Johannesburg: The BRICS joint statement on Thursday, called for United Nations Security Council (UNSC) reforms and affirmed support for the aspirations of emerging and developing countries like India, Brazil and South Africa.

The statement emphasised the need for reforms in the UNSC to make it more democratic, representative, effective and efficient, and to increase the representation of developing countries in the Council’s memberships

“We support a comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more democratic, representative, effective and efficient, and to increase the representation of developing countries in the Council’s memberships so that it can adequately respond to prevailing global challenges and support the legitimate aspirations of emerging and developing countries from Africa, Asia and Latin America, including Brazil, India and South Africa, to play a greater role in international affairs, in particular in the United Nations, including its Security Council,” the joint statement read.

The BRICS joint statement also expressed “strong condemnation” for terrorism in all its forms and manifestations “whenever, wherever and by whomsoever” committed.

“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 radicalization. We are committed to combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including the cross-border movement of terrorists, and terrorism financing networks and safe havens,” the statement read.

The BRICS nations also reiterated that terrorism should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group.

They also 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, in particular the Charter of the United Nations, and human rights, emphasizing that States have the primary responsibility in combating terrorism with the United Nations continuing to play central and coordinating role in this area.

The BRICS members stressed 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.

“We reject double standards in countering terrorism and extremism conducive to terrorism. We call for expeditious finalization 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, at the Conference of Disarmament. We welcome the activities of the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Working Group and its five Subgroups based upon the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Action Plan. We look forward to further deepening counter-terrorism cooperation,” the joint statement added.

The BRICS members further called for greater representation of emerging markets and developing countries, in international organizations and multilateral fora.

“We also call for increasing the role and share of women from EMDCs at different levels of responsibilities in the international organizations,” it added.

It added, “We recognise the importance of the increased participation of women in peace processes including in conflict prevention and resolution, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, post-conflict reconstruction and development, and sustaining peace”.

Acknowledging the critical role of women in economic development, the BRICS nations commended the BRICS Women's Business Alliance.

“We recognise that inclusive entrepreneurship and access to finance for women would facilitate their participation in business ventures, innovation, and the digital economy. We welcome initiatives that will enhance agricultural productivity and access to land, technology, and markets for women farmers,” the joint statement read.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated leaders and people of Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and UAE over their inclusion as full members of BRICS and said that India has always supported the expansion of the organisation.

In a statement in the presence of other leaders from BRICS countries, PM Modi said India has always believed that adding new members will strengthen BRICS as an organisation.

He said India will also contribute to other countries wanting to join as partner countries of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

PM Modi also said that the Global South is not just a diplomatic term but represents the shared history of these countries against colonialism and apartheid based on which modern relations are being reshaped.

Addressing the BRICS-Africa Outreach and BRICS Plus Dialogue in the South African capital, PM Modi said BRICS countries- and all friendly nations present at the summit can contribute to the strengthening of a multipolar world.