India, as a country, has made rapid advancements in international relations with other countries since it freed itself from the clutches of colonial British rule. Whether it comes to advancements in the field of science and technology or even economic development, India has paved its way through them all, giving it a reputation that makes it admirable in the eyes of many. Numerous treaties and annual conferences are a reflection of its relations with other countries and the foreign policies it adheres to. One such summit took place in India recently – the BRICS Summit 2021.
BRICS Summit is a conference on international relations in which the Heads of Government of the five member states, which include Brazil, India, Russia, China and South Africa, participate. This was India’s third time hosting the BRICS Summit, after having hosted it previously in 2012 and 2016, and is evidently a matter of great prestige. The theme of the Summit was ‘BRICS @15: Intra-BRICS cooperation for continuity, consolidation and consensus’. Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Chinese President Xi Jinping headed this summit, which was headed by Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.
Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi started his speech by thanking the BRICS members for the cooperation received by India from them during its chair-ship at BRICS. He went on to talk about the many achievements of BRICS in the past one-and-a-half decades, which has transformed them into an influential voice for emerging economics the world over. He also added about the need to be more productive in the next 15 years. He went on to announce the adoption of the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Action Plan.
An interesting perspective was generated by the leaders on the prominent Afghanistan crisis that has made it to the headlines several times recently. Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasised the crisis of Afghanistan as a threat to its neighbours, and the importance of the BRICS cooperation as he termed the situation around the world to be “quite turbulent”. “Afghanistan should not become a threat to its neighbouring countries, a source of terrorism and drug trafficking,” Putin said.
Xi Jinping recounted the achievements made by the BRICS summit in the last 15 years. The Chinese President said, “We have made solid progress in various areas of cooperation in the spirit of pragmatism, innovation and win-win cooperation. We have supported multilateralism and taken part in global governance in spirit of equity, justice and mutual assistance.”
Bringing to focus an agenda that has affected almost every nation in the world on a horrific scale – the Covid-19 pandemic – was President Ramaphosa. He expressed South Africa’s support for the proposal made by India and South Africa at the WTO for the waiver of the TRIPS mechanism, ensuring rapid expansion of Covid-19 vaccine production the world over. He then went on to welcome the decision of the Health Ministers of BRICS nations to operationalise the vaccine development and research centre.
Next, Bolsorano praised the India-China-Brazil partnership in their fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, especially in the areas of science, technology, energy and health.
At the end of the summit, the leaders adopted the “Declaration of New Delhi” and committed to being resolved by reinforcing and reforming the multilateral system so that global governance is more receptive and effective. The declaration expressed strong disapproval of the terrorist attack near Kabul airport resulting in a large number of casualties.
In conclusion, the leaders aimed to cover topics that are prominent in the world today and have garnered great importance in the eyes of numerous nations. Their fruitful discussion lead to the formation of a declaration that elaborately highlighted their stance on these events.