Cape Town: External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar June 1 said that the BRICS nations should approach key contemporary issues seriously, constructively and collectively.
“The BRICS meeting is an important event in our diplomatic calendar and more so at a time when the international situation is challenging. Colleagues, the global environment today demands that we, the BRICS nations, approach key contemporary issues seriously, constructively and collectively,” the EAM said in his opening remarks at the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting here.
“Our gathering must send out a strong message that the world is multipolar, that it is rebalancing, and that old ways cannot address new situations. We are a symbol of change and must act accordingly.”
“This responsibility is even greater as we contemplate the devastating after-effects of the COVID Pandemic, the stresses arising from conflict and the economic distress of the Global South,” he said.
“They underline the deep shortcomings of the current international architecture, which does not reflect today’s politics, economics, demographics or indeed, aspirations. For two decades, we have heard calls for reform of multilateral institutions only to be continuously disappointed,” Jaishankar said.
He said, it is important that BRICS members demonstrate sincerity in regard to reforming global decision-making, including that of the UN Security Council.
He said the heart of the problems we face is economic concentration. “That leaves too many nations at the mercy of too few. This may be in regard to production, resources, services or connectivity.”
Jaishankar in his opening remarks said: “Recent experiences impacting health, energy and food security only highlight this fragility. India undertook the Voice of the Global South exercise to place these issues before the G20. We urge that BRICS give it particular consideration and promote the economic decentralization that is so essential to political democratization.”
“Among the key threats to international peace and security is that of terrorism. All nations must take resolute measures against this menace, including its financing and propaganda. It must be combated in all its forms and manifestations and never be condoned under any circumstances.”
“The United Nations has declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets. Encouraging climate-resilient and nutritious grain production will surely enhance global food security. The Lifestyle for Environment Initiative tabled by India is another important step towards sustainability that the BRICS should support,” Jaishankar said.
Jaishankar met Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the BRICS Ministerial. The meeting comes as the West is constantly trying to make India pick sides in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Jaishankar is on an official visit to African countries, South Africa and Namibia from June 1 to 6, 2023.
The foreign ministers from the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) are presently in Cape Town to attend the two-day meeting from June 1. South Africa, the bloc’s current chair, is hosting the BRICS foreign ministers conference in the South African capital.