SCO-BRICS summit: Modi has nothing to bring home

10 July 2015

The just concluded twin summit of SCO and BRICS has left India clueless as to which direction its foreign policy is moving. India also, along with other leaders of the BRICS grouping, on Friday signed a resolution, which deliberately ignored the country's concerns.

China, on the other hand, not only defended its pro-Pakistan policy in favour of Pak-supported terrorists, it even succeed in raising barriers around its defence of Pakistani terrorist Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi at the UN.

Even the final Ufa declaration adopted by the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) left India high and dry, as host Russia failed to mention the crucial UN Security Council resolution 1267 that sought UN action against Pakistan for supporting Lakvi.

Clause 36 of the BRICS Declaration, which primarily deals with terrorism, did not mention UN Resolution 1267, but clearly mentioned other UN Security Council resolutions like 2170, 2178 and 2199 which deal with suppression of financing and other forms of supporting terrorists and also emphasise on principles of respect for the sovereignty of the states.

The BRICS resolution pays lip service by disapproving a selective approach to terrorism and, in an apparent move to protect China's interest in backing Pakistan over the Lakhvi issue, it uses the routine phrase of ''condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.''

The declaration gives an assessment on the current global political and economic situation in a way that suits Russia and China and the signing of this and several other documents was held after the working session got over.

The BRICS summit adopted an Action Plan that details the work of the group for the next year and also includes the new promising areas of cooperation.

Another final document approved at Russia's initiative, the Strategy of Economic Partnership of BRICS countries up to 2020, aims at expanding multilateral business cooperation with the goal of stepping up social and economic development and increasing the competitiveness of BRICS countries in the global economy.

Besides, a range of other documents were signed in the presence of the leaders, namely the memorandum on mutual understanding between foreign policy agencies of the BRICS countries on creating a joint internet website - a virtual secretariat of the group.

"This means that we start being institutionalised and turning into an organisation with formal rules," TASS quoted Russia's first deputy economic development minister, Alexey Likhachev, as saying earlier.

The summit also saw the signing of an agreement between the governments of BRICS countries on cooperation in culture and a memorandum of intent on cooperation with the BRICS group's New Development Bank between the National Bank of Social and Economic Development of Brazil, Russia's Vnesheconombank (VEB), Export Import Bank of India, China Development Bank and Development Bank of South Africa.

While India drew a blank, Russia scored a few diplomatic points by bringing the five-nation grouping on the same page in its running battle with the US-led western world as the bloc opposed Western sanctions against it over the Ukraine conflict.

China managed to extract an unambiguous statement from the outfit that the New Development Bank would not compete with China's pet project, the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB).

All BRICS nations are members of the AIIB.

Brazil and South Africa are to benefit a lot from both NDB as well as AIIB.

The two institutions are tipped to work closely and NDB is to approve its inaugural investment projects in the first quarter of 2016 and work closely with AIIB. Both Brazil and South Africa are to get several projects funded by the NDB.

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