In a strong endorsement of India, the five-nation BRICS summit has come out with a strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stressed that there can be no justification for any acts of terror based on ideological, political or religious issues.
“We call upon all entities to refrain from financing, encouraging, providing training for or otherwise supporting terrorist activities. We believe that the UN has a central role in coordinating international action against terrorism, which must be conducted in accordance with international law, including the UN charter, and with respect to human rights and fundamental freedoms,” said the 17-page Fortaleza Declaration at the end of the summit late last night.
In his remarks at the private session of the BRICS leaders, Modi had also sought collective action of the states in ensuring that no sanctuary is given to terrorists in what was seen as a veiled reference to India’s neighbourhood.
In this context, the declaration said, the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
“We express our concern at the increasing use, in a globalised society, by terrorists and their supporters of information and communications technologies, in particular the internet and other media, and reiterate that such technologies can be powerful tools in countering the spread of terrorism, including by promoting tolerance and dialogue among peoples.
“We will continue to work together to conclude as soon as possible negotiations and to adopt in the UN general Assembly the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. We also stress the need to promote cooperation among our countries in preventing terrorism, especially in the context of major events,” the declaration said.
The declaration said the Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) should provide instruments to foster sustainable economic progress and social inclusion.
“We agree that particular attention should be given to young people and to small and medium-sized enterprises, with a view to promoting international exchange and cooperation, as well as to fostering innovation, ICT research and development.
“We agree that the use and development of ICTs through international cooperation and universally accepted norms and principles of international law is of paramount importance, in order to ensure a peaceful, secure and open digital and Internet space,” it said.
The declaration condemned the “acts of mass electronic surveillance and data collection of individuals all over the world, as well as violation of the sovereignty of States and of human rights, in particular the right to privacy.”
“We will explore cooperation on combating cybercrimes and we also recommit to the negotiation of a universal legally binding instrument in that field. We consider that the UN has a central role in this matter. We agree it is necessary to preserve ICTs, particularly the Internet, as an instrument of peace and development and to prevent its use as a weapon.
“Moreover, we commit ourselves to working together in order to identify possibilities of developing joint activities to address common security concerns in the use of ICTs.”