Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday chaired the 13th BRICS Summit themed "BRICS@15: Intra-BRICS cooperation for continuity, consolidation, and consensus". The virtual summit was attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. Speaking at the virtual summit, PM Modi touched upon varied issues ranging from counter-terrorism, green tourism and COVID-19.
To begin the summit, PM Modi highlighted the importance of the four Cs in the theme of the summit, i.e. "cooperation for continuity, consolidation, and consensus".
"Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 150 sessions and programmes were organised by BRICS. Out of these, more than 20 were ministerial-level programmes," PM Modi said while adding "We will have to ensure that BRICS yields more results in 15 years. The theme that has been chosen by India for its chairmanship, reflects this priority".
PM Modi highlighted several events that occurred for the first time with the cooperation of the BRICS countries.
"There were many firsts achieved in the BRICS this year. Recently, the first BRICS Digital Health Summit was organised. It is an innovative step to increase health access with the help of technology. This November, Water Resources Minister will be meeting for the first time. Moreover, for the first time, BRICS took a position on strengthening and the multilateral system. BRICS counter-terrorism plan has also been added," PM Modi said.
PM Modi also highlighted that BRICS is building consensus on "Remote sensing satellite constellation" among the Space agencies of the participating countries. Intra-BRICS trade will also be made easier with the cooperation between the customs departments of the participating countries, PM Modi said. BRICS has also started an Alliance of Green Tourism which is a new initiative among the participating countries, PM Modi stated while expressing confidence that BRICS will be more eventful in the future with the upcoming events that have been lined up.
This was the second time PM Modi chaired the BRICS summit. Earlier, in 2016, PM Modi had chaired the BRICS summit held in Goa. Last year, the 12th BRICS summit that was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic was held under the chairmanship of Russia. China is next in line to take over the chairship of the BRICS summit next year.