The theme of the summit is “[email protected]: Intra-BRICS cooperation for continuity, consolidation and consensus.”
The key agreements have been laid down in the New Delhi Declaration.
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Speech by President of Russia Vladimir Putin at the BRICS summit
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Prime Minister Modi, President Xi Jinping, President Ramaphosa, President Bolsonaro,
Ladies and gentlemen,
First, I would like to join my colleagues who spoke before and thank Prime Minister Modi and all our Indian friends for the active work conducted by India as the BRICS chair this year.
Despite the special conditions related to the coronavirus pandemic, India as the chair has done everything it could to ensure the progressive development of strategic partnership of the BRICS countries without any setbacks.
I agree with my colleagues who expressed this opinion that the authority of our association is growing. Its role in international affairs is on the rise and it is substantial. This is a logical result of the BRICS ability to develop effective cooperation in the entire range of topical global and regional issues during 15 years of our joint activities.
Such close partnership of the BRICS countries is greatly in demand, considering that the global situation still remains very turbulent. The risks of the coronavirus pandemic are obvious to all of us, and my colleagues have just spoken about this. This threat has affected practically all aspects of our life, impeding the development of the global economy and exacerbating many social problems.
In addition to this, what is happening around the world remains very tense. Global security is subjected to serious trials and the system of strategic stability has noticeably deteriorated. Far from being settled, long-standing regional conflicts are flaring up with renewed force.
The withdrawal of the US and their allies from Afghanistan has led to a new crisis situation, and it remains unclear how it will affect regional and global security, so it is absolutely right that our countries pay special attention to this issue.
Understandably, just like its BRICS partners, Russia has consistently advocated the establishment of long-awaited peace and stability in Afghanistan, where the people have been fighting for many decades and have earned the right to independently determine what their state will be like.
At the same time, we are not interested in Afghanistan remaining a threat to neighbouring countries or having terrorism and illegal drug trafficking coming from the Afghan territory threaten us. We are interested in stopping the migration flow and we want the Afghans to be able to live a peaceful and dignified life in their own country.
I have mentioned many times that the current round of the crisis in Afghanistan is a direct consequence of irresponsible extraneous attempts to impose someone else’s values on the country and to build “democratic structures” using socio-political engineering techniques, ignoring the historical and national specifics of other nations and the traditions by which they live.
All of that leads to nothing but destabilisation and, ultimately, chaos, after which the masterminds behind these experiments hastily retreat leaving their charges behind. The entire international community then has to face the consequences.
I am convinced that peaceful progress in international relations can be guaranteed only through ensuring the existence of states with different political and social systems, their own national interests and spiritual and moral values, but with mandatory observance of the fundamental principles of international law enshrined in the UN Charter, including non-interference in internal affairs and respect for sovereignty.
It is likewise important to maintain and promote mutually respectful, constructive and meaningful interaction at the global level, to strengthen the emerging multipolar system which comprises independent centres of economic growth and political influence, of which BRICS is, of course, a part.
In this context, we consider very relevant the topic of our meeting and the topic of the entire year in BRICS that was chosen by our Indian partners and the Indian chairmanship which is promoting cooperation on the basis of continuity, consolidation and consensus. In fact, the entire international community is facing this challenge, and five BRICS countries are playing a significant and noticeable role in addressing it.
I hope our work today will be substantive and productive. I would like to emphasise once again that Russia stands ready to continue close interaction with the BRICS countries in all areas.
XIII BRICS Summit- New Delhi Declaration
1. We, the Leaders of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa held the XIII BRICS Summit under the theme ‘BRICS @ 15: Intra-BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus’ on 9 September 2021 under the Chairship of the Republic of India.
2. On the landmark occasion of the 15th anniversary of BRICS, we reiterate our commitment to enhancing intra-BRICS cooperation under the three pillars – political and security, economic and financial, and cultural & people-to-people exchanges. Recalling our shared values of peace, rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and democracy for all, we pledge to promote a more inclusive, equitable and representative multipolar international system with the United Nations at its center, based on international law and purposes and principles of the UN Charter, in particular the sovereign equality of all States and respect for their territorial integrity, with the aim to build a brighter shared future for the international community based on mutually beneficial cooperation.
3. We appreciate that despite the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, BRICS has maintained momentum and continuity, while consolidating its activities in the spirit of consensus in 2021. We welcome the signing of the Agreement on BRICS Cooperation on Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation, finalization of the Agreement on BRICS Cooperation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters and the discussion on Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of Regulation of Medical Products for Human Use. We also commend, among other achievements, the adoption of and/or agreement on the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Action Plan, Action Plan 2021-2024 for Agricultural Cooperation, Innovation Cooperation Action Plan 2021-2024 and the BRICS Alliance for Green Tourism. We reaffirm our commitment to implement the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership 2021-25 under the various existing Ministerial tracks and Working Groups. We also welcome the launch of the BRICS Agricultural Research Platform and ongoing discussion on the BRICS Platform for Digital Public Goods.
