BRICS nations vow to navigate towards inclusive economic development, growth in post-COVID-19 era

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New Delhi, Nov 17 (PTI) Recognising the complexity and interconnectedness of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, BRICS countries on Tuesday vowed to take the lead in reinvigorating multilateral cooperation and consolidating international efforts aimed at ensuring economic growth.

The BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) also said it will strengthen its efforts as necessary to promptly navigate the member countries towards strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive economic development as well as growth in the post-COVID-19 era.

The leaders of the five-nation bloc adopted a Moscow Declaration, Counter-Terrorism Strategy and a BRICS Economic Partnership Strategy till the year 2025 after its 12th summit meeting hosted by Russia.

The leaders of the BRICS countries - Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa - also called on the member states of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to ensure that the restrictive measures related to combating the coronavirus pandemic are targeted and temporary.

'We call on all WTO members to ensure that all COVID-19 related measures are targeted, proportionate, transparent and temporary and do not create unnecessary barriers to trade or disruption to global supply chains, and are consistent with WTO rules,' the Moscow Declaration said.

The BRICS leaders also reiterated the importance of open, stable and secure global markets and acknowledged the building of more resilient global supply chains for increased production of critical health, food and other industrial and agricultural products at the national level and in their respective regional contexts, consistent with WTO rules.

'We recognise complexity and interconnectedness of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and its adverse impact on the international economy, healthcare systems, financial sector and development, well-being of the most vulnerable groups in our societies. In this regard, we reaffirm our commitment to contribute, in coordination with broader international community, to healthcare and economic recovery,' the declaration adopted at the BRICS summit said.

Given the BRICS share in the global economy and trade, the grouping's leaders committed to lead in reinvigorating multilateral cooperation and consolidating international efforts, aimed at elaborating common, efficient and sustainable solutions to tackling the current crisis and ensuring economic growth.

'We will strengthen our efforts as necessary to promptly navigate the BRICS countries towards strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive economic development and growth in the post-COVID-19 era and acknowledge substantial fiscal, monetary and financial stability measures implemented in our countries in order to support economic growth,' the leaders said.

They reaffirmed their determination to continue using available policy tools to safeguard people's lives and livelihoods.

'We attach great importance to the information exchange on the nationally adopted measures as well as short-term and mid-term stimulus packages aimed at effectively mitigating the consequences of the current crisis and full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,' the leaders said in their declaration.

The BRICS leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to a strong, quota-based and adequately resourced IMF at the center of the global financial safety net.

'We acknowledge the crucial role of international trade in economic recovery and remain fully committed to a transparent, open, inclusive, non-discriminatory and rules-based multilateral trading system, as embodied in the World Trade Organisation,' they said.

'It is critical that all WTO Members avoid unilateral and protectionist measures, that run counter to the spirit and rules of the WTO,' the leaders said.

They also backed necessary reform of the WTO with a view to making it more resilient and effective in confronting global economic challenges and to improve its key functions in the interest of all WTO members.

In the declaration adopted at the meeting, the BRICS leaders also reiterated their strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations 'whenever, wherever and by whomsoever committed'.

The declaration said that terrorism should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilisation or ethnic group.

'We reaffirm our 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 and the Charter of the United Nations, emphasising that states have the primary responsibility in combating terrorism with the United Nations continuing to play central and coordinating role in this area,' the leaders said.

'We also stress the need for a comprehensive and balanced approach of the whole international community to effectively curb the terrorist activities, which pose a serious threat, including in the present-day pandemic environment,' they said.

'We also call for an expeditious conclusion and adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism within the UN framework,' the leaders said. PTI ASK KJ

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