News Excerpt
For the first time, the bloc of five emerging economies have approved a counter-terrorism strategy aimed at strengthening linkages on combatting terrorism and sharing of timely information.The document was released after the leaders of Russia, India, Brazil, China and South Africa held their 12th annual summit recently through a video conference.

•    BRICS is the group composed by the five major emerging countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -, which together represent about 42% of the population, 23% of GDP, 30% of the territory and 18% of the global trade.
•    The acronym BRIC was coined by Goldman Sachs in 2001 to indicate the emerging powers that would be, alongside the United States, the five largest economies of the world in the 21st century.
•    In 2006, BRIC countries started their dialogue, which since 2009 takes place at annual meetings of heads of state and government. In 2011, with South Africa joining the group, the BRICS reached its final composition, incorporating a country from the African continent.
•    Throughout its first decade, BRICS has developed sectorial cooperation in different areas, such as science and technology, trade promotion, energy, health, education, innovation and fight against transnational crime. Currently, sectorial cooperation, which covers more than 30 subject areas, brings important concrete benefits to the populations of the five countries.
•    At the Fortaleza Summit (2014), in Brazil, important institutions were created: The New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA).  The CRA is operational and is an important financial stability mechanism for countries affected by crises in their balance of payments.

    The virtual BRICS Summit was chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
    The theme of this year's summit - 'BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth'
    With the summit held against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the joint statement recognised the role of “extensive immunization” and called for availability of “quality, efficacious, effective, accessible and affordable” vaccines.In his address Indian PM mentioned that India and South Africa have proposed an exemption from the Intellectual Property agreements relating to the COVID-19 vaccine, treatment and investigation.
    PM mentioned that terrorism is the biggest menace the world is facing today. The countries that support and help terrorists should also be held to account, and this problem must be dealt in a united manner. The BRICS Counter Terrorism Strategy will help in addressing this menace.

BRICS Counter Terrorism Strategy
    The BRICS countries have elaborated this Counter-Terrorism Strategy with the aim of strengthening the security of the BRICS countries.
    The objective of BRICS counter-terrorism cooperation is to complement and strengthen the existing bilateral and multilateral ties among the BRICS countries, and to make a meaningful contribution to the global efforts of preventing and combating the threat of terrorism.

The BRICS countries’ counter-terrorism cooperation is based on the following principles:
    Full respect for the sovereignty of the participating countries and noninterference in their internal affairs;
    Commitment to the principles of international law and recognition of the central and coordinating role of the United Nations on the issues of peace and security;
    Recognition of the role of regional organizations in countering the threat of terrorism;
    Need for all States to refrain from organizing, instigating, facilitating, participating in, financing, encouraging or tolerating terrorist activities and to take appropriate practical measures to ensure that their territories are not used for terrorist bases or preparation or organization of terrorist acts intended to be committed against other States or their citizens;
    Due consideration of national interests and priorities;
    Openness, information sharing, and consensus-based decision-making;
    Recognition of the decisive role of States and their competent authorities in combating terrorism and extremism conducive to terrorism with due account for national experience and countries’ specificities;
    Inadmissibility of using terrorist groups, or issues pertaining to countering international terrorism and extremism conducive to terrorism, for political ends;
    Adoption of a comprehensive approach to combating terrorism;
    Rejection of double standards on countering terrorism and extremism conducive to terrorism;
    Addressing of the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism and attach full importance to countering the extremism conducive to terrorism.

Menace of terrorism can not be dealt with by an individual country in isolation. It needs collaborative and cooperative efforts. And thus, ‘Global Counter Terrorism Strategy’ can act as milestone in dealing with the issue. Sincere implementation holds the key.