4. We welcome the outcomes of over 100 events (Annex II), including at the Ministerial and other high-level Meetings, held so far this year in the areas of Foreign Affairs, National Security, Finance, Trade, Industry, Labour and Employment, Agriculture, Energy, Health including Traditional Medicines, Environment, Education, Customs, Youth, Culture and Tourism as well as a range of important deliverables in various fields (Annex I) aimed at further strengthening the BRICS Strategic Partnership for the mutual benefit of its participating States and peoples.
Consolidation and Stocktaking
5. We recognize that the 15th anniversary milestone is an opportune moment for us to take pride in our many achievements, including the creation of successful mechanisms such as the New Development Bank (NDB), the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA), the Energy Research Cooperation Platform, Partnership for New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR) and the Science, Technology and Innovation Framework, to name but a few, while also reflecting on the way forward. We commend India for taking forward the work of previous rotational BRICS Chairs on consolidating BRICS activities across its various institutional platforms and mechanisms to enhance their relevance, greater efficiency and improved efficacy and acknowledge the importance of such activities. We commend the adoption by our Sherpas of the revised Terms of Reference for guiding BRICS engagement going forward on its working methods, scope of engagement and the Chair’s mandate. We reiterate our commitment to preserving and further strengthening the consensus-based working methods in BRICS at all levels which have been the hallmark of our cooperation. We commend India for emphasising the principles of Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus in the theme for its Chairship this year.
Global Health Challenges & COVID-19
6. The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to wreak immeasurable political, economic, and social damage globally for almost two years. We express our solidarity with, and deepest condolences to the victims of the pandemic, including those whose lives and livelihoods have been affected. We call for better international preparedness and enhanced cooperation to fight the pandemic and other current and future health challenges through the mobilization of political support and necessary financial resources.
7. We emphasise that the international community has a collective responsibility to work together against the COVID-19 pandemic in the true spirit of partnership within existing international frameworks including the WHO. We note that the cooperation on study of origins of the SARS-COV-2 is an important aspect of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. We support science-based, inclusive of broad expertise, transparent, and timely processes, free from politicization or interference, to strengthen international capabilities to better understand the emergence of novel pathogens and to help prevent future pandemics.
8. We acknowledge that in an interconnected and globalized world, no one is safe until everyone is safe. Recognizing that the production of COVID-19 vaccines has provided the greatest hope to conquer the pandemic and that COVID-19 extensive immunization is a global public good, we regret the glaring inequity in access to vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics, especially for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations. We, therefore, recognize the importance of safe, efficacious, accessible and affordable vaccines. In this regard, we note, inter alia, the ongoing discussions in the WTO on a COVID-19 vaccine Intellectual Property Rights waiver and the use of flexibilities of the TRIPS Agreement and the Doha Declaration on TRIPS Agreement and Public Health. We also stress on the importance for science-based, and objective assessment of the safety, and efficacy of vaccines by regulators throughout the world.
9. We reaffirm our strong commitment to continue our ongoing efforts in supporting countries around the world to combat the pandemic, through financing, donation, local production and facilitating export of vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics and other life saving equipment and welcome the contribution made by BRICS countries in providing over a billion COVID-19 vaccine doses, including grants and donations, bilaterally, to international organisations and to the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility.
10. We note with satisfaction intra-BRICS cooperation to strengthen preparedness and response to the pandemic, including in vaccine cooperation and welcome the progress towards the early launch of the BRICS Vaccine Research and Development Centre in a virtual format. We support the progress towards establishing a BRICS Integrated Early Warning System for preventing mass infectious diseases risks, in accordance with the International Health Regulations (2005), and the WHO’s Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network for identifying future pandemics and forecasting outbreaks through institutional collaboration. We stress the importance of international efforts on mutual recognition of national documents of vaccination against COVID-19 and respective testing, especially for purposes of international travel.
11. We congratulate India for convening the BRICS Digital Health Summit and welcome its outcomes, including on strengthening cooperation on application at the national-level of digital health systems for a singular multi-faceted holistic framework with simple user interface across all platforms and with safeguarded data, as well as on pandemic management by leveraging digital technologies.
