Highlights of BRICS 2017 summit: From naming LeT, JeM to Xi-Modi meet

From left, Brazil's President Michel Temer, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, South Africa's President Jacob Zuma and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pose for a group photo during the BRICS Summit. Photo: AP | PTI
In what is being seen as a big victory for India's campaign against Pakistan-based terrorist groups, BRICS on Monday named Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in their joint declaration while calling for a comprehensive approach to combating terrorism.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had arrived at the Chinese city of Xiamen on Sunday and attended the BRICS Summit on Monday. According to agency reports, PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the summit on Tuesday.  

Here are 10 things to know about India's participation at the BRICS summit

1) Modi lists out 'Ten Noble Commitments' for BRICS: On Tuesday, ahead of his meeting with Xi, PM Modi laid down a roadmap for development as he delivered his statement during the Dialogue of Emerging Markets and Developing Countries at the BRICS summit. 

According to the spokesperson of the Ministry of External affairs, speaking at the session, PM Modi said that BRICS leadership for global transformation could be achieved through "Ten Noble Commitments" creating a safer world, creating a greener world, creating an enabled world, creating an inclusive world, creating a digital world, creating a skilled world, creating a healthier world, creating an equitable world, creating a connected world, and creating harmonious world.

PM suggests that BRICS leadership for global transformation can be achieved through Ten Noble Commitments pic.twitter.com/w12HnDXcXM

— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) September 5, 2017

 

PM Modi said that India had recently completed its first voluntary review of sustainable development goals (SDGs). The Prime Minister said that the bedrock of India's development agenda was based on the notion of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas”. 

PM Modi also spoke of India's "long tradition" of partnering with "fellow developing countries" and mentioned the South Asia Satellite initiative. He added that India's development partnerships projects were providing water, electricity, roads, healthcare, tele-medicine, and basic infrastructure in dozens of countries. 

"Our no strings attached model of cooperation is driven purely by the requirements and priorities of our partner countries," the Prime Minister said.

2) First Modi-Xi meet post Doklam: PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday will hold their first substantive bilateral meeting after the Doklam standoff, which had put ties between the two countries under strain, according to agency reports.

Citing external affairs ministry officials, news agency PTI reported that Modi would meet Xi at 12.30 pm (10 am IST). This would be the Prime Minister's last official engagement before flying off to Myanmar on a bilateral visit. 

According to the report, it appears that both countries want to "move on" after the standoff that saw tensions rise between the Asian giants.

3) India scores a win against terrorism: The BRICS on Monday voiced serious concern over violence perpetrated by terrorist groups like the Taliban, al-Qaeda and Pakistan-based LeT and JeM besides calling for the expeditious adoption of a global convention by the UN to deal with the menace.

The inclusion of Pakistan-based groups in the BRICS declaration is significant given that last year, at the eighth BRICS Summit in Goa, China had reportedly opposed the inclusion of the Pakistan-backed terrorist outfits in the declaration. Further, in the past, China has shielded its "all-weather ally" Pakistan even after Islamabad was pilloried by India, the US and other countries for harbouring terrorists.

In fact, as reported earlier, a veto-wielding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, China has repeatedly blocked moves to ban JeM chief Masood Azhar under the Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council. 

According to agency reports, the 43-page declaration of the 9th BRICS Summit equated the LeT and JeM, which New Delhi has blamed for terrorist attacks in India, as well as the TTP (Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan), with the Islamic State and al-Qaeda and deplored their acts.

4) Modi calls for enhancing cooperation: On Monday, PM Modi also delivered his statement at the plenary session of the BRICS summit. In his statement, PM Modi said that the grouping had developed "a robust framework for cooperation" and it contributed "stability and growth in a world drifting towards uncertainty". He stressed on furthering collaboration in sectors like agriculture, energy, sports, environment, ICT, and culture. 

 

PM Modi urged for the early creation of the BRICS rating agency to cater to the needs of sovereign and corporate entities in developing countries.

Further, PM Modi said, "Affordable, reliable & sustainable access to energy is crucial for the development of our nations." He urged the BRICS nations to work closely on the International Solar Alliance.

The Prime Minister also emphasised on the need to accelerate cooperation in smart cities, urbanisation, and disaster management.

 

5) Agreements to boost trade ties signed: Four documents, including on economic and trade cooperation, were signed by the BRICS countries on Monday 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 giving a boost to trade ties within the five-nation grouping, officials said. 

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