BRICS Summit: From Modi's 10 mantras to anti-terrorism, things to know

Modi and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping at BRICS Summit in Xiamen. Photo: Twitter (@MEAIndia)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday suggested 10 commitments to be made by the BRICS nations, including counter-terrorism efforts, for their role in global transformation.

Speaking at the Dialogue of Emerging Markets and Developing Countries in the course of the 9th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Summit, Modi said the bedrock of India's development agenda lay in the notion of "sabka saath, sabka vikaas " (collective effort, inclusive growth).

Stating that India had mapped each of the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to its own development programmes and scheme, he said: "Our programmes are geared to accomplish these priority goals in a time-bound manner. To cite an example, our three-pronged approach of providing a bank account to the unbanked, providing a biometric identity to all, and using innovative mobile governance solutions, has enabled direct benefits transfer to almost 360 million people for the first time."

Stating that the BRICS nations represented half of humanity, he said that for the bloc to play a role in global transformation, it should follow the "10 noble commitments".

1. Creating a safer world by organised and coordinated action on at least three issues: counter-terrorism, cyber security and disaster management;" Modi said.

2. Creating a greener world by taking concerted action on countering climate change, through initiatives such as the India-initiated International Solar Alliance.

3. Creating an enabled world by sharing and deploying suitable technologies to enhance efficiency, economy and effectiveness.

4. Creating an inclusive world: Reiterating his vision for a digital economic and financial system, Modi called for creating an inclusive world "by economic mainstreaming of our people including in the banking and financial system".

5. Creating a digital world by bridging the digital divide within and outside our economies.

6. Creating a skilled world by giving future-ready skills to millions of our youth.

7. Creating a healthier world by cooperating in research and development to eradicate diseases, and enabling affordable health care for all.

8. In creating an equitable world, he said the BRICS nations should provide equality of opportunity to all, particularly through gender equality.

9. In terms of a connected world, he suggested enabling of free flow of goods, persons and services.

10. He also called for creating a harmonious world "by promoting ideologies, practices, and heritage that are centreed on peaceful coexistence and living in harmony with nature".

"And in this, India stands ready as a willing and committed partner to enhance cooperation and support each other's national efforts," Modi added.

PM suggests that BRICS leadership for global transformation can be achieved through Ten Noble Commitments

— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) September 5, 2017

Other discussions at the BRICS Xiamen Summit are as follows:

Terrorism: Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, planning to visit China and Russia for garnering support in the wake of US President Donald Trump's criticism of Islamabad for harbouring terrorism, is set to review its strategy as the BRICS have, for the first time, named militant groups based in Pakistan as a regional security concern.

The BRICS Declaration has specifically mentioned terror outfits saying "we express concern over the security situation in the region and violence caused by the Taliban, the Islamic State [IS], Al-Qaeda and its affiliates, including the Haqqani Network, the Lashkar-e-Taiba [LeT], the Jaish-e-Mohammad [JeM], the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan [TTP] and the Hizbut Tahrir."

China had defended Pakistan after Trump's remarks, saying its neighbour was on the front line in the struggle against terrorism and had made great sacrifices and important contributions in the fight and even aske India to not name Pakistan, while raising the issue of terrorism.

At the Xiamen Summit, the BRICS leaders called for swift and effective implementation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) international standards worldwide.

"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," the declaration said.

Additionally, the leaders stressed that the fight against terrorism must be conducted in accordance with international law.

Belt and Road project: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday hailed the Belt and Road project at a BRICS forum here, saying that the initiative has received a good response.India has opposed Xi's ambitious project, the artery of which — China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) — passes through a part of Kashmir held by Pakistan. 

Speaking at the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present, Xi said: "Four years ago, I put forward the idea of building a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st century Maritime Silk Road. The initiative received a warm response from the international community.”

Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries:  Xi Jinping said although the global economy had improved, risk factors had also increased. Xi appeared to rebuke the United States's recent resistance to international agreements - including the Paris climate accord.

He said emerging and developing markets had been the primary engine of global growth and that such countries needed to work closely to build an open world economy.

"Multilateral trade negotiations make progress only with great difficulty and the implementation of the Paris Agreement has met with resistance," Xi said.

The Chinese President said BRICS leaders have agreed to regularise and institutionalise people-to-people and cultural exchanges. China will contribute $500 million for a South-South cooperation assistance fund to help other developing countries deal with famine, refugees, climate change and public health challenges.

He announced that the 10th edition of the annual BRICS summit will be held in Johannesburg next year. 

Xi said developed nations needed to provide more assistance to developing countries, while the BRICS nations and their developing country partners should oppose protectionism.

JeM chief Masood Azhar UN ban: China parried questions on any change in its stand of blocking Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar's banning by the UN, even as the declaration of the BRICS Summit for the first time named the terror outfit along with other Pakistan-based groups for spreading violence in the region.

A veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, China has repeatedly blocked moves to ban Azhar under the Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council. In the last two years, China has stonewalled efforts by India and then later by the US, the UK, and France to declare Azhar as a terrorist, stating that there is no consensus on the issue.

The BRICS leaders are joined by observer nations Thailand, Mexico, Egypt, Guinea and Tajikistan, and officials will discuss a "BRICS Plus" plan to possibly expand the bloc to new members.

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