12. We reiterate our commitment to enhance BRICS cooperation in addressing other health challenges, including through developing effective joint responses to the continuing spread of major diseases specially Tuberculosis (TB), and commend the work developed by the BRICS TB Research Network in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. We recognize the importance of experience and knowledge-sharing at the BRICS Symposium on Traditional Medicines; the High-Level Segment on Traditional Medicines and the Meeting of BRICS Experts on Traditional Medicines and encourage further exchanges in the area of traditional medicines.
Strengthening and Reforming of the Multilateral System
13. We acknowledge that, despite the many successes of the UN system and its associated architecture, its continued relevance would be determined by its ability to adapt to contemporary realities and respond to the evolving and inter-connected challenges of our time. We, therefore, pledge our resolve towards strengthening and reforming the multilateral system to make global governance more responsive and agile, effective, transparent, democratic, representative and accountable to Member States, while reiterating our commitment to upholding international law, including the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations as its indispensable cornerstone, and to the central role of the United Nations in the international system. The pandemic has reinforced our belief that effective and representative multilateralism is essential for building resilience against current and future global challenges, promoting well-being of our people and building a sustainable future for the planet.
14. We endorse the BRICS Joint Statement on Strengthening and Reforming the Multilateral System adopted by our Foreign Ministers and, recalling the principles outlined therein, we agree that the task of strengthening and reforming multilateral system encompasses the following:
Making instruments of global governance more inclusive, representative and participatory to facilitate greater and more meaningful participation of developing and least developed countries, especially Africa, in global decision-making processes and structures and make it better attuned to contemporary realities;
Being based on inclusive consultation and collaboration for the benefit of all, while respecting sovereign independence, equality, mutual legitimate interests and concerns to make the multilateral organizations more responsive, effective, transparent and credible;
Making multilateral organizations more responsive, effective, transparent, democratic, objective, action-oriented, solution-oriented and credible, so as to promote cooperation in building international relations based on the norms and principles of international law, and the spirit of mutual respect, justice, equality, mutual beneficial cooperation and realities of the contemporary world;
Using innovative and inclusive solutions, including digital and technological tools to promote sustainable development and facilitate affordable and equitable access to global public goods for all;
Strengthening capacities of individual States and international organizations to better respond to new and emerging, traditional and non-traditional challenges, including those emanating from terrorism, money laundering, cyber-realm, infodemics and fake news;
Promoting international and regional peace and security, social and economic development, and preserve nature’s balance with people-centered international cooperation at its core.
15. We recall the UNGA Resolution 75/1 and reiterate the call for reforms of the principal organs of the United Nations. We recommit to instil new life in the discussions on reform of the UN Security Council and continue the work to revitalize the General Assembly and strengthen the Economic and Social Council. We recall the 2005 World Summit Outcome document and reaffirm the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more representative, effective and efficient, and to increase the representation of the developing countries so that it can adequately respond to global challenges. China and Russia reiterate 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.
16. We appreciate the role of South Africa and India during their membership of the UN Security Council for 2019-2020 and 2021-2022 respectively and congratulate Brazil on its election as a member of the UN Security Council 2022-2023. The presence of four BRICS countries in the UN Security Council in 2022 will provide an opportunity to further enhance the weight of our dialogue on issues of international peace and security and for continued cooperation in areas of mutual interest, including through regular exchanges amongst our Permanent Missions to the United Nations and in other international fora.
17. We reaffirm our commitment to a strong Global Financial Safety Net with a quota-based and adequately resourced IMF at its center and express our deep disappointment at the failure in addressing the quota and governance reforms under the 15th General Review of Quotas (GRQ). We call for the timely and successful completion of the 16th GRQ by December 15, 2023, to reduce the IMF’s reliance on temporary resources and to address under-representation of EMDCs for their meaningful engagement in the governance of IMF and to protect the voice and quota shares of its poorest and smallest members and have a new quota formula that better reflects the economic weight of members. We welcome the IMF’s approval of a general allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) equivalent to USD 650 billion. We recognize the urgency to strengthen its capability to meet the financing needs of countries during future crisis in a transparent and accountable manner.
18. We reaffirm our support for a transparent, rules-based, open, inclusive and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization at its core, and in this regard reiterate our support for the necessary and urgent reform which would, inter alia, preserve the centrality, core values and fundamental principles of the WTO and consider the interests of all members, including developing countries and LDCs, recognizing that the majority of the WTO members are developing countries. It is critical that all WTO members avoid unilateral and protectionist measures that run counter to the spirit and rules of the WTO. We emphasize the primary importance of ensuring the restoration and preservation of the normal functioning of a two-stage WTO Dispute Settlement system, including the expeditious appointment of all Appellate Body members.
