BRICS SUMMIT 2021

An overview

The 13th BRICS Summit was held under India’s Chairship , from 9 September- 2021. It is the third time that India hosted the BRICS Summit after 2012 and 2016.

The theme for India’s Chairship is ‘BRICS @ 15: Intra-BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus’. BRICS has been a beacon of multilateralism based on equality, mutual respect and trust. The theme reflects the approach to strengthen the founding principles of BRICS Cooperation based on Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus.

BRICS achieved many firsts this year with the cooperation from BRICS Countries on the first BRICS Digital Health Summit; the first BRICS Ministerial Joint Statement on multilateral reforms; a BRICS Counter-Terrorism Action Plan; an Agreement on cooperation in field of remote-sensing satellites; a virtual BRICS vaccine Research & Development Centre; BRICS Alliance on Green Tourism and the Water Resources Ministers meet to be held in BRICS format in November 2021.

Key Highlights

Brazil

President Jair Bolsonaro addressed at BRICS Summit. It was his third Summit of this group in the capacity of President of Brazil. He brought to the attention that the Brazil- India strategic partnership was currently at an excellent point in time. He said that several different agreements signed during that trip (of 2020) were yielding fruits today and our cooperation has made progress especially in the fields of science and technology, energy and health care and above all in efforts to fight the COVID 19 pandemic. He further said that bilateral trade has also expanded and mentioned that the common ground of human ties and similarities make for a fluent and very much natural dialogue. President Bolsonaro expressed hope that the constraints of a virtual meeting shall not prevent the nations from engaging in a fruitful dialogue and have a successful 13th Summit meeting of this group.

India

Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in his Opening remarks at the 13th BRICS Summit mentioned that the BRICS platform has an influential voice for the emerging economies of the world and has also been useful for focusing attention on the priorities of developing nations as well.
BRICS has created strong institutions like the New Development Bank, the Contingency Reserve Arrangement and the Energy Research Cooperation Platform. The theme that India has selected for its tenure of Chairmanship demonstrates exactly this priority – ‘BRICS@15: Intra BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus’. These four Cs are in a way the fundamental principles of our BRICS partnership.
PM Shri Modi said that despite the challenges posed by COVID, more than 150 BRICS meetings and programs were organized, out of which more than 20 were at the Ministerial level. PM Shri Modi said that along with enhancing cooperation in traditional areas, we have also made efforts to further expand the BRICS Agenda. In this context, BRICS has achieved several ‘Firsts’. Recently, the first ever BRICS Digital Summit was held. It was an innovative step to increase health access with the help of technology. He mentioned that in November 2021, our Water Resources Ministers will be meeting for the first time under the BRICS format. It is also the first time that BRICS has taken a collective position on ‘Strengthening and Reforming Multilateral Systems’.

Honorable Prime Minister underlined the adoption of the BRICS Counter Terrorism Action Plan with the agreement on Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation between BRICS Space Agencies. He said that with cooperation between Customs departments, Intra- BRICS trade will become easier.There has also been a consensus with regards to starting a virtual BRICS Vaccination Research and Development Centre. He highlighted that BRICS Alliance on Green Tourism is also another new initiative.

PM Modi said that all of these new initiatives would not only benefit our citizens but will also enable BRICS as an institution to remain relevant in the coming years.

Russia

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in his address at the BRICS summit mentioned the commendable efforts of India’s presidency to ensure a progressive and smooth development of the strategic partnership of the BRICS member states in all the key areas, despite unusual conditions caused by the COVID 19 pandemic. He emphasized the historical joint efforts, of over 15 years, through which the BRICS member states have managed to establish effective cooperation on the whole range of pressing issues on the global and regional agenda. He expressed his confidence in the BRICS partnership to – ensure progressive development of the International relations through guaranteeing the coexistence of states with different political and social systems, their own national interests and spiritual and moral values. He said that we must strictly observe the fundamental principles of international law enshrined in The UN Charter including non-interference into the internal affairs and respect for sovereignty. We must support and develop internationally the interaction based on mutual respect and constructive and effective approach to strengthen the emerging multipolar system. He emphasized that the topic for this BRICS Summit chosen by India is very relevant with Intra-BRICS Cooperation for Continuity , Consolidation and Consensus. He saidthat this is the goal that the whole international community has to reach and the BRICS member states have played a leading and prominent role in this. He said that the BRICS platform has witnessed several achievements in the last one and a half decades and today, we are an influential voice for the emerging economies of the world.

China

President Xi Jinping in his address at 13th BRICS Summit brought focus onto the solid progress made in areas of development in the spirit of pragmatism ,innovation and win-win cooperation. BRICS countries have forged ahead on the common journey of development. He said that we have supported multilateralism and taken part in global governance in spirit of equity, justice and mutual assistance and we have become an international force on the global platform. He looked forward to in-depth exchanges with BRICS partners to deepen all areas of cooperation and build a closer and more result oriented partnership to meet common challenges and create a better future. President Xi Jinping also mentioned that next year China will take over as Chairman of BRICS and host the 14th BRICS Summit.

South Africa

President Cyril Ramaphosa in his remarks said that our collective response has demonstrated what can be achieved when we work together. We must continue to safeguard our peoples lives and livelihoods, continue to support global economic recovery and enhance the resilience of all our public systems.

He urged the BRICS partners towards the need to contribute a fair share to the access of COVID 19 tools accelerator and also support the proposal made by India and South Africa at the WTO for a waiver of the TRIPS Mechanism to ensure a rapid expansion of COVID 19 vaccines production across the world. He welcomed the joint statement on strengthening and reforming the multilateral system issued by foreign ministers in June. He threw light on the fact that we are now in the final decade towards meeting the sustainable development goals, and we must remain focused on the attainment of better health outcomes, while also pursuing the goals of quality education, decent work opportunities, climate action and peace and justice. He further said that we must strengthen our cooperation, deepen our partnership and our friendship and actively strive towards a world of better health, better opportunity and shared prosperity for all.

Opportunities & Challenges

At the end of the 2021 Summit – BRICS Counter Terrorism Action Plan , Agreement on cooperation in the field of remote-sensing satellites; a virtual BRICS vaccine Research & Development Centre; BRICS Alliance on Green Tourism and The Delhi Declaration were adopted.

The main challenge ahead of the BRICS is not procedural nor bureaucratic, but to continue to lead with innovative thinking and practical responses to some of the most pressing development challenges of our time. No other grouping has set such an ambitious goal for itself. Building a collective strategy and identifying priority processes to implement it can ensure that BRICS cooperation deepens and becomes self-reinforcing.

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