The BRICS nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa have rejected “double standards” in the global fight against terrorism and called for the expeditious finalisation and adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism within the UN framework.
Brazilian Foreign Minister Carlos Alberto Franco Franca, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa Naledi Pandor met here Thursday for the annual BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs and International Relations meeting on the margins of the high-level UN General Assembly session.
A press statement issued after the meeting said that the ministers expressed strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations whenever, wherever and by whomsoever committed. They “rejected double standards in countering terrorism and extremism conducive to terrorism.” The ministers called for expeditious finalisation and adoption of the long-delayed Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism within the UN framework and for launching multilateral negotiations on an international convention for the suppression of acts of chemical and biological terrorism, at the Conference of Disarmament.
The ministers recognised the threat emanating from terrorism, extremism and radicalisation. They also expressed their commitment to combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including the cross-border movement of terrorists, terrorism financing networks and safe havens.
India proposed a draft document on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) at the UN in 1986 but it has not been implemented yet as there is no unanimity on the definition of terrorism among the member states.
“They reiterated that terrorism should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilisation or ethnic group,” the statement said, adding that the ministers reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to contribute further to the global efforts of preventing and countering the threat of terrorism on the basis of respect for international law, in particular the Charter of the United Nations, and human rights, emphasising that States have the primary responsibility in combating terrorism with the United Nations continuing to play central and coordinating role in this area.
They also stressed the need for a comprehensive and balanced approach of the whole international community to effectively curb terrorist activities, which pose a serious threat, including in the present-day pandemic environment.
The ministers, while emphasising the formidable potential of the ICTs for growth and development, recognised the new possibilities they bring for criminal activities and threats, and expressed concern over the rising level and complexity of criminal misuse of ICTs.
The BRICS ministers reiterated the need for all countries to cooperate in promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms under the principles of equality and mutual respect. They agreed to continue to treat all human rights, including the right to development in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis. They agreed to strengthen cooperation on issues of common interests both within BRICS and in multilateral fora including the United Nations General Assembly and Human Rights Council, taking into account the necessity to promote, protect and fulfil human rights in a non-selective, non-politicised and constructive manner and without double standards.
The ministers reiterated that the objectives, principles and provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Paris Agreement, in particular the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities in the light of different national circumstances, must be honoured.
They reaffirmed their national and joint efforts to promote the implementation of the Paris Agreement and, in that regard, stressed the importance of the fulfilment, delivery and urgency of developed countries’ commitments to provide credible, adequate, predictable, timely, new and additional financing and technology transfer to developing countries to combat climate change.
They also expressed their concern on attempts to link security with the climate change agenda and recalled that the UNFCCC, including the annual COP sessions, is the appropriate and legitimate international forum to discuss the issue of climate change, considering all its aspects.
The ministers reiterated that it was imperative to ensure access to safe, quality, effective and affordable medical countermeasures, including vaccines, diagnostics, therapeutics and essential medical products to people from all countries, especially from developing countries, including the least developed among them as well as ensure the equitable distribution of vaccines and expeditious vaccination, to fill the immunisation gap globally.
They supported the leading role of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as acknowledged initiatives such as the ACT-Accelerator and its COVAX Facility.
They stressed the need to continue to strengthen the cooperation on testing methods, therapeutic, research, production and mutual recognition of vaccines on a reciprocal basis, the research on their efficacy and safety in light of new variants of COVID-19 virus address new and emerging issues affecting personnel movements, through and recognition of national document of vaccination against COVID-19 and respective testing, especially for purpose of international travel.