19. We recognize that the current global challenges, particularly the COVID-19 pandemic, are a powerful reminder of the imperative to strengthen cooperation amongst States. While acknowledging the measures taken by the WHO, governments, non-profit organisations, academia, business and industry in combating the pandemic, we also expect the international community to reform and strengthen policy responses of WHO to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and other current and future health challenges.
20. We call for continued efforts to strengthen the system of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation treaties and agreements and to preserve its integrity for maintaining global stability and international peace and security, to maintain the effectiveness and efficiency as well as the consensus-based nature of the relevant multilateral instruments in the field of disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control.
Peace, Security and Counter-Terrorism Cooperation
21. We note that BRICS has continued its active dialogue on topical issues of peace and security in relevant mechanisms. We welcome the outcomes of the meeting of the BRICS High Representatives for Security and commend them for their meaningful discussions on counter-terrorism, security in the use of ICTs, threats to global, regional and national security, prospects for cooperation among law enforcement agencies and prospects for cooperation among BRICS Member States on health safety and healthcare. We also welcome their decision to adopt the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Action Plan for the implementation of the BRICS Counter Terrorism Strategy.
22. We express our concern at the continuing conflicts and violence in different parts of the world. We endorse the position taken by our Foreign Ministers at their last meeting on the situation in Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, the Palestinian-Israeli issue, the Syrian Arab Republic, Yemen, Afghanistan, Korean Peninsula, the Iran nuclear issue and Myanmar. We reaffirm our commitment to the principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of States and reiterate that all conflicts must be resolved by peaceful means and through political and diplomatic efforts in line with international law, in particular the UN Charter. We underscore the inadmissibility of the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
23. We follow with concern the latest developments in Afghanistan. We call for refraining from violence and settling the situation by peaceful means. We stress the need to contribute to fostering an inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue so as to ensure stability, civil peace, law and order in the country. We condemn in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks near the Hamid Karzai Kabul International Airport that resulted in a large number of deaths and injuries. We underscore the priority of fighting terrorism, including preventing attempts by terrorist organisations to use Afghan territory as terrorist sanctuary and to carry out attacks against other countries, as well as drug trade within Afghanistan. We emphasise the need to address the humanitarian situation and to uphold human rights, including those of women, children and minorities.
24. We reiterate the importance of preserving the JCPOA towards the international and regional peace and stability, and the need to resolve the Iran nuclear issue through peaceful and diplomatic means in accordance with international law.
25. We reaffirm the importance of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BTWC) and underline the need to comply with and strengthen it, including by adopting a legally binding Protocol that provides for, inter alia, an efficient verification mechanism. We also reaffirm support for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and call upon the State Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) to uphold the Convention and the integrity of the CWC and engage in a constructive dialogue with a view to restoring the spirit of consensus in the OPCW.
26. We confirm the commitment to ensure prevention of an arms race in outer space and its weaponization, and the long-term sustainability of outer space activities, including through the adoption of a relevant multilateral legally binding instrument. In this regard, we note the draft Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects. We reaffirm our support to the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Explorations and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies. We stand together for the long-term sustainability of outer space activities and enhancing safety of space operations through implementation and development of the relevant UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) guidelines.
27. We reaffirm our commitment to the promotion of an open, secure, stable, accessible, and peaceful ICT environment. We reiterate the need of a comprehensive and balanced approach to ICTs development and security, including technical advancement, business development, of safeguarding the security of States and public interests, and of respecting the right to privacy of individuals. We underscore the leading role of the United Nations in promoting dialogue, to forge common understandings in the security of and in the use of ICTs and development of universally agreed norms, rules and principles for responsible behaviour of States in the realm of ICTs, without prejudice to other relevant international fora. In this regard we welcome the successful conclusion of the work of the UN Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) and the Group of Government Experts (GGE) on cybersecurity and welcome the renewed mandate of the OEWG on security of, and in the use of, Information and Communication Technologies 2021-2025. We look forward to advancing practical intra-BRICS cooperation in this domain, including through the implementation of the BRICS Roadmap of Practical Cooperation on ensuring Security in the Use of ICTs and the activities of the BRICS Working Group on Security in the use of ICTs, and underscore also the importance of establishing legal frameworks of cooperation among BRICS States on this matter and acknowledge the work towards consideration and elaboration of proposals, including on a BRICS intergovernmental agreement on cooperation on ensuring security in the use of ICTs and on bilateral agreements among BRICS countries.
