Other regulatory bodies like Competition Commission, Airports Economic Regulatory Authority and SEBI do not have such provision, he said, adding the government decided to amend the law to bring parity among all regulatory bodies.
The Bill was not “individual-specific”, Prasad said, adding it was aimed at doing away with the existing anomaly so that capable persons could be utilised after their supeannuation.
“The scope of the bill is very limited and it is to create equality among all regulatory bodies,” he said.
Later, replying to questions raised by various members, he said Misra is a man of integrity and the 1967-batch IAS officer has served in various capacities in Centre and the states.
He also said the Prime Minister should have every right to choose his Principal Secretary for good governance.
The TRAI Bill replaces an ordinance issued on May 28 to amend a clause in the TRAI Act by which Misra could not have been appointed to any government post after retirement.
Misra, who retired in 2009, joined the PMO the same day the ordinance was promulgated and the bill was being brought to give his appointment the requisite legal backing.
T Subbirami Reddy (Cong) had moved a statutory resolution to disapprove the The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Ordinance issued earlier to appoint Misra as Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, saying the ordinance was like a ‘Brahmastra’ which should be used rarely by the government.
Manishankar Aiyar (Cong) opposed the Bill saying the adoption of the Ordinance route for making the amendment was not correct and the Bill violated the Constitution, which Prasad categorically denied.
According to the White House the two leaders reiterated that Russia must take immediate steps to de-escalate situation in eastern Ukraine amid the ongoing violence by supporting a bilateral ceasefire.They said Russia must prepare a roadmap for talks under the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)-mediated contact group, establish an OSCE border monitoring mechanism, urge separatists to release all hostages they hold and end the flow of heavy weapons, equipment, and fighters to separatists.
Both the leaders agreed that to date neither Germany nor the US had seen Russia fulfill these required actions as they reaffirmed their commitment to work together with other allies to ensure the US and Europe remained closely coordinated on measures to impose costs on Russia and to continue to support Ukraine’s long-term stability and prosperity, the White House said on Tuesday.
“On P5+1 talks with Iran, the two leaders reviewed the progress that has been made in the negotiations, while noting that important gaps still remain. They agreed it is imperative that Iran take the necessary steps to assure the international community that its nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful,” the White House said.
“The President and the Chancellor also exchanged views on US-German intelligence cooperation, and the President said he’d remain in close communication on ways to improve cooperation going forward,” the statement said.
Pitching for ‘zero tolerance” against terrorism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday told leaders of five-nation grouping BRICS that the “choices” they make now will shape the future of the world at large.
Addressing the summit of Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa in Fortaleza, he noted that the region stretching from Afghanistan to Africa is “experiencing turbulence and conflict” and “remaining mute spectators to countries being torn up can have grave consequences”.
Modi, who is attending the Summit for the first time, said, “I firmly believe that terrorism, in any shape or form, is against humanity. There should be zero tolerance towards terrorism”.
He underlined that the “choices we make now will shape the future of not just our countries, but the world at large”.
The Prime Minister referred to the issue of cyber world and said, “Cyber space is a source of great opportunity” but “cyber security has “become a major concern”. BRICS countries, Modi said, should take a lead in preserving cyber space as a global common good.
Modi also pushed for an “open, rule-based, international trading regime”, saying it is critical for global economic growth.
“It (global economic growth) must address aspirations of developing world” and “accommodate the special needs of the most vulnerable sections of our societies, especially in such areas as food security,” the Prime Minister said.
Observing that he comes from a land where the idea of the whole world being one family is rooted in its ethos ‘vasudhaiva kutumbakam’, he said, “we can all partake of the bounty of nature. However, exploitation of nature is a crime.”
Talking in the context of India, he said, “we will champion clean and frugal resource use to maintain sustainability of our development process, without constraining our growth.”
The Prime Minister said his government will invest heavily in infrastructure, affordable housing, healthcare, education and clean energy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement in 6th BRICS Summit on the Agenda – “Political Coordination: “INTERNATIONAL GOVERNANCE & REGIONAL CRISES”
We are meeting at a time when the world is facing a high level of turmoil and uncertainty. Global economic weakness also persists.
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.
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.
Institutions like the UN Security Council and IMF need urgent reform. They must become more representative and reflect ground realities.
Excellencies, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 stabilize the situation in many African countries facing challenges of security and development.
Excellencies, 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.
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.
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 must also put collective pressure on States to deny sanctuaries and support to terrorists.
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 Advisors.
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.
A currency reserved pool mechanism has also been agreed upon.
The agreement on establishing the bank and a contingency reserve arrangement with an initial size of 100 billion dollars came at a Summit meeting of the five-nation grouping in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched his first multilateral engagement with global leaders.
The bank will have an initial authorised capital of USD 100 billion. The initial subscribed capital shall be of USD 50 billion to be equally shared by the founding-members. China won the race for getting the bank’s headquarters in Shanghai even as India also made a pitch for its location in New Delhi.
India will be the first President of the bank while the first chair of the Board of Governors will be from Russia.
The new development bank’s Africa regional centre will be established in South Africa and currently with the headquarters. “We direct our Finance Ministers to work out the modalities for its operationalisation,” the leaders said in the Fortaleza Declaration adopted at the Summit.
India’s insistence on the equal sharing of the initial subscribed capital was based on the premise that BRICS bank should not fall into the practices of the Bretton Woods institutions like the IMF and the World Bank dominated by the United States.
Hailing the establishment of the bank and the CRA, Modi said in the plenary session that the bank would now benefit not only the member-nations but also the developing world. The two institutions would now be a new instrument of safeguarding the economic stability in the context of the great international financial volatility.
He said there was a great need for reforms of the UN Security Council and international financial institutions to reflect the ground realities and to create a new financial architecture.
Noting that it is his first BRICS Summit, Modi said he looks forward to working with the leaders and building from personal bonds in the days to come.
He said BRICS entered the second cycle of Summits today at a time when instabilty is growing in many regions.
For a climate of peace and stability, it calls for newer levels of cooperation, he said. “I believe for the first time an institution like BRICS brings together a group of nations on the basis of future potential rather than existing prosperity. The very idea is forward-looking. BRICS must provide a united, clear basis for a peaceful and stable world”, the Prime Minister said.
Modi said that along with the reform of the UNSC and internataional financial organizatgions, the WTO regime should also be reformed so that an open trading regime is necessary for a strong global trading arrangement that must address the aspirations of the developing world.
The agreement on the new development and the CRA was signed by ministers from five countries, including Minister of State for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman in the presence of Modi and Presidents of China, Russia, South Africa and host Brazil.
The Declaration said BRICS as well as other emerging markets and developing countries continue to face significant financing constraints to address infrastructure gaps and sustainable development needs.
It is in this backdrop that one has to seed the signing of the agreement for establishing the new development bank for mobilizing resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging and developing economies, it said.
Based on sound banking principles, the Declaration said the bank will strengthen cooperation among BRICS countries and will supplement the efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global development, thus “contributing to our collective commitments for achieving the goal of strong, sustainable and balanced growth”.
It said the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) with an initial size of US$ 100 billion will have a positive precautionary effect, help countries forestall short-term liquidity pressures, promote further BRICS cooperation, strengthen the global financial safety net and complement existing international arrangements.
The agreement is a framework for the provision of liquidity through currency swaps in response to actual or potential short-term balance of payments pressures, according to the Declaration.
The BRICS also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation among BRICS Export Credit and Guarantees Agencies that will improve the support environment for increasing trade opportunities among the member-countries.
“We appreciate the progress our Development Banks have made in enhancing and strengthening the financial ties among BRICS countries. Given the importance of adopting innovation initiatives, we welcome the conclusion of the Cooperation Agreement on Innovation within the BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism”, said the Declaration.
Pointing to the potential for BRICS insurance and reinsurance markets to pool capacities, the Summit directed the relevant authorities to explore avenues of cooperation in this regard, said the Declaration.
The Declaration said that the member countries believe that sustainable development and economic growth will be facilitated by taxation of revenue generated in jurisdictions where economic activity takes place.
Expressing concern over the harmful impact of tax evasion, transnational fraud and aggressive tax planning on the world economy, the BRICS countries affirmed their commitment to continue a cooperative approach on issues related to tax administrations and to enhance cooperation in the international forums targeting tax base erosion and information exchange for tax purposes.
“We are aware of the challenges brought by aggressive tax avoidance and non-compliance practices,” the Declaration said adding the Summit directed concerned authorities to explore ways of enhancing cooperation in this area.
The member-states, the declaration said, remained seriously concerned with the current non-implementation of the 2010 International Monetary Fund (IMF) reforms, which negatively impacts on the IMF’s legitimacy, credibility and effectiveness.
“The IMF reform process is based on high-level commitments, which already strengthened the Fund’s resources and must also lead to the modernisation of its governance structure so as to better reflect the increasing weight of EMDCs in the world economy.
“The Fund must remain a quota-based institution. We call on the membership of the IMF to find ways to implement the 14th General Review of Quotas without further delay. We reiterate our call on the IMF to develop options to move ahead with its reform process, with a view to ensuring increased voice and representation of emerging markets and developing countriess in case the 2010 reforms are not entered into force by the end of the year”, the Declaration said.
It also called on the membership of the IMF to reach a final agreement on a new quota formula together with the 15th General Review of Quotas so as not to further jeopardize the postponed deadline of January 2015.
Sixth Brics Summit – Fortaleza Declaration
1. We, the leaders of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa, met in Fortaleza, Brazil, on 15 July 2014 at the Sixth BRICS Summit. To inaugurate the second cycle of BRICS Summits, the theme chosen for our discussions was “Inclusive Growth: Sustainable Solutions”, in keeping with the inclusive macroeconomic and social policies carried out by our governments and the imperative to address challenges to humankind posed by the need to simultaneously achieve growth, inclusiveness, protection and preservation.
2. In the aftermath of the first cycle of five Summits, hosted by every BRICS member, our coordination is well established in various multilateral and plurilateral initiatives and intra-BRICS cooperation is expanding to encompass new areas.
3. We renew our openness to increasing engagement with other countries, particularly developing countries and emerging market economies, as well as with international and regional organizations, with a view to fostering cooperation and solidarity in our relations with all nations and peoples. To that effect, we will hold a joint session with the leaders of the South American nations, under the theme of the Sixth BRICS Summit, with a view to furthering cooperation between BRICS and South America.
We reaffirm our support for the South American integration processes, and recognize in particular the importance of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) in promoting peace and democracy in the region, and in achieving sustainable development and poverty eradication.
We believe that strengthened dialogue among BRICS and South American countries can play an active role in enhancing multilateralism and international cooperation, for the promotion of peace, security, economic and social progress and sustainable development in an interdependent and increasingly complex, globalizing world.
4. Since its inception the BRICS have been guided by the overarching objectives of peace, security, development and cooperation. In this new cycle, while remaining committed to those objectives, we pledge to deepen our partnership with a renewed vision, based on openness, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation.
5. The Sixth Summit takes place at a crucial juncture, as the international community assesses how to address the challenges of strong economic recovery from the global financial crises, sustainable development, including climate change, while also formulating the post-2015 Development Agenda.
At the same time, we are confronted with persistent political instability and conflict in various global hotspots and non-conventional emerging threats. On the other hand, international governance structures designed within a different power configuration show increasingly evident signs of losing legitimacy and effectiveness, as transitional and ad hoc arrangements become increasingly prevalent, often at the expense of multilateralism.
6. During the first cycle of BRICS Summits, collectively our economies have consolidated their position as the main engines for sustaining the pace of the international economy as it recovers from the recent economic and financial global crisis. The BRICS continue to contribute significantly to global growth and to the reduction of poverty in our own and other countries.
In this new cycle, besides its contribution in fostering strong, sustainable and balanced growth, BRICS will continue to play a significant role in promoting social development and in contributing to define the international agenda in this area, building on its experience in addressing the challenges of poverty and inequality.
7. To better reflect the advancement of the social policies of the BRICS and the positive impacts of its economic growth, we instruct our National Institutes of Statistics and the Ministries of Health and Education to work on the development of joint methodologies for social indicators to be incorporated in the BRICS Joint Statistical Publication. We also encourage the BRICS Think Tanks Council to provide technical support in this task. We further request the BRICS National Institutes of Statistics to discuss the viability and feasibility of a platform for the development of such methodologies and to report thereon.
8. The world economy has strengthened, with signs of improvement in some advanced economies. Significant downside risks to this recovery remain, however.
9. Strong macroeconomic frameworks, well regulated financial markets and robust levels of reserves have allowed EMDCs in general, and the BRICS in particular, to better deal with the risks and spillovers presented by the challenging economic conditions in the last few years. Nevertheless, further macroeconomic coordination amongst all major economies, in particular in the G20, remains a critical factor for strengthening the prospects for a vigorous and sustainable recovery worldwide.
In this context, we reaffirm our strong commitment to continue working among ourselves and with the global community to foster financial stability, support sustainable, stronger and inclusive growth and promote quality jobs.
10. We commend Russia for the successful work during its presidency of the G20 in 2013. The institution of the BRICS Summits largely coincided with the beginning of the global crisis, the first G20 Summits and the consolidation of that Group as the premier forum for economic coordination among its members. As a new round of BRICS Summits begins, we remain committed to deliver constructive responses to global economic and financial challenges and to serve as a strong voice for the promotion of sustainable development, inclusive growth, financial stability and of more representative international economic governance.
11. BRICS, as well as other EMDCs, continue to face significant financing constraints to address infrastructure gaps and sustainable development needs.
With this in mind, we are pleased to announce the signing of the Agreement establishing the New Development Bank (NDB), with the purpose of mobilizing resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging and developing economies.
We appreciate the work undertaken by our Finance Ministers. Based on sound banking principles, the NDB will strengthen the cooperation among our countries and will supplement the efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global development, thus contributing to our collective commitments for achieving the goal of strong, sustainable and balanced growth.
12. The Bank shall have an initial authorized capital of US$ 100 billion. The initial subscribed capital shall be of US$ 50 billion, equally shared among founding members. The first chair of the Board of Governors shall be from Russia. The first chair of the Board of Directors shall be from Brazil. The first President of the Bank shall be from India. The headquarters of the Bank shall be located in Shanghai. The New Development Bank Africa Regional Center shall be established in South Africa concurrently with the headquarters. We direct our Finance Ministers to work out the modalities for its operationalization.
13. We are pleased to announce the signing of the Treaty for the establishment of the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) with an initial size of US$ 100 billion. This arrangement will have a positive precautionary effect, help countries forestall short-term liquidity pressures, promote further BRICS cooperation, strengthen the global financial safety net and complement existing international arrangements.
We appreciate the work undertaken by our Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. The Agreement is a framework for the provision of liquidity through currency swaps in response to actual or potential short-term balance of payments pressures.
14. We also welcome the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation among BRICS Export Credit and Guarantees Agencies that will improve the support environment for increasing trade opportunities among our nations.
15. We appreciate the progress our Development Banks have made in enhancing and strengthening the financial ties among BRICS countries.
16. We recognize that there is potential for BRICS insurance and reinsurance markets to pool capacities. We direct our relevant authorities to explore avenues of cooperation in this regard.
17. We believe that sustainable development and economic growth will be facilitated by taxation of revenue generated in jurisdictions where economic activity takes place. We express our concern over the harmful impact of tax evasion, transnational fraud and aggressive tax planning on the world economy. We are aware of the challenges brought by aggressive tax avoidance and non-compliance practices. We, therefore, affirm our commitment to continue a cooperative approach on issues related to tax administrations and to enhance cooperation in the international forums targeting tax base erosion and information exchange for tax purposes.
18. We remain disappointed and seriously concerned with the current non-implementation of the 2010 International Monetary Fund (IMF) reforms, which negatively impacts on the IMF’s legitimacy, credibility and effectiveness. The IMF reform process is based on high-level commitments, which already strengthened the Fund’s resources and must also lead to the modernization of its governance structure so as to better reflect the increasing weight of EMDCs in the world economy.
The Fund must remain a quota-based institution. We call on the membership of the IMF to find ways to implement the 14th General Review of Quotas without further delay.
We reiterate our call on the IMF to develop options to move ahead with its reform process, with a view to ensuring increased voice and representation of EMDCs, in case the 2010 reforms are not entered into force by the end of the year. We also call on the membership of the IMF to reach a final agreement on a new quota formula together with the 15th General Review of Quotas so as not to further jeopardize the postponed deadline of January 2015.
19. We welcome the goals set by the World Bank Group to help countries end extreme poverty and to promote shared prosperity.
We recognize the potential of this new strategy in support of the fulfillment of these ambitious goals by the international community.
This potential will only be realized, however, if the institution and its membership effectively move towards more democratic governance structures, strengthen the Bank’s financial capacity and explore innovative ways to enhance development financing and knowledge sharing while pursuing a strong client orientation that recognizes each country’s development needs.
We look forward to initiating the work on the next shareholding review at the World Bank as soon as possible in order to meet the agreed deadline of October 2015.
20. We are committed to raise our economic cooperation to a qualitatively new level. To achieve this, we emphasize the importance of establishing a road map for intra-BRICS economic cooperation. In this regard, we welcome the proposals for a “BRICS Economic Cooperation Strategy” and a “Framework of BRICS Closer Economic Partnership”, which lay down steps to promote intra-BRICS economic, trade and investment cooperation.
21. We believe all countries should enjoy due rights, equal opportunities and fair participation in global economic, financial and trade affairs, recognizing that countries have different capacities and are at different levels of development. We strive for an open world economy with efficient allocation of resources, free flow of goods, and fair and orderly competition to the benefit of all.
