BRICS ministers talk trade, UN reforms, terrorism

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Pretoria - Trade, climate change, reforms of the United Nations and terrorism were high on the agenda when the BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs met in Beijing on Monday.

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) who make up the grouping for countries that account for about 40% of the world's population and 20% of the global economy, met in preparation for the upcoming 2017 BRICS Summit to be held in Xiamen later in the year.

The meeting was attended by Ministers of Foreign Affairs and International Relations from all the BRICS countries such as Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Chinese Minister Wang Yi , Minister Sergey Lavrov of Russia, Minister Aloysio Nunes of Brazil and India's Minister Vijay Kumar Singh.

In a communique issued after their meeting, the ministers reaffirmed their commitment to safeguarding the purposes and principles of the charter of the United Nations, as well as a fair and just international order.

They reaffirmed 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 reiterated the importance they attach to the status and role of Brazil, India and South Africa in international affairs and support their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN.

“The Ministers recommit their strong support to multilateralism and the central role of United Nations in international affairs. They commit to strengthening the coordination and cooperation among BRICS in the areas of mutual and common interest within the United Nations and other multilateral institutions, including through regular meetings among their permanent representatives in New York, Geneva and Vienna and further enhance the voice of BRICS in international fora,” read the communique.

While underscoring the importance of the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, BRICS countries urged the developed countries to honour their official commitments.  

Paris Agreement

The ministers also called on all countries to implement the Paris Agreement under the principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“They further called upon developed countries to fulfil their commitment to provide necessary financing, technology transfer and capacity building support to developing countries.”

Their call comes following US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.


On terrorism, the ministers deplored the continued terrorist attacks and reaffirmed solidarity in the fight against it.

“The ministers are concerned by the threats and challenges posed by the use of ICTS for criminal and terrorist purposes and the weaponization of outer space and arms race there. They underscore the role of collaborative efforts to address these challenges.”

They also called upon the international community to establish a genuinely broad international counter-terrorism coalition and support the United Nations' central coordinating role in the international counter-terrorism cooperation.

International relations

On other international relations, the group rallied behind political and diplomatic solutions to conflicts in countries such as Libya and the Korean Peninsula.

They condemned unilateral military intervention or economic sanctions in violation of international law and universally recognised norms of international relations.                                                

On the ongoing tensions in Syria, the ministers reiterated that the only lasting solution to the Syrian crisis is an inclusive "Syrian-led, Syrian-owned" political process which safeguard the state sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria, in pursuance of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254(2015).

“The Ministers strongly support the Geneva Peace Talks and the Astana process, and welcome the creation of the de-escalation areas in Syria. They oppose the use of chemical weapons by anyone, for any purpose and under any circumstance.”

They also reiterate the need for a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East. -

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