28. We express concern over the increasing misuse of ICTs for criminal purposes and the risks and threats emanating therein. We welcome the successful conclusion of the work of the Intergovernmental Expert Group (IEG) on Cybercrime and commencement of work of the Open-Ended Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Committee of Experts to elaborate a Comprehensive International Convention on Countering the Use of ICTs for Criminal purposes under the auspices of the UN, pursuant to the UNGA Resolution 75/282. We are concerned over the increasing challenge to protect children from online sexual exploitation and from other content harmful for their health and development and look forward to strengthening BRICS cooperation to develop initiatives aimed at ensuring safety of the children on the Internet.
29. We express strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations whenever, wherever and by whomsoever committed. We recognize the threat emanating from terrorism, extremism conducive to terrorism and radicalization. We commit to combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including the cross-border movement of terrorists, and terrorism financing networks and safe havens. We reiterate that terrorism should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group. We reaffirm our 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, emphasizing that States have the primary responsibility in combating terrorism with the United Nations continuing to play central and coordinating role in this area. We also stress the need for a comprehensive and balanced approach of the whole international community to effectively curb the terrorist activities, which pose a serious threat, including in the present-day pandemic environment. We reject double standards in countering terrorism and extremism conducive to terrorism. We call for an expeditious finalization 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.
30. We welcome the outcome of the Sixth BRICS Counter-Terrorism Working Group (CTWG) and its subgroups meetings. We endorse the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Action Plan for implementing the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Strategy which was adopted by our National Security Advisors which is aimed at implementing the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Strategy and defines the approach and actions of the BRICS countries towards counter-terrorism cooperation, including ensuring coordinated efforts to understand, identify and collaboratively respond to persistent and emerging terrorist threats, as well as cooperation within the framework of the UN and other multilateral counter-terrorism fora. This will help complement and strengthen existing bilateral and multilateral ties among the BRICS countries, and to make a meaningful contribution to the global efforts of preventing and combating the threat of terrorism including on countering radicalization, terrorism, the misuse of the internet for terrorist purposes, the travel of terrorists, and enhance measures for the protection of soft targets, intelligence sharing, and capacity building. We appreciate the Chair for holding the Seminar on the ‘Misuse of Internet for Terrorist Purposes & the Role of Digital Forensics in Terrorist Investigation’ and the Workshop on ‘Digital Forensics for BRICS countries’, and look forward to furthering cooperation in these fields.
31. We express our concern over the serious situation in illicit production and trafficking of drugs worldwide, recognizing it as a threat to public security and international and regional stability, as well as health, safety and well-being of humankind. We reiterate our commitment to the three UN Conventions on drug control as complemented by the various political commitments of UN Member States including the 2009 Political Declaration and the 2016 UNGASS outcome document and the need to preserve the international drug control mechanism. We acknowledge the importance of cooperation on drug control among BRICS countries and welcome the outcomes of the last Meeting of the BRICS Anti-Drug Working Group.
32. We reaffirm stronger cooperation and commitment to action on international anti-corruption issues, including within multilateral frameworks, subject to domestic legal systems, especially on matters related to asset recovery, denying safe havens to corrupt persons and identification of proceeds of corruption. We will continue to enhance anti-corruption capacity building through various education and training programs. We welcome the 2021 special session of the UN General Assembly on challenges and measures to prevent and combat corruption and strengthen international cooperation, and reiterate our commitment to implement its political declaration.
33. We reiterate our commitment to combating illicit financial flows (IFFs), money laundering and financing of terrorism and to closely cooperating within the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the FATF-style regional bodies (FSRBs), as well as other multilateral, regional and bilateral fora. We value and encourage the dialogue among BRICS countries in key issue of Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) agenda.
34. We reaffirm the sole authority of the UN Security Council for imposing sanctions and stress further the imperative of refraining from any coercive measures not based on international law, in particular the UN Charter. We call for a further consolidation and strengthening of the working methods of the UN Security Council Sanctions Committees to ensure their effectiveness, responsiveness and transparency and look forward to continuing BRICS engagement on these issues.
Sustainable Development and innovative means to achieve it
35. We reaffirm our commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in its three dimensions – economic, social and environmental. We note with concern that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda and reversed years of progress on poverty, hunger, health care, education, climate change, access to clean water, and environmental protection. While the virus has impacted everyone, it is affecting the world’s poorest and most vulnerable the most. We, therefore, call upon the international community to foster global development partnerships to address the impact of the pandemic and to accelerate the implementation of 2030 Agenda by advancing the Means of Implementation, while giving special attention to the needs of developing countries. We urge donor countries to honour their Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments and to facilitate capacity building and the transfer of technology along with additional development resources to developing countries, in line with the national policy objectives of recipients.
