External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar recently chaired BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) foreign ministers meeting through video conferencing.
Note: India is the Chair of BRICS for 2021, when the organization completes its 15th year of existence.
The virtual meeting was attended by Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Brazil Foreign Minister Carlos Alberto Franco and South African Minister of International Relations Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor.
Key highlights of the BRICS Foreign Ministers 2021:
- In the meeting, the global leaders exchanged views on not just Covid-19 pandemic but also issues of global and regional concerns like sustainable development and countering terrorism.
- The Ministers agreed to cooperate on the pillars of political and security, economic and finance, and People to people and cultural exchanges.
- All member countries adopted and released the ‘BRICS Joint Ministerial Statement on Strengthening and Reforming of the Multilateral System’.
- The Ministers also reiterated their commitment to establishing BRICS Vaccine Research and Development Center.
- The Ministers reaffirmed the following:
- The need to use all relevant measures during the pandemic.
- Supporting ongoing consideration in the WTO (World Trade Organization) on a COVID-19 vaccine intellectual property rights waiver.
- The use of flexibilities of the TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) agreement and the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS agreement and public health.
- Apart from the support at the WTO, the Foreign Ministers also expressed support for the “comprehensive strengthening and reforming” of the UN Security Council, the General Assembly, the UN Secretariat and the Economic and Social Council.
- It is the acronym coined for an association of five major emerging national economies which are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
- Originally the first four were grouped as “BRIC”, before the induction of South Africa in 2010.
- The BRICS members are known for their significant influence on regional affairs.
- All are also members of G20.
- Since 2009, the BRICS nations have met annually at formal summits.
- BRICS headquarter is situated in Shanghai, China.
- BRICS members are known for their influence in regional affairs.