Rio de Janeiro, India has urged BRICS to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a global conference on terrorism (GCT), made during the informal meeting of the bloc’s leaders in Osaka, Japan, last month, saying it would bolster efforts for early conclusion of a comprehensive convention on international terrorism (CCIT).
Addressing the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ meeting here, in preparation for the summit meeting in November, Minister of State Gen. V.K. Singh said BRICS’ support for GCT would “underline our commitment to a comprehensive approach to counter terrorism on a firm international legal basis and may bolster our efforts for the early conclusion of CCIT”.
Singh, who is standing in for External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, said the 2017 Xiamen BRICS summit declaration had reflected the bloc’s strong collective resolve to fight terrorism and requested for similar support from members on the issue of India’s call for a GCT.
He also sought greater support from BRICS on the five recommendations made by Prime Minister Modi in Osaka.
These included calling for greater synergy between BRICS countries to promote ‘reformed multilateralism’ in international institutions, ensure availability of energy resources at low cost, accord greater priority to infrastructure and renewable energy related projects by NDB (New Development Bank), ensure ease of movement of skilled personnel and a stronger commitment of BRICS to the fight against terrorism.
“We will appreciate greater support from BRICS countries on these issues in the international sphere and look forward to enhanced engagement within BRICS in these areas,” Singh said.
Referring to economic offenders and fugitives, Singh said BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — must continue to work together against such people as they posed a serious threat to the world’s economic stability. He said PM Modi had at the G20 Buenos Aires Summit in 2018 suggested a 9-point agenda for action against fugitive economic offenders and asset recovery.
“The proposed agenda included strong and active international cooperation, cooperation in legal processes, extradition, exchange of information, stopping entry and safe haven to fugitive economic offenders. We thank our BRICS partners for taking the process forward,” Singh said.
On terrorism, he said BRICS members had been victims of terrorism themselves. He called for BRICS to take a clear stand that terrorists and their supporters could nort in any scenario, be equated with the victims of terrorism. Referring to the terror attacks in New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Somalia, he said the rising number of such attacks indicated that terrorists were never in short supply of weapons or money.
“BRICS must call upon all states to prevent the financing of terrorist networks and terrorist action from their territories. BRICS has always shown a strong commitment to combat terrorism and extremism and adopt a comprehensive strategy to combat terrorism, he said.
He said the BRICS working group on counter terrorism agreed to set up sub-working groups on addressing terror financing, countering the use of Internet for terror purposes, capacity building, countering radicalisation, countering foreign terrorist fighters and closer intelligence and law enforcement cooperation. He said at the CTWG meeting next week, further progress was expected.
He said the objective should be to adopt common approaches and coordinate efforts in addressing terrorism, through sharing of information, best practices and capacity building. He also announced India’s support for a seminar on ‘BRICS strategies for countering terrorism’ being hosted by Brazil.
“At the broader level, however, we need to develop greater understanding and convergence on issues of mutual concern in the coming years, if BRICS has to emerge stronger. Conflicts in various parts of the world pose challenges to global peace and security,” he said.
Singh also reiterated India’s call for reform in the UNSC. “We believe ‘reformed multilateralism’ is the way forward in these times, especially the reform of the UN Security Council.”