36. We acknowledge the significant role of digital and technological means including large scale e-governance platforms, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and harnessing data for development and for increasing the effectiveness of the BRICS countries’ response to the challenges caused by the COVID 19 pandemic. We encourage wider access to these platforms and technologies for affordable access of our citizens to information and communication, which requires the seamless functioning of telecommunication/ICT systems; to take necessary measures to mitigate negative social and economic consequences thus allowing sustainable and inclusive recovery, in particular to ensure continuity in the educational process and to safeguard jobs, especially for micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In an attempt to leave no one behind, we recognize the digital divide within and across countries and therefore urge the international community to establish modalities and approaches to promote equitable and inclusive access of digital resources for all people, irrespective of where they live.
37. We recognize that the pandemic has also been instrumental in accelerating the use of digital processes across the world and has shown us that getting the data right can guide policy responses to the crisis at every step. As we enter the ‘Decade of Action’ for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we believe that BRICS must prioritize the effective and efficient use of technology and data for development in its various tracks of work, and encourage further cooperation. We commend the Indian Chairship for identifying the ‘Use of Digital and Technological Solutions to Achieve SDGs’ as one of its priorities for this year, and acknowledge the Indian proposal, to be further discussed by BRICS line agencies, of a BRICS Platform on Digital Public Goods, which could act as a repository for all Open-Source Technology applications created by BRICS members towards achieving SDGs for the benefit of BRICS and other developing countries. We look forward to the success of the Second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference to be held in Beijing, China in October 2021.
38. The application of space technologies for peaceful purposes will be a tangible contribution to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. In this regard, we commend the signing of the Agreement amongst BRICS Space Agencies on Cooperation on BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation, which will help enhance our capabilities in the research on global climate change, disaster management, environmental protection, prevention of food and water scarcity and sustainable socio-economic development.
39. Recognizing the importance of agriculture and rural revitalization for achieving the 2030 Agenda, we reiterate our commitment to enhancing intra-BRICS agricultural cooperation for food security and promotion of comprehensive development of rural areas. We welcome the BRICS Agriculture Information Exchange System and the BRICS Agricultural Research Platform, as well as the adoption of the Action Plan 2021-2024 for Agricultural Cooperation of BRICS Countries.
40. We appreciate the importance of BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Cooperation in bringing together our researchers to tackle new and emerging challenges and acknowledge the progress achieved by the BRICS STI Steering Committee and joint research projects, especially on the various thematic working groups. We look forward to the early finalization of the BRICS Action Plan on Innovation Cooperation for 2021-2024.
41. We welcome the further advancement of BRICS trade and investment cooperation and discussions about BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR) initiatives. We reaffirm the cooperation towards the establishment of the Center for Industrial Competences, welcome the initiative of a BRICS PartNIR Innovation Centre in China and BRICS PartNIR Startup events from India.
42. Recognizing that COVID 19 has fundamentally altered the delivery of education and skilling, we agree on the importance of leveraging digital solutions for ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and enhancing research and academic collaboration. We commit to strengthening our cooperation in the field of early childhood development, primary, secondary and higher education as well as TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training), through exchanges of best practices, knowledge and expertise, and exploring the possibilities to create BRICS platforms for cooperation in this regard. We welcome the Education Ministers’ Declaration calling for cooperation in the development, distribution and access to open digital content to address the digital divide.
43. We welcome the BRICS Labour and Employment Ministers’ commitment to a human-centered recovery with inclusive labour markets and social protection system. We look forward to the outcome of the research of E-formality practices in BRICS countries by the BRICS Network of Labour Research Institutes.
44. We reiterate the importance of continued intra-BRICS dialogue in the field of disaster management and look forward to the BRICS Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Risk Management. We encourage further technical cooperation, based on the innovative people-centric, user friendly and location specific approaches, and sharing of best practices in the application of geospatial and digital technologies for developing robust multi-hazard early warning systems and advance forecasting, so as to improve disaster resilience and reduce disaster risks.
45. Stressing the importance of achieving the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and its Goals, we reiterate our commitment to the achievement of all SDGs, including SDG-12 which identifies sustainable consumption and production patterns as a vital element of sustainable development. We agree to cooperate closely in the run up to the 2021 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP26) in the UK and the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP15 in China. We stress the importance and support the adoption of a Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework that addresses the three objectives of the CBD in a balanced way.
46. We reaffirm our commitment to the full implementation of the UNFCCC, its Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement, and to the principles of UNFCCC including ‘Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities’ in the light of different national circumstances. We recognize that peaking of Greenhouse Gas Emissions will take longer for developing countries, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty. We emphasize the need to ensure a holistic approach to climate change, focused on all dimensions including mitigation, adaptation, financing, capacity building and technology transfer along with sustainable lifestyles. We encourage further discussions and events among BRICS countries in this regard. We recall relevant Paris Agreement provisions that mandate developed countries included in its Annex II to provide the necessary means of implementation including through funding, capacity building and technology transfer to developing countries to enable implementation of their climate action in the context of sustainable development.
