New Delhi, November 17, 2020 :
Your Excellency President Putin,
Your Excellency President Xi,
Your Excellency President Ramaphosa,
Your Excellency President Bolsonaro,
First of all, I congratulate President Putin for the successful conduct of BRICS. I am Because of your guidance and initiative, BRICS has been able to maintain its momentum even in times of global pandemics. Before putting forward my point, I wish President Ramaphosa a very happy birthday.
the theme of this year’s summit – ‘BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth’ is relevant, but also visionary. Significant geo-strategic changes are taking place in the world, which will continue to have an impact on stability, security and growth, and BRICS will play an important role in these three areas.
This year, on the 75th anniversary of the Second World War, we pay tribute to the soldiers who were killed. More than 2.5 million warriors from India were active in this war on many fronts like Europe, Africa, and South East Asia. This year is also the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.
India has been a firm supporter of multilateralism as a founding member of the UN. Even in Indian culture, the whole world is treated as one family, so it was natural for us to support an institution like UN. Our commitment to UN values has remained unshaken – India has lost the most valiant soldiers in peacekeeping operations. But today the multilateral system is going through a crisis.
Both credibility and effectiveness of institutions of global governance are being questioned. The main reason for this is that these did not change properly over time. These are still based on the 75-year-old world mentality and reality.
India believes reforms are very mandatory in the UN Security Council. We expect the support of our BRICS partners on this subject. Apart from the UN, many other international institutions are also not functioning as per current realities. Institutions like WTO, IMF, WHO should also improve.
Terrorism is the biggest problem facing the world today. We must ensure that the countries that support and assist the terrorists are also blamed, and this problem is dealt with in an organized manner. We are happy that the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Strategy has been finalized during the chairmanship of Russia. This is an important achievement. And India will pursue this task further during its presidency.
BRICS economies will play an important role in the global recovery after COVID. We have more than 42 percent of the world’s population, and our countries are among the main engines of global economy. There is a lot of scope for increasing mutual trade between BRICS countries.
Our mutual institutions and systems – such as BRICS Inter-Bank Cooperation Mechanism, New Development Bank, Contingent Reserve Arrangement and Customs Cooperation – can also make our contribution effective in global recovery.
In India, we have started a comprehensive reform process under the ‘Self-reliant India’ campaign. The campaign is based on the theme that a self-reliant and resilient India can be a Force Multiplier for the post-COVID economy. And global value chains can make a strong contribution. We also saw this during COVID, when we were able to deliver essential medicines to more than 150 countries due to the capability of the Indian pharma industry.
As I have said earlier, our vaccine production and delivery capacity will also serve the benefit of humanity. India and South Africa have proposed to be exempted from Intellectual Property agreements relating to COVID-19 vaccine, treatment and investigation. We hope that other BRICS countries will also support this.
During its BRICS chairmanship, India will work on enhancing BRICS collaboration in digital health and traditional medicine. In this difficult year, the Russian chairmanship underwent several initiatives to enhance people-to-people relationships. Such as the BRICS Film Festival, and meetings of young scientists and young diplomats. I heartily congratulate President Putin for this.
In 2021, 15 years of BRICS will be completed. Our Sherpa can make a report to evaluate the various decisions taken between us in previous years. During our chairmanship in 2021, we will try to strengthen intra-BRICS cooperation in all the three pillars of BRICS. We will endeavor to increase intra-BRICS solidarity and develop a solid institutional framework for this purpose. Let me conclude by once again praising all the efforts of President Putin.