The five-nation powerful grouping of BRICS on Sunday asked all countries to prevent “terrorist actions” from their territories and called for expeditious adoption of an India-backed global convention by the UN to fight the menace effectively. A declaration adopted at the annual summit of grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa called upon all nations to adopt a comprehensive approach in combating terrorism, violent extremism, radicalisation, recruitment, movement of terrorists including foreign terrorists and blocking sources of financing terrorism.
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“We call upon all nations to work together to expedite the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) in the UN General Assembly without any further delay,” the Goa declaration issued at the end of the Summit said.
It also asked the countries to adopt a “holistic” approach in successfully combating terrorism.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for decisive action to deal with terrorism and described Pakistan as a mothership of global terrorism.
The BRICS said sources of terror funding like organised crime by means of money-laundering, drug trafficking, criminal activities, dismantling terrorist bases, and countering misuse of the internet including through social media by terror entities should be focus areas.
“Successfully combating terrorism requires a holistic approach. All counter-terrorism measures should uphold international law and respect human rights,” the declaration said.
Stressing UN’s central role in coordinating multilateral approaches against terrorism, the BRICS urged all nations to undertake effective implementation of relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and reaffirmed its commitment on increasing the effectiveness of the UN counter terrorism framework.
In the declaration, the BRICS said it reaffirmed commitment to the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) international standards on combating money laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation.
The FATF is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering. In 2001 the purpose expanded to act on terrorism financing.
It also called for swift, effective and universal implementation of FATF on combating terrorist financing, including effective implementation of its operational plan.
The BRICS said, “We seek to intensify our cooperation in FATF and FATF-style regional bodies.”
In the declaration, the bloc also called for strengthening of international and regional cooperation and coordination to counter the global threat caused by the illicit production and trafficking of drugs, especially opiates.
“We note with deep concern the increasing links between drug trafficking and terrorism, money laundering and organised crime,” it said, adding there was agreement on strengthening efforts to enhance security in the use of information and communication technology.
The declaration said the bloc agreed that emerging challenges to global peace and security and to sustainable development require further enhancing of its collective efforts.
“We note the global character of current security challenges and threats confronting the international community.
“We reiterate our view that international efforts to address these challenges, the establishment of sustainable peace as well as the transition to a more just, equitable and democratic multi-polar international order requires a comprehensive, concerted and determined approach, based on spirit of solidarity, mutual trust and benefit, equity and cooperation,” it said.
It said, “We express our concern that political and security instability continues to loom in a number of countries that is exacerbated by terrorism and extremism.
“We call upon the international community through the United Nations, African Union and regional and international partners to continue their support in addressing these challenges, including post-conflict reconstruction and development efforts.”
In reference to tax system, it reaffirmed commitment towards a globally fair and modern tax system and and welcomed the progress made on effective and widespread implementation of the internationally agreed standards.
“We support the strengthening of international cooperation against corruption, including through the BRICS Anti-Corruption Working Group, as well as on matters related to asset recovery and persons sought for corruption.
“We acknowledge that corruption including illicit money and financial flows, and ill-gotten wealth stashed in foreign jurisdictions is a global challenge which may impact negatively on economic growth and sustainable development.
“We will strive to coordinate our approach in this regard and encourage a stronger global commitment to prevent and combat corruption on the basis of the United Nations Convention against Corruption and other relevant international legal instruments,” it said.
BRICS also welcomed the Paris Climate Agreement and its imminent entry into force on 4 November.
“We call on the developed countries to fulfil their responsibility towards providing the necessary financial resources, technology and capacity building assistance to support the developing countries with respect to both mitigation and adaptation for the implementation of the Paris Agreement,” it said.
Asked why the declaration, which names ISIS, does not mention Pakistan-based terror groups, especially JeM which the UN has proscribed, Amar Sinha, Secretary (Economic relations), said a consensus could not be evolved.
He also pointed out India is the victim of the actions of Pakistani terror groups, and not other BRICS nations.
“I guess it does not concern them mainly, BRICS. It affects us. Because Pakistan-based outfits are also focused on India in terms of activities. So since…(it does not affect them), I guess we could not get an consensus on actually including both.
“But if you see, it says ISIS and various other affiliated organisations. and I think there is a reference of terrorists organisations which are designated by the UN,” he said.
He said the fact remains that Pakistani terror groups have not yet reached South Africa and Brazil. “They may one day, we don’t know,” he said.
In reply to a series of questions on the issue of terror at a press briefing later, he said the multilateral summit should not be reduced to just the issue terrorism.
He defended the non-inclusion of the word “cross-border terrorism” in the Goa declaration saying that focus should be on idea.
He said it was important that India was able to bring everyone onboard with its ideas.
Sinha explained that the declaration accepts that there cannot be a political justification of terror and asks countries to take comprehensive steps against terror.
“I think the message is very clear and you don’t have to spell out everything. You have to see what is the underlying thrust,” he said.
Asked about Chinese President Xi Jingping’s speech in which he talked about the need to focus on the root causes, Sinha said he does not know what he meant by “root causes”.
He said China has always said one needs to sit down and that he does not don’t think they were referring to root causes of terrorism.
If that were the case, they would not support the CCIT, he said.
The senior diplomat underlined that India was “satisfied” with the Goa declaration.
“Each country in such negotiations that we have done starts from the national position and then it all gets negotiated over long session until you reach a conclusion that is acceptable to everyone.
“We are obviously not looking…that our national position needs to be sort of signed on dotted lines by other countries,” he said.
He pointed out that the declaration mentions terrorism as unprecedented global threat to peace and security. “These are strong words. I don’t think they are underplaying,” he said.
“We are quite happy with it,” he said, adding this is not the last summit and the one of the NSAs is coming up.
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