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World is Multipolar, Old Ways Can’t Address New Situations, Jaishankar Tells BRICS Counterparts

(from left) EAM S Jaishankar pictured alongside counterparts Sergey Lavrov (Russia), Naledi Pandor (South Africa), Mauro Vieira (Brazil) and China’s vice foreign minister Ma Zhaoxu following the BRICS foreign ministers meeting in Cape Town, South Africa. (Image: S Jaishankar/Twitter)

S Jaishankar asked BRICS ministers to push for reforms of global multilateral organisations like the UNSC and approach key contemporary issues collectively.

External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Thursday (local time) highlighted the need of addressing the shortcomings of the ‘international architecture’ and reforming institutions like the UN Security Council while addressing BRICS counterparts in Cape Town.

Jaishankar said despite calls for reforming multilateral organisations not much has been done to improve the state of multilateral organisations. He said new challenges cannot be addressed in old ways.

The minister told his BRICS counterparts that the grouping must symbolise change.

“Our gathering must send out a strong message that the world is multipolar, that it is rebalancing, and that old ways cannot address new situations. We are a symbol of change and must act accordingly,” Jaishankar was quoted as saying by the news agency ANI.

He said that the group consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa must approach key contemporary issues seriously, constructively and collectively, ANI said in a report.

“Colleagues, the global environment today demands that we, the BRICS nations, approach key contemporary issues seriously, constructively and collectively. The BRICS meeting is an important event in our diplomatic calendar and more so at a time when the international situation is challenging,” Jaishankar said in his opening remarks at the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.

Jaishankar said that the after-effects of Covid-19 pandemic, conflicts across the world and economic distress of Global South shows how the current international architecture has fallen short as it does not reflect modern politics, economics, demographics and aspirations.

“For two decades, we have heard calls for reform of multilateral institutions only to be continuously disappointed,” Jaishankar said, urging BRICS members to exhibit sincerity towards reforming global decision-making bodies like the UN Security Council.

‘Economic Concentration’

Jaishankar said that economic concentration is among the major problems that the world currently faces as too many nations are left at the mercy of too few with regard to production, resources, services or connectivity

“Recent experiences impacting health, energy and food security only highlight this fragility. India undertook the Voice of the Global South exercise to place these issues before the G20. We urge that BRICS give it particular consideration and promote the economic decentralisation that is so essential to political democratisation,” Jaishankar said.

He also highlighted that terrorism remains a key threat to international peace and security.

“All nations must take resolute measures against this menace, including its financing and propaganda. It must be combated in all its forms and manifestations and never be condoned under any circumstances,” the foreign minister was quoted as saying by ANI.

He also said that the International Year of Millets, designated by the United Nations for 2023, aims to promote the cultivation of climate-resilient and nutritious grains, contributing to enhanced global food security.

He also asked BRICS nations to endorse and support India’s Lifestyle for Environment Initiative.

Jaishankar met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the BRICS Ministerial in Cape Town, South Africa and his South African counterpart Naledi Pandor. He is on an official visit to African countries, South Africa and Namibia from June 1 to 6, 2023.

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