2017: Joint Declaration names terror outfits JeM, LeT; Modi, Xi pitch for sustainable development
In a first in the nine years of BRICS' existence, the five-country group on Monday named Pakistan-based terrorist outfits Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba in its joint declaration
In a first in the nine years of BRICS' existence, the five-nation economic grouping on Monday named Pakistan-based terrorist outfits Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in its joint declaration, while asking all states to prevent terror activities from their soil and curb terror financing. The sole takeaway, as far as India's interests were concerned, was the grouping's mention of terror organisations, including those of concern to India, notwithstanding host China's personal relations with Pakistan.
The joint declaration, which was issued at end of the Plenary Session of the BRICS Summit in China's Xiamen, called upon the international community to establish a "genuinely broad" international counter-terrorism coalition. BRICS is a five-member group that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
It reaffirmed that those responsible for committing, organising, or supporting terrorist acts must be held accountable and sought expeditious finalisation and adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) by the United Nations.
At a restricted session of BRICS leaders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also articulated India's position on the issue and offered to host a conference on de-radicalisation.
In the BRICS declaration, the grouping deplored all terrorist attacks worldwide, including attacks in BRICS countries, and condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations wherever committed and by whomsoever. It stressed that there can be no justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism.
On its part, China said that Pakistan-based terrorist outfits like JeM, LeT and the Haqqani network had been included in the BRICS joint declaration due to concerns about their violent activities in the region.
"These organisations are all sanctioned by the UN Security Council and have a significant impact on Afghanistan issue," a Chinese spokesperson told PTI, in a written response to a strong reference in the BRICS countries about these terror groups.
"We, in this regard, express concern on the security situation in the region and violence caused by the Taliban, Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and its affiliates including the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, LeT, JeM, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Hizb ut-Tahrir," the BRICS declaration said.
The BRICS also called upon all states to prevent financing of terrorist networks and terrorist actions from their territories.
"We call upon the international community to establish a genuinely broad international counter-terrorism coalition and support the UN's central coordinating role in this regard," it said.
"We call upon all nations to adopt a comprehensive approach to combating terrorism, which should include countering radicalisation, recruitment, movement of terrorists including foreign terrorist fighters, and blocking sources of financing terrorism," said the declaration.
The challenges identified by it included containing the supply of weapons and drug trafficking, and dismantling terrorist bases, and countering misuse of the internet including social media by terrorist entities.
"We are committed to prevent and counter the growing spread of terrorist narratives, and to tackle all sources, techniques and channels of terrorist financing," it said.
Highlighting the primary leading role and responsibility of states in preventing and countering terrorism, the grouping emphasised on the necessity to develop international cooperation, in accordance with the principles of international law, including that of sovereign equality of states and non-interference in their internal affairs.
Modi, Xi to hold bilateral meet
Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi will hold their first substantive bilateral meeting tomorrow after the Dokalam standoff, which had put ties between the two countries under strain.
According to external affairs ministry officials, Modi will meet Xi at 12.30 pm (10 am IST), the prime minister's last official engagement before flying off to Myanmar on a bilateral visit. The two leaders will apparently discuss confidence-building measures after the strain in ties and ways to avoid a Doka La-like situation. Even as external affairs ministry sources declined to reveal the agenda of discussion, the sense is that both countries want to "move on" after the stand-off.
Asked if there was any link between the BRICS declaration which for the first time named Pakistan-based terror groups for their violent activities and resolution of the Dokalam standoff, Secretary (East) in the MEA Preeti Saran answered in the negative, saying BRICS is a multilateral forum where outcomes are based on consensus.
Modi meets Putin
Modi and Russian president Vladimir Putin also held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the summit and discussed ways for boosting bilateral trade and investment, especially in the oil and natural gas sector.
Had a fruitful discussion with President Putin. We discussed various aspects of India-Russia relations. @KremlinRussia_E pic.twitter.com/pAq07YlUed — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 4, 2017
A partnership based on a common global vision & shared democratic values. PM @narendramodi engages with Brazilian President @MichelTemer pic.twitter.com/ifoEyCDygj — Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) September 4, 2017
The meeting between Modi and Putin came three months after they met in St Petersburg for the annual India-Russia summit, and later at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting in Astana in the same month where India was made a permanent member of the organisation.
"The two sides basically touched upon several aspects of the bilateral relationship. Putin recalled the prime minister's visit to Russia earlier this year. And, he thanked the prime minister for high-level participation from India at the Eastern Economic Forum," external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told reporters.
Kumar said that during the Modi-Putin meeting several bilateral issues were discussed like the cooperation in the oil and natural gas sector. The two leaders also discussed how they should work together to promote trade and investment, he added. During the meeting, the two leaders also discussed cultural exchanges.
After his bilateral meeting with Putin, Modi also held a similar meeting with Brazilian president Michel Temer on the sidelines of the summit.
