By Naveen Kapoor
New Delhi [India], September 8 (ANI): India will be chairing the 13th BRICS summit on Thursday and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be participating in the meet virtually. India's chairship in 2021 has coincided with the 15th anniversary of BRICS.
The theme and approach for India's BRICS chairship is 'BRICS@15: Intra BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus'.
The situation following the Taliban takeover of Kabul and terror threats emanating from the region will also be discussed during the virtual meet.
Sources familiar with developments of the BRICS summit told ANI that the leaders will also deliberate on important global and regional issues including Afghanistan, on which leaders are likely to underscore the priority of fighting terrorism, including preventing attempts by terror organizations to use Afghanistan as a sanctuary to carry out attacks against other countries.
"BRICS countries are also likely to emphasize the need to address the humanitarian situation and to uphold human rights, including those of women, children, and minorities," a source said.
Cross-border movements of terrorists, terror financing networks and safe havens are also expected to figure in deliberations tomorrow.
On what the BRICS leaders will discuss during the meet on counter-terrorism, sources said counter-terrorism cooperation has always been a priority for India in BRICS.
"The Counter-Terrorism Working Group was first established in our presidency in 2016, in 2017 PM Modi made a call for the adoption of a BRICS counter-terrorism strategy and finally in 2021, under our chairship BRICS NSAs adopted an Action Plan (a practical document for cooperation) to implement the BRICS CT Strategy. As part of this strategy, BRICS has committed to combating terrorism, including the cross-border movement of terrorists, and terrorism financing networks and safe-havens," a source said.
Priorities for India as a chair of BRICS include Reform of the Multilateral System; Counter-Terrorism Cooperation; Digital and Technological Tools for Achieving Sustainable Development Goals and Enhancing People to People Exchanges.
The adoption of the Joint Statement on 'Strengthening and Reforming of the Multilateral System' by BRICS Foreign Ministers is the first of its kind to be adopted by BRICS countries.
The statement acknowledges that the current multilateral system, including the UNSC, is in dire need of reform and outlines a set of principles that should guide the process of reform. The presence of two P5 members in BRICS is noteworthy. Also important is the acknowledgement of the need to reform the working methods of the UN Sanctions Committee which deals with the listing of terror outfits and persons.
"Trade is another important aspect of BRICS meet. In 2016, PM Modi made a call to increase intra-BRICS trade. Under India's Chairship, BRICS Trade Ministers adopted the BRICS Implementation Roadmap on Trade and Investment comprising practical measures to boost intra-BRICS trade. Trade Ministers also agreed on a framework for cooperation in trade in professional services, consumer protection in e-commerce and cooperation for protection of genetic resources, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expression. The finalization of the BRICS Mutual Customs Assistance Agreement is also a step in this direction," a source said.
As of August 2021, close to 100 events and meetings have been concluded. By the end of India's Chairship, it is expected to organize around 150 meetings and events, including 23 ministerial level and 46 senior official and working-level meetings. (ANI)