External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Thursday described terrorism as among the key threats to international peace and security and said all nations must take resolute measures against this menace, including its financing and propaganda, in a veiled attack on Pakistan.
In his opening remarks at the BRICS Foreign Ministers' Meeting here, Jaishankar also said that terrorism must be combated in all its forms and manifestations, and never be condoned under any circumstances.
"Among the key threats to international peace and security is that of terrorism. All nations must take resolute measures against this menace, including its financing and propaganda," the minister said at the forum attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor among others.
Jaishankar has in the past described Pakistan as the "epicentre of terrorism" where terrorists like Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar, Sajid Mir and Dawood Ibrahim are sheltered.
Noting that the international situation is challenging, Jaishankar said the global environment today demands that the BRICS nations should approach key contemporary issues seriously, constructively and collectively.
"Our gathering must send out a strong message that the world is multipolar, that it is rebalancing and that old ways cannot address new situations. We are a symbol of change and must act accordingly," he added.
"This responsibility is even greater as we contemplate the devastating aftereffects of the COVID pandemic, the stresses arising from conflict and the economic distress of the Global South," the minister said, without mentioning the Ukraine conflict.
“They underline the deep shortcomings of the current international architecture which does not reflect today's politics, economics, demographics or aspirations,” he said.
The minister also called for much-awaited reform of the UN Security Council. "For two decades, we have heard calls for reform of multilateral institutions, only to be continuously disappointed. It is, therefore, imperative that BRICS members demonstrate sincerity in regard to reforming global decision-making, including that of the UN Security Council," he said.
Jaishankar said that at the heart of the problems the countries face is economic concentration that leaves too many nations at the mercy of too few.
"This may be in regard to production, resources, services or connectivity," he said, adding that the recent experiences impacting health, energy and food security, only highlight this fragility.
He said India, the current chair of the G20, undertook the voice of the Global South exercise to place these issues before the grouping. "We urge that BRICS give it particular consideration and promote the economic decentralisation that is so essential to political democratisation," he said.
He said the UN has declared 2023 as the International Year of millets. Encouraging climate-resilient and nutritious grain production will surely enhance global food security, he added. "The lifestyle for environmental initiatives tabled by India is another important step towards sustainability that the BRICS should support. Our meeting will also be considering the comprehensive institutional development of this," he said.
"We approached that exercise in a positive spirit and with an open mind. The level of interest in this grouping is a matter of satisfaction, and a testimony of our growing influence. For that very reason decisions we take have far-reaching consequences. They will also enhance our mutually beneficial cooperation in the times to come," he added.
He said the bloc has many crucial issues to deliberate upon and "we will do so in the spirit of equality, mutual respect, and complete consensus. That is the hallmark of BRICS."
The five-nation grouping BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) brings together five of the largest developing countries of the world, representing 41 per cent of the global population, 24 per cent of the global GDP and 16 per cent of the global trade.