CAPE TOWN: India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday called on BRICS nations to demonstrate their sincerity in reforming multilateral institutions, including that of the UN Security Council.
India has been at the forefront of the UN to push for an urgent long-pending reform of the Security Council.
"For two decades, we have heard calls for reform of multilateral institutions, only to be continuously disappointed. It is, therefore, imperative that BRICS members demonstrate sincerity in regard to reforming global decision-making, including that of the UN Security Council," he said in his opening remarks at the BRICS Foreign Ministers' Meeting here.
The five-nation grouping BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) brings together five of the largest developing countries in the world.
Jaishankar said that at the heart of the problems the countries face is the economic concentration that leaves too many nations at the mercy of too few.
"This may be in regard to production, resources, services or connectivity," he said, adding that the recent experiences impacting health, energy and food security, only highlight this fragility.
He said India, the current chair of the G20, undertook the voice of the Global South exercise to place these issues before the grouping.
"We urge that BRICS give it particular consideration and promote the economic decentralisation that is so essential to political democratisation," he said.
India has emphasised that it rightly deserves a place at the UN high table as a permanent member.
The five permanent members of the UNSC are Russia, the UK, China, France and the United States and these countries can veto any substantive resolution.
There are also 10 elected non-permanent members who serve two-year terms.
India completed its tenure as a non-permanent member of the Council in December last year.
China last month maintained its stance on the UN Security Council reforms, saying there should be more representation for developing countries, especially the small and medium countries, but avoided a direct response to India and other countries' call for its expansion and their inclusion.
Jaishankar during his trip to Sweden last month took a dig at those opposing the UN reforms, saying those who are beneficiaries of the old system are resistant to that change as they feel it would "dilute" their positions of privilege.
'Terrorism among key threats to international peace and security'
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday described terrorism as among the key threats to international peace and security and said all nations must take resolute measures against this menace, including its financing and propaganda, in a veiled attack on Pakistan.
In his opening remarks at the BRICS Foreign Ministers' Meeting here, Jaishankar also said that terrorism must be combated in all its forms and manifestations, and never be condoned under any circumstances.
"Among the key threats to international peace and security is that of terrorism. All nations must take resolute measures against this menace, including its financing and propaganda," the minister said at the forum attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor among others.
Jaishankar has in the past described Pakistan as the "epicentre of terrorism" where terrorists like Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar, Sajid Mir and Dawood Ibrahim are sheltered.
Noting that the international situation is challenging, Jaishankar said the global environment today demands that the BRICS nations should approach key contemporary issues seriously, constructively and collectively.
"Our gathering must send out a strong message that the world is multipolar, that it is rebalancing and that old ways cannot address new situations. We are a symbol of change and must act accordingly," he added.
"This responsibility is even greater as we contemplate the devastating aftereffects of the COVID pandemic, the stresses arising from conflict and the economic distress of the Global South," the minister said, without mentioning the Ukraine conflict.
They underline the deep shortcomings of the current international architecture which does not reflect today's politics, economics, demographics or aspirations, he said. They will also enhance our mutually beneficial cooperation in the times to come," he added.
He said the bloc has many crucial issues to deliberate upon and "we will do so in the spirit of equality, mutual respect, and complete consensus. That is the hallmark of BRICS."
The five-nation grouping BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) brings together five of the largest developing countries of the world, representing 41 per cent of the global population, 24 per cent of the global GDP and 16 per cent of the global trade.