NEW DELHI: Asserting that terrorism is the "biggest problem" the world is facing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said there was a need to ensure that countries supporting and assisting terrorists are held guilty, in an oblique reference to Pakistan.
Modi made the comments at the 12th BRICS summit, held virtually, as the five-nation grouping is looking at adopting a new counter-terrorism strategy to effectively deal with the menace.
The summit, hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin, was also attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
"Terrorism is the biggest problem the world is facing.
We have to ensure that the countries that support and assist the terrorists are also held guilty and the problem is dealt with in an organised manner," the prime minister said.
Though, Modi did not name any country, his reference is seen as directed at Pakistan.
"We are happy that the BRICS counter-terrorism strategy has been finalised during the chairmanship of Russia.
This is an important achievement and India will take this forward further during its presidency," he said.
The BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) is known as an influential bloc that represents over 3.6 billion people, or half of the world's population.
The BRICS countries have a combined GDP of USD 16.6 trillion.
In his address, Modi also underlined the need for reform of the United Nations Security Council as well as multilateral bodies like the World Trade Organisation, the International Monetary Fund and the World Health Organisation.
"Both credibility and effectiveness of institutions of global governance are being questioned.
The main reason for this is that these organisations did not change over time and they are still operating based on the 75-year-old thinking," he said.
"India believes reforms are very mandatory in the UN Security Council. We expect the support of our BRICS partners on this subject," he said, and asserted that multilateralism is undergoing a crisis.
Talking about the COVID-19 crisis and its impact, Modi said the BRICS economies will play an important role in the post-pandemic global recovery and that India's vaccine production and delivery capabilities will work in the interest of humanity.
"We have more than 42 percent of the world's population, and our countries are among the main engines of the global economy.
There is a lot of scope for increasing mutual trade between BRICS countries," the Prime Minister said.
"Our mutual institutions and systems - such as BRICS Inter-Bank Cooperation Mechanism, New Development Bank, Contingent Reserve Arrangement and Customs Cooperation - can also make our contribution effective in global recovery," he said.
The Prime Minister also highlighted reform initiatives undertaken by his government under the 'self-reliant India' campaign.
"We have started a comprehensive reform process under the 'Self-reliant India' campaign.
The campaign is based on the belief that a self-reliant and resilient India post-COVID can be a force multiplier for the global economy and make a strong contribution to the global value chains," he said.
Modi also mentioned about India supplying essential medicines to more than 150 countries in the last few months.
"Our vaccine production and delivery capacity will also serve the benefit of humanity.
India and South Africa have proposed to be exempted from intellectual property agreements relating to COVID-19 vaccine, treatment and investigation. We hope that other BRICS countries will also support this," Modi said.
Referring to India's BRICS chairmanship, the Prime Minister said India will work on enhancing collaboration in digital health and traditional medicine.
"During our chairmanship in 2021, we will try to strengthen intra-BRICS cooperation in all the three pillars of BRICS. We will endeavor to increase intra-BRICS solidarity and develop a solid institutional framework for this purpose," Modi said.