New Delhi: Leaders of BRICS nations, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Thursday stressed the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more representative, effective and efficient.
China and Russia reiterated the importance they attach to the status and role of Brazil, India and South Africa in international affairs and supported their aspirations to play a greater role in the UN, according to the Beijing Declaration of the virtual BRICS annual summit.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the virtual summit along with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and top leaders of Brazil and South Africa. The summit is being hosted by China as the Chair for this year.
The 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.
The BRICS countries also reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring the promotion and protection of democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all with the aim to build a brighter shared future for the international community based on mutually beneficial cooperation.
“We reiterate our commitment to multilateralism through upholding international law, including the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations as its indispensable cornerstone, and to the central role of the United Nations in an international system in which sovereign states cooperate to maintain peace and security, advance sustainable development, ensure the promotion and protection of democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all,” the declaration said.
It also called for promoting cooperation based on the spirit of mutual respect, justice and equality.
The leaders of BRICS nations noted that the task of strengthening and reforming multilateral system encompasses making instruments of global governance more inclusive, representative and participatory to facilitate greater and more meaningful participation of developing and least developed countries, especially in Africa, in global decision-making processes and structures and make it better attuned to contemporary realities.
“We recall the UNGA Resolution 75/1 and reiterate the call for reforms of the principal organs of the United Nations. We recommit to instill new life in the discussions on reform of the UN Security Council and continue the work to revitalize the General Assembly and strengthen the Economic and Social Council,” the leaders said in the declaration.
The leaders recalled that the 2005 World Summit Outcome document and reaffirmed the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including its 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.
The BRICS countries appreciate the role of India and Brazil as members of the UN Security Council for 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 respectively.
The leaders 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.
“We agree 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,” the declaration said.
The leaders 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.
“We call for the respect of democracy and human rights. In this regard, we underline that they should be implemented on the level of global governance as well as at national level,” they said.
The leaders also reaffirmed their support for an open, transparent, inclusive, non-discriminatory and rules-based multilateral trading system, as embodied in the World Trade Organization(WTO).
“We will engage constructively to pursue the necessary WTO reform to build an open world economy that supports trade and development, preserve the pre-eminent role of the WTO for setting global trade rules and governance, supporting inclusive development and promoting the rights and interests of its members, including developing members and LDCs,” the leaders said.
“We recognize that special and differential treatment as established in WTO rules is a tool to facilitate the achievement of WTO objectives with respect to economic growth and development. We call upon all WTO members to avoid unilateral and protectionist measures that run counter to the spirit and rules of the WTO,” they said.
Noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused serious shock and hardship to humanity, unbalanced recovery is aggravating inequality across the world and the economic prospects have declined, the leaders expressed concern that global development is suffering from severe disruption, including the widening North-South development gap, divergent recovery trajectories, pre-existing developmental fault-lines and a technological divide.
The Summit is being held under the theme “Foster High-quality BRICS Partnership, Usher in a New Era for Global Development on June 23-24.