Sep 5: The BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs /International Relations video conference was convened by the current BRICS Chair, Russia on 4 September 2020. Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Mr. Sergey Lavrov, chaired the meeting. EAM Dr. S. Jaishankar represented India. Amb. Ernesto Araújo, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, Mr. Wang Yi, State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China, and Ms. Grace Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, represented the respective BRICS countries.
The meeting of Foreign Ministers, which is traditionally held in the capital of the BRICS Chair, was convened via video conference due to the ongoing pandemic. The discussions centered around an overview of the global situation – new threats and challenges, regional hot spots. The Ministers discussed possible BRICS cooperation on international fora including on key issues on the 75 UNGA agenda. The BRICS Foreign Ministers also reviewed the progress of activities under three pillars of BRICS cooperation and possible outcomes under Russian BRICS Chairmanship in 2020.
In these remarks, EAM thanked the Russian Foreign Minister for convening this meeting. He highlighted that in the wake of grave challenges in economic, political, and social/health fields BRICS has an important role to play. EAM highlighted the Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiated by India as a dynamic and mutually beneficial global economic engagement, covering five key pillars, including- economy, infrastructure, technology, demography, and demand, to help achieve rapid growth and development.
As the United Nations completes 75 years, EAM emphasized the need to reform it to reflect contemporary global realities and the feelings of millions of people in the world. He called for the expansion of the UN Security Council in both permanent and non-permanent categories. He also called for reformed multilateralism including reform of international bodies like the UN, WTO, IMF, WHO, etc.
EAM also highlighted the scourge of terrorism and called for enhanced BRICS cooperation in countering terrorism. He expressed satisfaction on the conclusion of the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
EAM assured BRICS partners that, as BRICS Chair in 2021, India will continue the work to strengthen intra-BRICS cooperation in all the three pillars viz. political and security, economic and trade, and people to people. EAM indicated that our effort would be to consolidate intra BRICS solidarity and provide a concrete institutional framework for the purpose.
India also reaffirmed its strong support for the Russian BRICS Chairship in 2020 and the upcoming BRICS Leaders’ Summit under the overall theme of “BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth”. A Joint Media Statement was issued at the meeting and can be found at https://www.mea.gov.in/bilateral-documents.htm?dtl/32936