By Arul Louis
United Nations: BRICS ministers have condemned recent terrorist attacks against India and other countries, calling for speeding up the international pact against terrorism in order to give legal weight to a concerted global effort to counter the scourge.
The ministers of the five emerging powers — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) — met here on Tuesday on the sidelines of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly to review their strategic partnership and discuss cooperation.
India, which currently chairs BRICS, was represented by M. J. Akbar, the Minister of State for External Affairs.
A statement issued after the meeting, while strongly condemning the terrorist attacks against some BRICS countries including India, said: “They urged concerted efforts to counter terrorism on a firm international legal basis, under the UN auspices, and expressed their conviction that a comprehensive approach was necessary to ensure effective fight against terrorism.”
“They called for an early conclusion of the negotiations on the Comprehensive Convention against terrorism,” the statement said.
India took the lead in proposing the Comprehensive Convention on International Convention 20 years ago. But the convention has faced opposition over who is a terrorist.
Pakistan as well as several other Muslim and Arab countries do not want it to cover organisations that they consider national liberation movements.
While China went along with the sentiments of the other BRICS ministers on countering terrorism, Beijing has been provided cover at the UN to Pakistan and Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar.
According to the statement, the ministers mentioned the convening of the BRICS National Security Advisors meeting as well as the constitution of BRICS Working Group on Counter Terrorism and its first meeting in New Delhi.
The other ministers at the meeting were Sergei Lavrov of Russia, Wang Yi of China, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane of South Africa and Jose Serra of Brazil.
The eighth BRICS Summit is to be held in Goa next month. China is scheduled to take over as the chair of BRICS next year.
Turning to the state of the global economy, their statement noted that the recovery continues to be weak and uneven and reiterated the need to improve economic governance, promote international trade and investment, and address income inequality and achieving sustainable development.
The statement said they appreciated the progress made by the New Development Bank, the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, and called for the implementation of the strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership.