BRIC nations seek bigger voice in world affairs

June 16th, 2009 - 11:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh By Manish Chand
Yekaterinburg, June 16 (IANS) Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) Tuesday ended their first summit with a vigorous call seeking greater voice for emerging economies to create a more democratic world order and a bold agenda for mitigating the financial meltdown.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Brazil’s President Lula da Silva discussed a host of global issues, including the financial crisis, food and energy security, climate change and international terrorism.

In a pointed message to the world’s established powers and the G8 grouping of wealthy countries, the BRIC backed “a more democratic and just multi-polar world order based on the rule of international law, equality, mutual respect and collective decision-making” and pressed for the central role of the UN and multilateral diplomacy in dealing with global challenges.

The joint document at the end of the summit took note of the status of Brazil and India in international affairs and backed their aspirations to play a greater role in the UN.

“The BRIC countries should create conditions for a fairer world order and create an international order that is conducive to their prosperity,” Medvedev, the chair of the BRIC, told journalists at the end of the summit in this Russian industrial city that also hosted a summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation earlier in the day.

Calling for comprehensive reforms of global financial bodies, Manmohan Singh underlined the need to develop “an effective early warning system which can identify the build up of risks which may threaten global security” and took a vigorous stand on opposing protectionism and restrictions on the free flow of trade and persons across borders.

The summit focused on mapping a new global economic order based on greater representation for emerging and developing economies in international financial institutions.

“We are committed to advance reform of international financial institutions so as to reflect changes in the world economy,” the joint statement said.

The BRIC accounts for a little over a quarter of the world’s territory, 40 percent of global population and 40 per cent of global GDP.

“The emerging and developing economies must have greater voice and representation in international financial institutions, and their heads and leaderships should be appointed through an open, transparent and merit-based selection process,” said the statement.

The summit called for speedy implementation of decisions taken at the G20 summits in Washington and London in dealing the financial crisis that included giving more powers to the IMF and agreed to take the process forward at the next G20 summit to be held in Pittsburg in the US Sep 20.

The leaders of BRIC countries took a slew of important decisions and initiatives that included (1) dealing with global food security on a priority basis (2) stepping up efforts to provide liquidity to poorest countries which have been hit hardest by financial crisis (3) promoting sustainable development (4) strengthening coordination in field of energy security (5) more cooperation in the field of science and technology and (6) intensifying efforts for international humanitarian assistance.

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