Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the sixth BRICS summit held on 15-16 July in Fortaleza, Brazil. The summit marks an important stepping stone in India's foreign relations, as it staged the five major emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The conference aimed to address regional crises and security threats to restore a climate of peace while advancing global economic stability and also deliberated about the launch of the BRICS development bank. Here are five important issues highlighted by Modi at the summit.
1) BRICS New Development Bank
The conference marked the establishment of the BRICS New Development Bank, with an initial authorised capital base of $100 billion. Though the headquarters of the bank is slated to be in China, its first President will be from India.
Read More: What is the BRICS Development Bank?
“The agreement towards setting up the BRICS New Development Bank is a significant step. I am happy, the initiative announced at the BRICS Summit in New Delhi in 2012, has become a reality,” Modi said.
He further added, “The agreement on the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement is another major achievement. I compliment our Finance Ministers for concluding these two initiatives so quickly.” He extended his vision for the same saying, “We should ensure these institutions establish a new model for supporting growth and stability.”
"We will champion clean and frugal resources to maintain sustainability of our development process without constraining our growth. We will invest heavily in infrastructure, affordable housing, healthcare, education and clean energy. We can all partake of the bounty of nature; however, exploitation of nature is a crime," he said.
2) Zero tolerance towards terrorism
Narendra Modi stressed on the issue of terrorism, pitching for zero tolerance and calling for efforts to curb it. "I firmly believe that terrorism, in any shape or form, is against humanity. There should be zero tolerance towards terrorism. Humanity must unite and isolate terrorist forces, especially states that flout basic norms. Selective targeting of terrorism will not work," he said. "We must also put collective pressure on States to deny sanctuaries and support to terrorists," he added.
3) Broadening strategic partnership with Russia
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has favoured broadening of the strategic partnership with Russia in nuclear, defence and energy sectors and invited President Vladimir Putin to visit the Kudankulam atomic power project during his trip in December.
After his meeting with Putin, Modi tweeted, "Talked about strengthening Russia-India ties in my meeting with President Putin. We value our friendship with Russia"
4) Resolving border disputes with China
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday met Chinese President Xi Jinping and both addressed the need for a solution to the boundary question.
"Both sides emphasised on the need to find a solution to the boundary question. The Prime Minister stressed the importance of strengthening mutual trust and confidence, and maintaining peace and tranquility on the border," said a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office.
5) Concerns over West Asia
Stating that the situation in West Asia poses a grave threat to regional and global peace, as well as security, the Prime Minister said India is particularly concerned because this affects the lives of seven million Indian citizens living in the Gulf region. Modi also raised concerns over the recent outbreak of violence between Israel and Palestine, and said, "We support a negotiated solution. This would inspire hope and confidence around the world."
He said corrective action must begin with the reform of institutions of global governance and stressed that established institutions like the UN Security Council and IMF need to undergo reform and be more representative in their approach.
Modi also expressed his concern over the turbulence and conflict that exists from Afghanistan to Africa, causing grave instability and fast seeping across borders. He stressed that Afghanistan must be helped to fight the forces of terrorism so that it preserves the progress it has made in the last decade. "India will continue to assist Afghanistan in building its capacity; in governance, security and economic development. We look forward to working with our BRICS partners in this regard," he said.