We look forward to the implementation of the Agreement on Trade Facilitation. We call upon international partners to provide support to the poorest, most vulnerable WTO members to enable them to implement this Agreement, which should support their development objectives.
We strongly support the WTO dispute settlement system as a cornerstone of the security and predictability of the multilateral trading system and we will enhance our ongoing dialogue on substantive and practical matters relating to it, including in the ongoing negotiations on WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding reform. We recognize the importance of Regional Trade Agreements, which should complement the multilateral trading system, and of keeping them open, inclusive and transparent, as well as refraining from introducing exclusive and discriminatory clauses and standards.
22. We reaffirm the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) mandate as the focal point in the UN system dedicated to consider the interrelated issues of trade, investment, finance and technology from a development perspective. UNCTAD’s mandate and work are unique and necessary to deal with the challenges of development and growth in the increasingly interdependent global economy. In congratulating UNCTAD for the 50th anniversary of its foundation in 2014, which is also the anniversary of the establishment of the Group of 77, we further reaffirm the importance of strengthening UNCTAD’s capacity to deliver on its programs of consensus building, policy dialogue, research, technical cooperation and capacity building so that it is better equipped to deliver on its development mandate.
23. We acknowledge the important role that State Owned Companies (SOCs) play in the economy and encourage our SOCs to continue to explore ways of cooperation, exchange of information and best practices. We also recognize the fundamental role played by small and medium-sized enterprises in the economies of our countries as major creators of jobs and wealth.
24. We underline that 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations (UN) and the end of the Second World War. In this connection, we support the UN to initiate and organize commemorative events to mark and pay tribute to these two historical moments in human history, and reaffirm our commitment to safeguarding a just and fair international order based on the UN Charter, maintaining world peace and security, as well as promoting human progress and development.
25. We reiterate our strong commitment to the UN as the fundamental multilateral organization entrusted with helping the international community maintain international peace and security, protect and foster human rights and promote sustainable development.
The UN enjoys universal membership and is at the very center of global governance and multilateralism. We recall the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document. We reaffirm the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more representative, effective and efficient, so that it can adequately respond to global challenges. China and Russia reiterate the importance they attach to Brazil, India and South Africa’s status and role in international affairs and support their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN.
26. We recall that development and security are closely interlinked, mutually reinforcing and key to attaining sustainable peace. We reiterate our view that the establishment of sustainable peace requires a comprehensive, concerted and determined approach, based on mutual trust, mutual benefit, equity and cooperation, that addresses the root causes of conflicts, including their political, economic and social dimensions. In this context, we also stress the close interrelation between peacekeeping and peacebuilding. We also highlight the importance of bringing gender perspectives to conflict prevention and resolution, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts.
27. We will continue our joint efforts in coordinating positions and acting on shared interests on global peace and security issues for the common well-being of humanity. We stress our commitment to the sustainable and peaceful settlement of disputes, according to the principles and purposes of the UN Charter. We condemn unilateral military interventions and economic sanctions in violation of international law and universally recognized norms of international relations. Bearing this in mind, we emphasize the unique importance of the indivisible nature of security, and that no State should strengthen its security at the expense of the security of others.
28. We agree to continue to treat all human rights, including the right to development, in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis. We will foster dialogue and cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual respect in the field of human rights, both within BRICS and in multilateral fora – including the United Nations Human Rights Council where all BRICS serve as members in 2014 – taking into account the necessity to promote, protect and fulfill human rights in a non-selective, non-politicized and constructive manner, and without double standards.
29. We commend the efforts made by the United Nations, the African Union (AU), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP), among others, in support for the realization of legislative and presidential elections in Guinea Bissau, paving the way for the return to constitutional democracy in the country. We recognize the importance of promoting long-term political stability in Guinea-Bissau, which necessarily encompasses measures to reduce food insecurity and to advance a comprehensive security sector reform, as proposed by the Guinea-Bissau Configuration of the UN Peacebuilding Commission. Similarly, we also welcome the efforts of the UN, AU and Southern African Development Community (SADC) in support of legislative and presidential elections in Madagascar, assisting in the return of constitutional democracy in the country.
30. We commend the efforts of the international community in addressing instability in Africa through engagement with, and coordination by, the AU and its Peace and Security Council. We express our deep concern at the deterioration of the security and the humanitarian situation in West Africa. We call upon all parties in these conflicts to cease hostilities, exercise restraint and engage in dialogue to ensure return to peace and stability. However, we also note the progress that has been made in areas of the region in addressing political and security challenges.