47. We emphasize that sustainable and efficient use of energy sources, including fossil fuel, hydrogen, nuclear and renewable energy, as well as energy efficiency and technology deployment are essential for each country’s energy transitions, building reliable energy systems and strengthening energy security. We welcome the ongoing practical cooperation within the BRICS Energy Research Cooperation Platform (ERCP) and take note of the BRICS Energy Technology Report 2021.
48. We welcome the last meeting of BRICS Tourism Ministers to further promote intra-BRICS cooperation in this sector. We appreciate the launch of the BRICS alliance for Green Tourism to promote measures which can shape a more resilient, sustainable and inclusive tourism sector.
49. We reiterate the need for all countries to cooperate in promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms under the principles of equality and mutual respect. We agree to continue to treat all human rights, including the right to development, in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis. We agree to strengthen cooperation on issues of common interests both within BRICS and in multilateral fora including the United Nations Human Rights Council, taking into account the necessity to promote, protect and fulfil human rights in a non-selective, non-politicized and constructive manner, and without double standards.
Economic and Financial Cooperation for Sustainable Development
50. We welcome the progress made under the pillar of economic and financial cooperation towards enhancing our capacity in meeting our Sustainable Development Goals, especially in light of the challenges posed by the pandemic. In this regard, we stress the importance of continued implementation of the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership 2025 in all relevant Ministerial tracks and Working Groups.
51. We recognize that the macroeconomic stability of the BRICS economies will play a major role in achieving global recovery and stability. We endorse the BRICS Statement on Global Economic Outlook and Responding to COVID-19 Crisis adopted by our Finance Ministers and Central Banks Governors. As we continue our efforts to strengthen our cooperation towards achieving strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive economic growth in a post-pandemic world, we welcome the sharing of policy experience by BRICS countries on their domestic economic responses to the pandemic.
52. We appreciate the outcomes of the Meeting of BRICS Heads of Customs Administrations, and encourage BRICS Customs to further cooperate in such areas as joint enforcement network, capacity building and administrative assistance. We welcome the finalization of the BRICS Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters, and support that a Customs training workshop be held in the BRICS Customs Training Centre in India and joint BRICS Customs enforcement operations be organized in mutually agreed areas.
53. We recognize the importance of strengthening infrastructure and information-sharing to better identify investment opportunities, leverage private sector investments and meet infrastructure investment needs of BRICS countries. In this regard, we welcome the ‘Technical Report on Social Infrastructure Financing and Use of Digital Technologies’ prepared by the BRICS Taskforce on PPP and Infrastructure as a collaborative effort to share knowledge. We look forward to resuming technical engagements with the NDB and the BRICS Task Force on PPP and Infrastructure on the Integrated Digital Platform on infrastructure investment projects and call for intensification of work in this area.
54. We welcome the outcomes of the Trade Ministers’ meeting, its Joint Communique and endorse the Statement on Cooperation on the Multilateral Trading System, Framework for Cooperation in Trade in Professional Services, Framework for Ensuring Consumer Protection in E-Commerce, and the Declaration on Cooperation for Protection of Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions. We welcome the adoption of the Implementation Roadmap on Trade and Investment aspects of the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership 2025. We stress the need to continue our joint efforts on facilitating a conducive environment for enhancing trade, specifically value-added trade, among BRICS countries while striving to address the pandemic and its consequences.
55. We welcome the outcomes of the MSME Roundtable, which has helped enhance our cooperation in the area of development of MSMEs to integrate them to global value chains. We also welcome the work being carried out by our Finance Ministries and Central Banks on the preparation of a survey on Fintech applications in MSMEs and a Report on ‘Digital Financial Inclusion’ respectively.
56. We appreciate the NDB’s substantive progress in membership expansion despite challenges emanating from the COVID-19 pandemic. We reiterate that the process of expansion should be gradual and balanced in terms of geographic representation in its membership as well as supportive of the NDB’s goals of attaining the highest possible credit rating and institutional development. We note with satisfaction the discussions held at the Annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the New Development Bank and look forward to the Bank’s second General Strategy for 2022-26. We recognize the role of New Development Bank as vital to addressing health and economic consequences of the pandemic and encourage the NDB to explore the possibility of financing more social infrastructure projects, including those that use digital technologies. We also urge the Bank to enhance its role in mobilizing and catalyzing private capital as well as undertake more co-financing ventures with other Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and Development Financial Institutions (DFIs). We look forward to the Bank’s relocation to its permanent headquarters in Shanghai and the opening of NDB’s regional office in India in 2021.
