New Delhi: Prime Minister of India, H.E. Mr. Narendra Modi chaired the 13th BRICS Summit virtually on 09th September 2021.
The theme of the Summit, chosen by India, was, BRICS@15: Intra-BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus.
The Summit saw the participation of all other BRICS Leaders – President of Brazil, H.E. Mr. Jair Bolsonaro, President of Russia, H.E. Mr. Vladimir Putin, President of China, H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping, and President of South Africa, H.E. Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa.
Prime Minister Modi expressed his appreciation for the cooperation received from BRICS partners during India’s Chairship this year, which allowed the achievement of several new initiatives. These included the first BRICS Digital Health Summit; the first BRICS Ministerial Joint Statement on multilateral reforms; a BRICS Counter-Terrorism Action Plan; an Agreement on cooperation in field of remote-sensing satellites; a virtual BRICS vaccine Research & Development Centre; BRICS Alliance on Green Tourism, etc.
Highlighting the leading role that BRICS countries can play in the post-COVID global recovery, Prime Minister Modi called for enhanced BRICS cooperation under the motto of ‘Build-back Resiliently, Innovatively, Credibly and Sustainably’.
Elaborating on these themes, Prime Minister Modi stressed the need for accelerating ‘build-back’ by enhancing speed and accessibility of vaccination, creating ‘resilience’ by diversifying pharma and vaccine production capacities beyond the developed world, fostering ‘innovation’ by creatively using digital tools for public good, ensuring reform of multilateral institutions to enhance their ‘credibility’, and promoting ‘sustainable’ development by articulating a common BRICS voice on environmental and climate issues.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on 9th September 2021 reiterated his call for an equal access to COVID-19 vaccines, saying the coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on human life, livelihoods, economies and communities around the world.
Addressing the 13th BRICS summit presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi via video link, President Ramaphosa said as the BRICS countries, “we must continue to safeguard people’s lives and livelihoods, support global economic recovery and enhance the resilience of all our public systems. We must ensure equal access to COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics.”
He said that the leaders of the BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — are meeting in unprecedented times.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on human life, livelihoods, economies and communities around the world, President Ramaphosa said.
“As much as we have known sorrow and hardship, we have also known solidarity and cooperation,” President Ramaphosa said as he lauded the cooperation of the BRICS partners in fighting the pandemic.
“Our collective response has demonstrated what can be achieved when we work together. All tracks of our BRICS cooperation have been orientated towards concrete responses to the pandemic. We each need to contribute our fair share to the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator and support the TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) waiver at the WTO to ensure a rapid expansion of COVID-19 vaccine production across the world,” the President Ramaphosa said.
President Ramaphosa and Prime Minister Modi had first proposed the temporary waiver on patents for COVID-19 vaccines’ waiver in May this year and rapidly got support from more than 60 countries.
President Ramaphosa welcomed both the decisions by the Health Ministers of BRICS nations to start a virtual BRICS Vaccine Research and Development Centre and the foreign ministers’ joint statement on strengthening and reforming the multilateral system.
“The pandemic has reinforced our belief that representative multilateralism is key to a sustainable future for all,” President Ramaphosa said.
President Ramaphosa also urged members to pursue reform at the UN Security Council.
“We call on BRICS to be equally bold and determined in seeking reform of the United Nations Security Council, among other things to enable Africa to take its rightful place among the collective of nations in this crucial body,” President Ramaphosa said.
President Ramaphosa concluded his address with a plea for BRICS members to remain focused on the attainment of better health outcomes, while also pursuing the goals of quality education, decent work, action on climate change, peace and justice.
“We are now in the final decade towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.
We must strengthen our cooperation, deepen our partnership and actively strive towards a world of better health, better opportunity and shared prosperity for all,” the President Ramaphosa added.
The leaders also discussed important regional and global issues, including recent developments in Afghanistan. There was convergence of views on the threat posed by growth of terrorism and extremism, and all BRICS partners agreed to accelerate implementation of the BRICS Action Plan on Counter-Terrorism.
At the conclusion of the Summit, the leaders adopted the ‘New Delhi Declaration’.