Afghan territory must not be used to carry out terror attacks against other countries: BRICS Leaders
New Delhi, Sep 9: Five-nation grouping BRICS on Thursday strongly called for preventing attempts by various terror groups to use the territory of Afghanistan to carry out attacks against other countries and pitched for an inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue to ensure peace and stability in that country.
At an India-hosted virtual summit chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the top leaders of the BRICS leaders emphasised the need to address the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and uphold human rights, including those of women, children and minorities.
The concerns listed by BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) in its declaration have striking similarities with India''s apprehensions after the Taliban captured power in the country following the withdrawal of the US troops.
The grouping said it is committed to combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including the cross-border movement of terrorists, and terrorism financing networks and safe havens while stressing the need for a "comprehensive and balanced approach" to effectively confront the menace.
Without naming any country, the bloc also said they reject the "double standards" in countering terrorism and extremism conducive to terrorism.
In his remarks, Russian President Vladimir Putin flagged concerns over terrorism flowing out of Afghanistan and criticised the US, saying the current round of the crisis in the country is a direct consequence of "irresponsible attempts" to impose "alien values" and the desire to build "so-called democratic structures" without taking into account either the historical or national characteristics.
"All this turns into destabilisation and, ultimately, chaos, after which the authors of these experiments hastily retreat, abandoning, among other things, their charges to their fate. The entire world community has to disentangle the consequences," he said.
He said Russia is not interested in Afghanistan remaining a "threat to the surrounding countries so that terrorism and illegal drug trafficking threaten us from Afghan territory."
Chinese President Xi Jinping, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Brazilian President Jair Bolsanaro also spoke at the summit on a range of issues.
In the declaration, the BRICS talked about the collective responsibility in combating COVID-19 and noted that the cooperation on the study of origins of coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) is an important aspect of the fight against the pandemic.
"We support science-based, inclusive of broad expertise, transparent, and timely processes, free from politicisation or interference, to strengthen international capabilities to better understand the emergence of novel pathogens and to help prevent future pandemics," it said, amid consistent global focus on how the virus first emerged in China.
The BRICS declaration said the leaders condemned in the strongest terms the recent terrorist attacks near the Kabul airport and called for refraining from violence and settling the situation by peaceful means.
"We call for refraining from violence and settling the situation by peaceful means. We stress the need to contribute to fostering an inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue so as to ensure stability, civil peace, law and order in the country," it said.
"We underscore the priority of fighting terrorism, including preventing attempts by terrorist organisations to use Afghan territory as a terrorist sanctuary and to carry out attacks against other countries, as well as drug trade within Afghanistan," it said.
The leaders also emphasised the need to address the humanitarian situation and to uphold human rights, including those of women, children and minorities.
In his opening remarks, Modi mentioned the grouping adopting the ''BRICS counter-terrorism action plan'' and listed various achievements including under India''s tenure as its chair.
"There is no doubt that there is much we can be proud of. However, it is also important that we do not become too self-satisfied and we must ensure that BRICS is even more result-oriented in the next 15 years," Modi said.
The PMO said there was a convergence of views on the threat posed by the growth of terrorism and extremism and all BRICS partners agreed to accelerate the implementation of the BRICS action plan on counter-terrorism.
The action plan is for implementing the BRICS counter-terrorism strategy that was adopted by the NSAs of the member nations of the grouping.
"We express strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations whenever, wherever and by whomsoever committed. We recognize the threat emanating from terrorism, extremism conducive to terrorism and radicalisation," it said.
Reiterating terrorism should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group, the leaders reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to contribute further to the global efforts of preventing and countering the threat of terrorism on the basis of respect for international law.
The BRICS counter-terrorism strategy is aimed at strengthening existing bilateral and multilateral ties within the grouping and making a meaningful contribution to the global efforts of preventing and combating the threat of terrorism.
"We also stress the need for a comprehensive and balanced approach of the whole international community to effectively curb the terrorist activities, which pose a serious threat, including in the present-day pandemic environment," it said.
The BRICS also rejected "double standards" in countering terrorism and called for expeditious finalisation and adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism within the UN framework and for launching multilateral negotiations on an international convention for the suppression of acts of chemical and biological terrorism.
The group also recommitted to instil new life in the discussions on the reform of the UN Security Council and continue the work to revitalize the General Assembly and strengthen the Economic and Social Council.
"We recall the 2005 World Summit Outcome document and reaffirm the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more representative, effective and efficient, and to increase the representation of developing countries," it added.
The declaration said China and Russia reiterated the importance they attach to the status and role of Brazil, India and South Africa in international affairs and supported their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN.
In his speech, Xi made five proposals for practical cooperation within the BRICS bloc, which included strengthening unity.
Under the current circumstances, it is important for BRICS countries to stay resolved, strengthen unity and further enhance the quality of practical cooperation, Xi said.
His five proposals included strengthening international cooperation on vaccines in the spirit of equitable access for all, deepening economic cooperation in the spirit of mutual benefit as well as political and security cooperation in the spirit of fairness and justice.
Xi also announced that China will donate 100 million more doses of COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries by the end of 2021.
China will take over as the chair of BRICS and host the 14th BRICS summit next year, Xi said.