57. We acknowledge the importance of strengthening the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) mechanism. Furthermore, we welcome the successful completion of the fourth CRA test run and support the work to improve the framework for coordination between the CRA and the IMF.
58. We welcome the first collaborative study of our central banks on impact of COVID-19 on Balance of Payments of BRICS countries and the publication of the BRICS Economic Bulletin 2021 as part of our efforts to enhance CRA’s analytical and research capacity.
59. We acknowledge the fruitful cooperation under the BRICS Payments Task Force (BPTF) through dialogues and discussion. We take note of the progress achieved in the ‘BRICS Local Currency Bond Fund’ initiative and look forward to its operation.
60. We commend the ‘e-Booklet of Information Security Regulations in Finance’ and the ‘Compendium on BRICS Best Practices in Information Security Risks: Supervision and Control’ as comprehensive documents of regulations and best practices under the BRICS Rapid Information Security Channel (BRISC).
61. We welcome the continuing work of Inter-Bank Cooperation Mechanism (IMC) to implement the Memorandum of BRICS DFIs Principles for Responsible Financing.
62. Recognizing the important role of fair competition in supporting business development, protecting consumers’ interests, and promoting post-pandemic economic recovery and growth in difficult times, we will continue to deepen practical cooperation in the field of competition. We support the BRICS International Competition Conference to be held in China in November 2021 and in India in 2023.
63. We highlight the need to continue advancing the implementation of the Working Mechanism on Technical Regulations, Standards, Metrology and Conformity Assessment procedures for cooperation to facilitate trade among the BRICS countries.
Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges
64. We reaffirm the importance of BRICS people-to-people exchanges in enhancing mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation amongst our nations and people. We note with satisfaction, in this regard, the progress made under this pillar under India’s Chairship in 2021, including in the fields of governance, culture, education, sports, arts, films, media, youth and academic exchanges, and looked forward to further cooperation in these areas.
65. We support further cooperation between business associations of BRICS Countries. We welcome the successful meetings of the BRICS Business Forum, the BRICS Business Council and the BRICS Women’s Business Alliance, and appreciate their efforts in strengthening business ties and promoting trade and investment relations amongst our countries.
66. We welcome the launch of the ‘BRICS Solutions for SDGs Awards 2021’ by the BRICS Business Council in recognition of the work being done in BRICS countries towards achieving SDGs through innovative solutions. We recognize that these awards will help in the exchange of knowledge and best practices in the area of SDGs. We also appreciate the BRICS Business Council for optimally leveraging digital technologies to organise a virtual trade fair which brought together business houses, entrepreneurs and other relevant players on a common digital platform to provide a thrust to intra-BRICS economic engagement.
67. We commend the progress of BRICS countries in tackling new challenges in urban areas and note the contribution of the BRICS Smart Cities Workshop, Urbanisation Forum, and Friendship cities & Local Government Cooperation Forum towards these efforts.
68. We commend the progress in cultural cooperation and acknowledge its role in enhancing understanding between our people. We welcome the outcomes of the last meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Culture and look forward to further exchanges in this field.
69. We welcome the organization of the curtain raiser for the BRICS Film Festival. We note with satisfaction that BRICS members will be ‘Focus Countries’ at the upcoming International Film Festival of India in November 2021.
70. We recognize that continuity in youth exchanges in different spheres, including in such areas as science, education, arts and culture, innovation, energy, diplomacy, volunteerism and entrepreneurship, would ensure a bright future for intra-BRICS cooperation and appreciate India’s efforts to host the BRICS Youth Summit despite the pandemic.
71. We look forward to the upcoming BRICS Sports Ministers Meeting in 2021 and encourage intra-BRICS cooperation in field of Physical Culture and Sports. We express our support to China to host Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
72. We commend the outcomes of the Meetings of the BRICS Think Tank Council (BTTC) and BRICS Academic Forum, acknowledging the progress made towards strengthening the dialogue and exchanges between our academic communities so as to promote future-oriented research, policy analysis and knowledge-sharing. We welcome the outcomes of the BRICS Civil Forum and take note of its recommendations.
73. China, South Africa, Brazil and Russia commend India’s BRICS Chairship in 2021 and express their gratitude to the government and people of India for holding the XIII BRICS Summit.
74. Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa extend full support to China for its BRICS Chairship in 2022 and the holding of the XIV BRICS Summit.