PM Modi to chair 13th BRICS meet today
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Thursday host the 13th summit of the BRICS bloc which, besides India, comprises Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa. Just like last year’s event, the current edition, too, will take place virtually due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, making it the second straight BRICS meeting to be held via videoconferencing.
The theme for this year’s programme is “BRICS@15: Intra BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus.” India’s chairmanship of this year’s summit coincides with the 15th anniversary of the grouping which initially comprised Brazil, Russia, India and China. South Africa became a member in 2010.
This year's summit comes amid the prevailing situation in Afghanistan, where the Taliban seized power last month. The situation in the war-torn nation is, therefore, likely to be among key global and regional issues which are taken up for discussion. “Leaders are likely to underscore the priority of fighting terrorism, including preventing attempts by terror groups to use Afghanistan as sanctuary to carry out attacks against other countries. The participating countries are also likely to emphasise the need to address the humanitarian situation and to uphold human rights, including those of women, children and minorities,” officials told news agency ANI.
India has highlighted four priority areas for its presidency of BRICS: reform of the multilateral system, counter-terrorism cooperation, using digital and technological tools to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and enhancing people-to-people exchanges. “In addition to these areas, the leaders will exchange views on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and other global and regional issues,” the ministry of external affairs said in a statement.
At the summit, PM Modi will be joined by Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, Russian president Vladimir Putin, Chinese president Xi Jinping and South African president Cyril Ramaphosa.