FORTALEZA: Deprecating the “different yardsticks” in dealing with global terrorism which has assumed war-like proportions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said collective pressure should be put on states to deny sanctuaries and support to terrorists, a statement seen as a veiled reference to India’s neighbourhood.
In his first multilateral engagement with world leaders, Modi addressed the sixth summit of BRICS nations in which he made it clear that terrorism in any form was against humanity and there should be zero-tolerance against it.
He said the menace has assumed war-like proportions and called for early adoption by the UN of the draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism.
“We must also put collective pressure on states to deny sanctuaries and support to terrorists,” he said in his first major speech at an international forum in which he also referred to international hot spots like Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.
“Terrorism is a threat that has assumed war-like proportions. It is in fact a proxy war aimed at innocent civilians. Due to different yardsticks the international community has not been able to combat terror effectively,” he told the meeting of five-nation grouping attended by host President Dilma Rousseff, Presidents Xi Jinping of China, Vladimir Putin of Russia and Jacob Zuma of South Africa.
“I firmly believe that terrorism, in any shape or form, is against humanity. There should be zero tolerance towards terrorism. Humanity must unite, and isolate terrorist forces, especially states that flout basic norms. Selective targeting of terrorism will not work,” he said.
“BRICS must translate our political resolve into a concrete and coordinated plan of action. I call for an early adoption by the UN, of the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. We are meeting at a time when the world is facing a high level of turmoil and uncertainty. Global economic weakness also persists,” Modi said.
He said restoring a climate of peace and stability is therefore an urgent need for global progress and prosperity. “I come from a land where the idea of the ‘whole world being one family’ is rooted in our ethos — Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.”
Modi said the world must unite as one to decisively confront global challenges. Corrective action must begin with the reform of institutions of global governance. This has been on the BRICS agenda since its inception.
The Prime Minister said institutions like the UN security council and IMF need urgent reform. They must become more representative and reflect ground realities.
He said the region stretching from Afghanistan to Africa is experiencing turbulence and conflict. This is causing grave instability that is fast seeping across borders.
“This impacts us all. Remaining mute spectators to countries being torn up in this manner can have grave consequences,” he said.
“Afghanistan, is facing an uncertain future. The Afghan people have suffered for decades. The world must unite to support them in building a peaceful, stable, democratic and prosperous country.
“We must help Afghanistan fight the forces of terrorism. This is important for it to preserve the progress it has made in the last decade. India will continue to assist Afghanistan in building its capacity; in governance, security and economic development. We look forward to working with our BRICS partners in this regard,” he said.
The situation in West Asia poses a grave threat to regional, and global, peace and security. India is particularly concerned because this affects the lives of seven million Indian citizens; living in the Gulf region. We should explore how BRICS members can work together, in helping end the conflict in Iraq, he said.
The developments in Syria continue to cause serious concern. India has consistently called upon all sides to give up violence. For a comprehensive solution there is no alternative to an inclusive political dialogue. A military, or externally imposed solution, will not work. India stands fully prepared to play a part in any peace process, the Prime Minister said.
“India is also concerned, at the recent outbreak of violence between Israel and Palestine. We support, a negotiated solution. This would inspire hope and confidence around the world. India also supports, ongoing efforts to stabilise the situation in many African countries facing challenges of security and development.
“Similarly, while cyber space is a source of great opportunity, cyber security has become a major concern. BRICS countries, should take the lead in preserving cyber space, as a global common good.
“I am happy we are cooperating on this through our national security advisers. In conclusion, I would say that this unique grouping has the capacity to play an important role in advancing global peace and stability. We should move in that direction in a focused manner,” Modi said.