31. We also express our concern with the plight of the abducted women and children of Chibok and call for an end to the continued terrorist acts perpetrated by Boko Haram.
32. We support the efforts of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) in its task to help the Government of Mali fully stabilize the country, facilitate national political dialogue, protect civilians, monitor the human rights situation, create conditions for the provision of humanitarian assistance and the return of displaced persons, and extend the State authority in the whole country. We emphasize the importance of an inclusive political process; the immediate implementation of a disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) process; and political, economic and social development in order for Mali to achieve sustainable peace and stability.
33. We express our concern about the ongoing political and humanitarian crises in South Sudan. We condemn the continuation of violence against civilians and call upon all parties to ensure a safe environment for the delivery of humanitarian assistance. We also condemn the continuation of confrontations despite the successive commitments to the cessation of hostilities and express our belief that a sustainable solution to the crisis is only possible through an inclusive political dialogue aimed at national reconciliation. We support, in this regard, the regional efforts to find a peaceful solution to the crisis, especially the mediation process led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). We welcome the “Agreement to Resolve the Crisis in South Sudan”, signed on May 9, and expect the political leaders of South Sudan to remain committed to the negotiation process and to the completion of dialogue on the formation of a transitional government of national unity within 60 days, as announced by IGAD on June 10. We commend the efforts of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan to fulfill its mandate and express our deep concern about the armed attacks that were led against UN bases in the country.
34. We reiterate our grave concern with the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR). We strongly condemn the abuses and acts of violence against the civilian population, including sectarian violence, and urge all armed groups to cease hostilities immediately. We recognize the efforts of the Economic Community of Central African States and the AU to restore peace and stability in the country. We commend the establishment of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the CAR (MINUSCA). We express our support for a successful transition from the African-led International Support Mission to the CAR (MISCA) to MINUSCA by 15 September 2014. We urge the transitional authorities in the CAR to adhere strictly to the N’Djamena Roadmap. We call upon all parties to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access to those in need. We reaffirm our readiness to work with the international community to assist the CAR in accelerating the implementation of the political process of the country.
35. We support the efforts by the UN, in particular the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), deployed under UN Security Council resolution 2098, and the regional and sub-regional organizations to bring peace and stability to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and we call upon all involved to honor their obligations in order to achieve lasting peace and stability in the DRC.
36. We welcome the AU Malabo Summit decision to establish an interim African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC) by October 2014 to respond quickly to crisis situations as they arise. We stress the importance of adequate support to ensure the timely operationalization of the ACIRC, pending the final establishment of the African Stand-by Force.
37. We express deep concern about the ongoing violence and the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Syria and condemn the increasing violations of human rights by all parties. We reiterate our view that there is no military solution to the conflict, and highlight the need to avoid its further militarization. We call upon all parties to commit immediately to a complete cease-fire, to halt violence and to allow and facilitate immediate, safe, full and unimpeded access for humanitarian organizations and agencies, in compliance with the UN Security Council resolution 2139.
We reiterate our condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, wherever it occurs. We are gravely concerned at the continued threat of terrorism and extremism in Syria. We call on all Syrian parties to commit to putting an end to terrorist acts perpetrated by Al-Qaeda, its affiliates and other terrorist organizations. We strongly condemn the use of chemical weapons in any circumstances. We welcome the decision of the Syrian Arab Republic to accede to the Chemical Weapons Convention. In accordance with related Organization for the Proscription of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Executive Council decisions and UN Security Council resolution 2118, we reiterate the importance of the complete removal and elimination of the Syrian chemical weapons.
We commend the progress in that regard and welcome the announcement that the removal of declared chemicals from the Syrian Arab Republic was completed. We call on all Syrian parties and interested external actors with relevant capabilities to work closely together and with the OPCW and the UN to arrange for the security of the monitoring and destruction mission in its final stage.
We support the mediation role played by the UN. We appreciate the contribution made by former Joint UN – Arab League Special Representative for Syria, Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, and welcome the appointment of Mr. Staffan De Mistura as UN Special Envoy to Syria, and express our hope for his active efforts to promote an early resumption of comprehensive negotiations. We recall that national dialogue and reconciliation are key to the political solution for the Syrian crisis. We take note of the recent Syrian presidential elections.
We stress that only an inclusive political process, led by the Syrians, as recommended in the Action Group on Syria Final Communiqué of 2012, will lead to peace, effective protection of civilians, the realization of the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian society for freedom and prosperity and respect for Syrian independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty. We emphasize that a national reconciliation process needs to be launched as early as possible, in the interest of the national unity of Syria. To that end, we urge all parties in Syria to demonstrate political will, enhance mutual understanding, exercise restraint and commit to seeking common ground in accommodating their differences.
