Pretoria, June 4 (IANS) With India seeking joint action by the BRICS member states against terrorist financing and money laundering, the grouping on Monday called upon all countries to prevent financing of terrorist networks and terrorist actions from their territories.
“The ministers deplored the continued terrorist attacks, including in some BRICS countries,” said a joint statement issued following a BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Foreign Ministers meeting here which was also attended by Indian External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.
“They condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations wherever committed and by whomsoever,” it stated.
The BRICS Foreign Ministers also called for concerted efforts to counter terrorism under the UN auspices “on a firm international legal basis, and expressed their conviction that a comprehensive approach was necessary to ensure effective fight against terrorism”.
“They recalled the responsibility of all states to prevent financing of terrorist networks and terrorist actions from their territories,” the statement said in what can be seen as a veiled reference to Pakistan.
The ministers also called for an expedited adoption of the India-initiated Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the UN General Assembly.
Earlier on Monday, in her address at the BRICS Foreign Ministers meeting, Sushma Swaraj called for joint action by the grouping against money laundering and financing of terrorists.
She said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a call for a BRICS Counter-Terrorism Strategy with joint action against money-laundering, terrorist financing, cyber-space security and de-radicalization being priorities.
“Our leaders have also called for making UN Counter Terrorism framework efficient and effective,” she said.
“We reiterate our commitment to implement our Leaders’ mandate on counter terrorism under South Africa’s BRICS Chairship.”
According to the joint statement, the ministers expressed their concern over the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, particularly the increase in the number and intensity of terrorist-related attacks on the Afghan National Security Forces, the government and civilians.
“The ministers called on the international community to assist the government and the people of Afghanistan with stabilising the security situation in the country as well as for the return of dialogue with the objective of working towards the realisation of peace in the country and an inclusive political process,” the statement said.
The ministers also expressed their concern over the ongoing conflict and heightened tensions in the Middle East region, especially with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian situation.
“The ministers reiterate the need for renewed diplomatic efforts to achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid Principles, the Arab Peace Initiative and previous agreements between the parties through negotiations with a view to create an independent, viable, territorially contiguous Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security with Israel,” the statement said.
“The ministers reiterated that the status of Jerusalem is one of the final status issues to be defined in the context of negotiations between Israel and Palestine.”
They also reaffirmed their commitment for a political resolution of the conflict in Syria, “through an inclusive ‘Syrian-led, Syrian-owned’ political process which safeguards the state sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria, in pursuance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254 (2015) and taking into account the result of the Congress of the Syrian National Dialogue in Sochi”.
On UN Security Council reforms, the ministers underscored the importance of sustained efforts aimed at making the UN more effective and efficient in implementing the mandates conferred upon it.
“In this regard, they committed to intensifying dialogue amongst the BRICS countries on the administration and budget of the United Nations, with a view to strengthening the organisation and preserving its member state-driven character,” the statement said.
Brazil and India, apart from Germany and Japan, are part of the G4 that is seeking permanent membership in the UNSC.
“The ministers expressed their support for continued cooperation of BRICS members in areas of mutual interest including through regular exchanges amongst their multilateral missions,” the statement said.