Press Release: Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs/International Relations
September 21, 2017, New York
The BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs/International Relations held their annual meeting on the margins of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA72) on 21 September 2017. The meeting was chaired by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa in the country’s capacity as the incoming BRICS Chair for 2018.
The Ministers expressed their warm appreciation to China for the success of the 9th BRICS Summit held from 4-5 September 2017 in Xiamen. They welcomed the substantive outcomes of the Summit and reaffirmed the commitment for their full implementation of the Xiamen Declaration, as well as the outcomes of the past Summits as adopted by the BRICS Leaders.
The Ministers reaffirmed their strong commitment to uphold development and multilateralism, and to that effect they stressed the need to strengthen coordination and cooperation among BRICS in the areas of mutual and common interests within the United Nations and other multilateral institutions, including through regular meetings among our permanent representatives in New York, Geneva and Vienna, and further enhance the voice of BRICS in international fora.
The Ministers underlined the progress achieved by BRICS since 2006 that has generated a momentum for multi-dimensional cooperation fostered by the Leaders’ Summits. They expressed satisfaction from the many fruitful results of BRICS cooperation, in particular the establishment of the New Development Bank (NDB), including its first Africa Regional Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA), the formulation of the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership, the strengthening of the political and security cooperation including through Meetings of BRICS High Representatives for Security Issues and Foreign Ministers Meetings, and the deepening of the traditional ties of friendship amongst peoples of BRICS countries.
They further pledged to continue working together to uphold mutual respect, equality, solidarity, openness and inclusiveness, to further strengthen strategic partnership cooperation for mutual benefit by constantly deepening BRICS practical cooperation so as to usher in and provide practical content to the second golden decade of BRICS cooperation and solidarity.
The Ministers exchanged views on global and regional issues in the economic and political spheres and recognized that global economic recovery is gaining momentum though uncertainties and downside risks persist globally. They noted that BRICS countries continue to play an important role as engines of global growth. They further reiterated the need to boost world economic growth including through macro-economic policy coordination and improving global economic governance.
The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the United Nations as the universal multilateral organization entrusted with the mandate for maintaining international peace and security, advance global development and to promote and protect human rights so as to build a brighter shared future for the global community.
They recalled 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 the developing countries so that it can adequately respond to global challenges. China and Russia reiterate the importance they attach to the status and role of Brazil, India and South Africa in international affairs and support their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN.
The Ministers also reconfirmed the commitment to fully implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to equitable, inclusive, open, all-round innovation-driven and sustainable development, in its three dimensions– economic, social and environmental in a balanced and integrated manner. The Ministers pledged their support for the important role of the United Nations, including the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), in coordinating and reviewing global implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and support the need to reform the UN Development System with a view to enhancing its capability in supporting Member States in implementing the 2030 Agenda.
The Ministers reiterated their strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. They urged concerted efforts to counter terrorism on a firm international legal basis, under the UN auspices, and expressed their conviction that a comprehensive approach was necessary to ensure effective fight against terrorism. They reaffirmed their commitment to an expeditious adoption of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the United Nations. The Ministers stressed the role of the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Working Group in further deepening the dialogue on counter-terrorism cooperation.
The Ministers expressed their concern over continued conflicts and situations in several regions which undermine stability and security and provide fertile grounds for terrorist activities and cause refugee and migration waves. They supported political and diplomatic solutions of conflicts and situations, such as in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and in Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, and in Africa, and the Korean Peninsula.
The Ministers stressed the need to strive towards broad partnerships with EMDCs, and in this context, to pursue equal-footed and flexible practices and initiatives for sustainable dialogue and cooperation with non-BRICS countries, regional or sub-region groups, including through BRICS Plus approach.
The Ministers supported the efforts in deepening people-to-people exchanges and cultural cooperation, in particular strengthening the third pillar of BRICS cooperation so as to deepen bonds and ties amongst its peoples.
The Ministers discussed the possibilities for the mutual support of their initiatives at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly.
The Ministers were also briefed on approaches for South Africa’s incoming BRICS Chairpersonship in 2018. China, Brazil, Russia and India extend full support for South Africa in hosting the Tenth BRICS Summit in 2018. The Ministers also look forward to the Stand-alone Meeting of BRICS Minister of Foreign Affairs/International Relations in South Africa in 2018.