Modi at the Plenary Session
Modi sought a strong partnership among BRICS nations to spur growth, saying that the bloc has developed a robust framework for cooperation and contributed to the stability in a world "drifting towards uncertainty".
Addressing the Plenary Session of the summit, Modi said trade and economy were the foundations of cooperation among BRICS nations.
"BRICS has developed a robust framework for cooperation; contribute stability and growth in a world drifting towards uncertainty. Our endeavours today touch diverse areas of agriculture, culture, environment, energy, sports and Information and Communications Technology (ICT)," he said.
He also called for the creation of a BRICS rating agency to cater to financing needs of sovereign and corporate entities of developing countries.
The prime minister said that a strong partnership among member nations on innovation and digital economy can help spur growth, promote transparency and support sustainable development goals.
Modi also urged central banks of the member nations to further strengthen their capabilities and promote cooperation between the Contingent Reserve Arrangement of the grouping and the International Monetary Fund.
PM @narendramodi begins his statement at Plenary Session by thanking President Xi for warm reception & excellent organisation of the Summit. pic.twitter.com/InjqKS3piQ — Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) September 4, 2017
The prime minister also emphasised the need to accelerate track of cooperation in smart cities, urbanisation and disaster management.
Modi asserted that the grouping was in a "mission-mode" to eradicate poverty and ensure health care, sanitation, skills, food security, gender equality, energy and education. Modi said women's empowerment programmes were "productivity multipliers" that mainstream women in nation building.
BRICS nations vow to deepen cooperation
India and other BRICS members praised the establishment and vowed to deepen cooperation on a range of issues, including traditional medicine exchanges, space technology, clean energy, etc.
The Xiamen Declaration, issued at the end of the BRICS Summit's plenary session, said the member countries will also work together to promote the most effective use of fossil fuels and wider use of gas, hydro and nuclear power.
Four documents inked to boost commercial ties among BRICS nations
Four documents, including on economic and trade cooperation, were signed by all the five BRICS countries with an aim to deepen commercial ties among the grouping's members. Apart from the action agenda on economic and trade cooperation, the three other documents signed in the presence of leaders of Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) were action plan for innovation cooperation (2017-2020), strategic framework of BRICS customs cooperation and Memorandum of Understanding between the BRICS Business Council and the New Development Bank on strategic cooperation.
All these instruments were aimed at boosting trade ties within the five-nation grouping, officials said.
BRICS countries deliberate on economic issues of mutual interest
BRICS nations deliberated upon various ways to counter West's influence and ensure a level-playing field in the world economy for developing South Asian nations. The five-nation BRICS economic bloc pitched for concluding the long-pending IMF quota reforms by 2019 to give more say to developing nations in the multilateral lending agency.
The quota reforms will increase the voting rights of emerging economies like India in the 188-member International Monetary Fund. As per IMF, a member's quota determines that country’s
financial and organisational relationship with it including subscriptions, voting power and access to finance.
Moreover, Modi also strongly pitched for setting up of a BRICS Credit Rating Agency (CRA) to counter western rating institutions and cater to the financial needs of sovereign and corporate entities of developing nations.
A BRICS CRA will be a counter to the western credit rating agencies, which enjoy unchallenged market dominance. Entreprenuers in East and South East Asia often face impediments because of the hegemony enjoyed by CRA's like Moody's Fitch and S&P. These three western rating agencies hold over 90 percent of the sovereign rating market now.
It was India, which had first mooted the idea of an independent CRA for the BRICS grouping at last year’s BRICS Summit in Goa, pinpointing the problems the current CRA market posed for emerging market economies.
Xi Jinping presses for greater cooperation between BRICS nations
During his opening remarks at the summit, Chinese president Xi Jinping said that China will provide $76 million for a BRICS economic and technology cooperation plan and another $4 million to support the projects of the bloc's New Development Bank (NDB).
Calling on the five-nation grouping to forge unity to jointly advance solutions for international peace and development, Xi said that BRICS countries should make economic globalisation open and inclusive, and beneficial to all.
"I wish to announce here that China will launch the economic and technical cooperation plan for BRICS countries with 500 million yuan (about $76 million at the current exchange rates) for the first term to facilitate policy exchange and practical cooperation in economic and trade field."
Xi also said that China will contribute $4 million for the New Development Bank (NDB) setup by the BRICS countries.
"We need to make the international order more just and equitable. Our ever closer ties require that we five countries play more active in global governance. Without our participation, many pressing global challenges cannot be effectively resolved," he said.
On the broader future role for BRICS, Xi said the grouping should speak in one voice and jointly present solutions to issues concerning international peace and development.
"This meets the expectation of the international community and will help safeguard our common interests," he said.
"We should remain committed to multilateralism and basic norms governing international relations, work for new type of international relations and foster peace and stable environment of all countries," Xi said.
The grouping should endeavour to promote practical economic cooperation, he added.
With inputs from agencies
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