38. We reaffirm our commitment to contribute to a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict on the basis of the universally recognized international legal framework, including the relevant UN resolutions, the Madrid Principles and the Arab Peace Initiative. We believe that the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a fundamental component for building a sustainable peace in the Middle East.
We call upon Israel and Palestine to resume negotiations leading to a two-State solution with a contiguous and economically viable Palestinian State existing side by side in peace with Israel, within mutually agreed and internationally recognized borders based on the 4 June 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital. We oppose the continuous construction and expansion of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories by the Israeli Government, which violates international law, gravely undermines peace efforts and threatens the viability of the two-State solution. We welcome recent efforts to achieve intra-Palestinian unity, including the formation of a national unity government and steps towards conducting general elections, which is key element to consolidate a democratic and sustainable Palestinian State, and call on the parties to fully commit to the obligations assumed by Palestine.
We call on the UN Security Council to fully exercise its functions under the UN Charter with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
We recall with satisfaction the decision of the UN General Assembly to proclaim 2014 the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, welcome the efforts of UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in providing assistance and protection for Palestine refugees and encourage the international community to continue to support the activities of the agency.
39. We express our support for the convening, at the earliest possible date, of the Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction. We call upon all states of the region to attend the Conference and to engage constructively and in a pragmatic manner with a view to advancing that goal.
40. Noting the open-ended consultations on a draft International Code of Conduct on Outer Space Activities, and the active and constructive engagement of our countries in these consultations, we call for an inclusive and consensus-based multilateral negotiation to be conducted within the framework of the UN without specific deadlines in order to reach a balanced outcome that addresses the needs and reflects the concerns of all participants. Reaffirming our will that the exploration and use of outer space shall be for peaceful purposes, we stress that negotiations for the conclusion of an international agreement or agreements to prevent an arms race in outer space remain a priority task of the Conference on Disarmament, and welcome the introduction by China and Russia of the updated draft Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force Against Outer Space Objects.
41. While reiterating our view that there is no alternative to a negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear issue, we reaffirm our support to its resolution through political and diplomatic means and dialogue. In this context, we welcome the positive momentum generated by talks between Iran and the E3+3 and encourage the thorough implementation of the Geneva Joint Plan of Action of 24 November 2013, with a view to achieving a comprehensive and long-lasting solution to this issue. We also encourage Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to continue strengthening their cooperation and dialogue on the basis of the Joint Statement signed on 11 November 2013.
42. Recognizing that peace, security and development are closely interlinked, we reaffirm that Afghanistan needs time, development assistance and cooperation, preferential access to world markets and foreign investment to attain lasting peace and stability. We support the commitment of the international community to remain engaged in Afghanistan during the transformation decade (2015-2024), as enunciated at the Bonn International Conference in December 2011. We stress that the UN should play an increasingly important role in assisting Afghanistan’s national reconciliation, recovery and economic reconstruction. We also reaffirm our commitment to support Afghanistan’s emergence as a peaceful, stable and democratic state, free of terrorism and extremism, and underscore the need for more effective regional and international cooperation for the stabilization of Afghanistan, including by combating terrorism. We extend support to the efforts aimed at combating illicit traffic in opiates originating in Afghanistan within the framework of the Paris Pact. We expect a broad-based and inclusive peace process in Afghanistan which is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned. We welcome the second round of the presidential elections in Afghanistan which contribute to the democratic transfer of power in this country. We welcome China’s offer to host the Fourth Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference in August 2014.
43. We are deeply concerned by the situation in Iraq. We strongly support the Iraqi government in its effort to overcome the crisis, uphold national sovereignty and territorial integrity. We are concerned about spillover effects of the instability in Iraq resulting from increased terrorist activities in the region, and urge all parties to address the terrorist threat in a consistent manner. We urge all regional and global players to refrain from interference that will further deepen the crisis and to support the Iraqi government and the people of Iraq in their efforts to overcome the crisis, and build a stable, inclusive and united Iraq. We emphasize the importance of national reconciliation and unity in Iraq, taking into consideration the wars and conflicts the Iraqi people have suffered and in this context we commend the peaceful and orderly holding of the latest parliamentary elections.
44. We express our deep concern with the situation in Ukraine. We call for a comprehensive dialogue, the de-escalation of the conflict and restraint from all the actors involved, with a view to finding a peaceful political solution, in full compliance with the UN Charter and universally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms.
