BRICS Countries Urge UNSC Reform, Cooperation on Terrorism

BRICS Countries Urge UNSC Reform, Cooperation on TerrorismBRICS Countries Urge UNSC Reform, Cooperation on Terrorism

The BRICS group of five major emerging economies called Monday for comprehensive reform of the United Nations and its Security Council to better represent developing countries, as it held a summit seeking to expand its presence on the world stage.

The nations —Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa— also agreed in a joint declaration to strengthen cooperation against a range of organizations it described as terrorist, including some based in Pakistan, in what New Delhi hailed as a diplomatic victory, AP reported.

The five also pledged their opposition to protectionism, a theme increasingly taken up by host Chinese President Xi Jinping as rising anti-globalization sentiment in the West threatens China’s vast export markets.

In the 43-page declaration, Xi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazilian President Michel Temer and South African President Jacob Zuma said they would work together to improve global economic governance to foster “a more just and equitable international order.”

They called for “comprehensive reform” of the UN and the UN Security Council “with a view to making it more representative, effective and efficient, and to increase the representation of the developing countries so that it can adequately respond to global challenges.”

China, the world’s second largest economy, wants BRICS to play a more important role in international affairs. But some observers suggest the group’s influence is waning given the ongoing political and economic rivalry between China and India and the economic woes of Brazil, Russia and South Africa.

In addressing terrorism, the declaration named organizations including the Pakistan-based militant groups Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, the self-styled Islamic State group and al-Qaida.

Preeti Saran, an official with India’s Ministry of External Affairs,  said it was the first time there had been a specific listing of alleged terrorist groups in a BRICS document, calling that “a very important development.”

China, a key ally of Pakistan, has repeatedly blocked India’s attempts to have the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammad, Masood Azhar, put on a UN Security Council terror blacklist. India has accused archrival Pakistan of harboring and training militants to launch attacks on its soil.

China is a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council and has been seen as using that clout to gain an edge in its political and economic rivalry with India. The nuclear-armed Asian giants recently ended a 10-week border standoff high in the Himalayas that re-awakened memories of their 1962 frontier war, paving the way for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the BRICS summit in China.


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