By NewsGram Staff Writer
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday made a strong pitch for united action against terrorism and extremism by countries, including among BRICS, without discriminating between groups, or countries, sponsors or targeted nations. He also proposed a slew of steps, including a film festival and football, to boost cooperation among the BRICS members.
Modi, addressing the BRICS plenary session, said peace and stability were the bulwarks of progress and prosperity and it was the responsibility of countries to unitedly combat terrorism and extremism.
“We should unitedly combat terrorism and extremism, without any discrimination between groups, or countries, sponsors or targeted countries,” Modi said at the plenary, attended by the leaders of the other four partners – Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff and South Africa’s Jacob Zuma.
His remarks came a day after he raised with China’s Xi India’s concerns over Beijing blocking New Delhi’s move for action in the UN against Pakistan over the release of 26/11 mastermind and LeT terrorist Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.
“We must do this in BRICS as well as UN Security Council and in other groups of nations,” Modi said in his address in Hindi.
Modi also said all major countries should take decisions based on consensus, collaboration and cooperation and that international rules and norms should be upheld.
Modi also proposed 10 steps – “Das Kadam” – for the future of BRICS.
These include a BRICS trade fair, a railway research centre, cooperation among supreme audit institutions, a digital initiative, an agricultural research centre, a forum of state/local governments among the BRICS nations, cooperation among cities in the field of urbanisation, a sports council and an annual sports meet, the first major project of New Development Bank to be in the field of clean energy and a film festival.
Modi, in his address to the BRICS Business Council and the plenary, proposed India could host the inaugural trade fair next year as well as the football event.
India will host the summit in 2016.
He also proposed a BRICS film festival and film awards, which he said would give a boost to film making and people-to-people contact.
He said the Economic Cooperation Strategy, which includes a number of social initiatives, was a milestone in BRICS 2015 evolution.
He also pointed to the urgent need for UN Security Council reforms.
“Whatever is the nature of challenge – political, social, and economic – we will be more effective in addressing them if we complete the reforms of the UN, especially its Security Council, within a fixed time frame. These reforms are urgently required, if the global institution is to retain its role and relevance in the 21st century,” he said.
Modi also thanked the grouping for making the International Yoga Day on June 21 a success.
“BRICS can be a pillar of hope in a world facing many challenges, its initiatives are not just for itself but for the world,” he said.
Addressing the BRICS Business Council earlier, Modi also took a swipe at “unilateral sanctions” which he said were hurting the global economy.
His comment was seen as a swipe at the West for its sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis.
Sujata Mehta, secretary (MER) in the external affairs ministry, said it was “India’s position that sanctions of any nature should be approved by the UNSC, and those that are not are not sanctions that we adhere to or accept”.
Modi later held bilateral meetings with Rousseff and Zuma. He had met Putin and Xi on Wednesday. On Thursday morning, Modi held a bilateral meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
(With inputs from IANS)