Cape Town: The five-nation BRICS grouping on Friday vowed to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including the cross-border movement of terrorists, and terror financing networks and safe havens, a veiled reference to Pakistan.
In a joint statement titled ‘The Cape of Good Hope’, the Foreign Ministers of BRICS comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa expressed strong condemnation of terrorism "whenever, wherever and by whomsoever committed".
"They (ministers) are committed to combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including the cross-border movement of terrorists, and terrorism financing networks and safe havens,” the joint statement said.
While the joint statement did not name any country, India in the past has described Pakistan as the "epicentre of terrorism" where terrorists like Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar, Sajid Mir and Dawood Ibrahim are sheltered.
Recognising the threat emanating from terrorism, extremism conducive to terrorism and radicalisation, the ministers stressed the need for a comprehensive approach of the whole international community to effectively curb the terrorist activities, which pose a serious threat, including in the present-day pandemic environment.
The ministers said that terrorism should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilisation or ethnic group and rejected double standards in countering terrorism and extremism conducive to terrorism, the statement said.
They reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to contribute further to the global efforts of preventing and countering the threat of terrorism on the basis of respect for international law, in particular the Charter of the United Nations, and human rights, emphasising that States have the primary responsibility in combating terrorism with the United Nations continuing to play central and coordinating role in this area.
The ministers also called for expeditious finalisation and adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism within the UN framework and for launching multilateral negotiations on an international convention for the suppression of acts of chemical and biological terrorism, at the Conference of Disarmament.
They welcomed the activities of the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Working Group and resolved to further deepen counter-terrorism cooperation.
The ministers reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the framework of BRICS cooperation under the three pillars of political and security, economic and financial, and cultural and people-to-people cooperation upholding the bloc’s spirit featuring mutual respect and understanding, equality, solidarity, openness, inclusiveness, and consensus.
They also reiterated their commitment to strengthening multilateralism and upholding international law, including the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.
They expressed concern about the use of unilateral coercive measures, which are incompatible with the principles of the Charter of the UN and produce negative effects notably in the developing world.
The ministers recognised the impact on the world economy from unilateral approaches in breach of international law and they also noted that the situation is complicated further by unilateral economic coercive measures, such as sanctions, boycotts, embargoes and blockades, in an apparent reference to the US-led western nations have imposed crippling sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine.
Reaffirming the importance of the G20 to continue playing the role of the premier multilateral forum in the field of economic cooperation, the ministers looked forward to the successful hosting of the G20 Summit under the Indian Presidency, the statement said.
The ministers underscored the importance of encouraging the use of local currencies in international trade and financial transactions between BRICS as well as their trading partners.
They also reiterated the call for reforms of the principal organs of the United Nations. China and Russia reiterated the importance they attach to the status and role of Brazil, India and South Africa in international affairs and supported their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN, the statement added.
The ministers recalled their national positions concerning the situation in and around Ukraine and noted with appreciation relevant proposals of mediation and good offices aimed at peaceful resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy.
The ministers also called for strengthening the system of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation.
They reaffirmed their national and joint efforts to promote the implementation of the Paris Agreement and stressed the importance of the fulfilment by developed countries of their commitments to provide technology and adequate, predictable, timely, new and additional climate finance that is long overdue to assist developing countries to address climate change.
The five-nation grouping BRICS brings together five of the largest developing countries of the world, representing 41 per cent of the global population, 24 per cent of the global GDP and 16 per cent of the global trade.