45. We reaffirm our commitment to continue to tackle transnational organized crime, with full respect for human rights, in order to reduce the negative impact it has on individuals and societies. We encourage joint efforts aimed at preventing and combating transnational criminal activities in accordance with national legislations and international legal instruments, especially the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. In this regard, we welcome BRICS cooperation in multilateral fora, highlighting our engagement in the ECOSOC Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.
46. Piracy and armed robbery at sea are complex phenomena that must be fought effectively in a comprehensive and integrated manner. We welcome the efforts made by the international community to counter maritime piracy and call upon all stakeholders – civilian and military, public and private – to remain engaged in the fight against this phenomenon. We also highlight the need for a transparent and objective review of the High Risk Areas, with a view to avoiding unnecessary negative effects on the economy and security of coastal states. We commit to strengthen our cooperation on this serious issue.
47. We are deeply concerned by the world drug problem, which continues to threaten public health, safety and well-being and to undermine social, economic and political stability and sustainable development. We are committed to countering the world drug problem, which remains a common and shared responsibility, through an integrated, multidisciplinary, mutually reinforcing and balanced approach to supply and demand reduction strategies, in line with the three UN drug conventions and other relevant norms and principles of international law. We welcome the substantive work done by Russia in preparing and hosting the International Ministers Meeting on 15 May 2014 to discuss the world drug problem. We take note of the proposal for the creation of an Anti-Drug Working Group presented at the Second Meeting of BRICS Heads of Drug Control Agencies.
48. We reiterate our strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stress that there can be no justification, whatsoever, for any acts of terrorism, whether based upon ideological, religious, political, racial, ethnic, or any other justification. We call upon all entities to refrain from financing, encouraging, providing training for or otherwise supporting terrorist activities. We believe that the UN has a central role in coordinating international action against terrorism, which must be conducted in accordance with international law, including the UN Charter, and with respect to human rights and fundamental freedoms. In this context, we reaffirm our commitment to the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. We express our concern at the increasing use, in a globalized society, by terrorists and their supporters, of information and communications technologies (ICTs), in particular the Internet and other media, and reiterate that such technologies can be powerful tools in countering the spread of terrorism, including by promoting tolerance and dialogue among peoples. We will continue to work together to conclude as soon as possible negotiations and to adopt in the UN General Assembly the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. We also stress the need to promote cooperation among our countries in preventing terrorism, especially in the context of major events.
49. We believe that ICTs should provide instruments to foster sustainable economic progress and social inclusion, working together with the ICT industry, civil society and academia in order to realize the ICT-related potential opportunities and benefits for all. We agree that particular attention should be given to young people and to small and medium-sized enterprises, with a view to promoting international exchange and cooperation, as well as to fostering innovation, ICT research and development. We agree that the use and development of ICTs through international cooperation and universally accepted norms and principles of international law is of paramount importance, in order to ensure a peaceful, secure and open digital and Internet space. We strongly condemn acts of mass electronic surveillance and data collection of individuals all over the world, as well as violation of the sovereignty of States and of human rights, in particular the right to privacy. We take note of the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet, held in São Paulo, on 23-24 April 2014. We thank Brazil for having organized it.
50. We will explore cooperation on combating cybercrimes and we also recommit to the negotiation of a universal legally binding instrument in that field. We consider that the UN has a central role in this matter. We agree it is necessary to preserve ICTs, particularly the Internet, as an instrument of peace and development and to prevent its use as a weapon. Moreover, we commit ourselves to working together in order to identify possibilities of developing joint activities to address common security concerns in the use of ICTs. We reiterate the common approach set forth in the eThekwini Declaration about the importance of security in the use of ICTs. We welcome the decision of the National Security Advisors to establish a group of experts of BRICS member States which will elaborate practical proposals concerning major fields of cooperation and coordinate our positions in international fora. Bearing in mind the significance of these issues, we take note of Russia’s proposal of a BRICS agreement on cooperation in this field to be jointly elaborated.
51. We reiterate our commitment to the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Protocols, with special attention to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Targets. We recognize the challenge posed by the agreed targets on conservation of biodiversity and reaffirm the need to implement the decisions on resource mobilization agreed to by all parties in Hyderabad in 2012, and set resource mobilization targets that are ambitious in order to allow for their fulfillment.
52. Acknowledging that climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humankind, we call on all countries to build upon the decisions adopted in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with a view to reaching a successful conclusion by 2015, of negotiations on the development of a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties, in accordance with the principles and provisions of UNFCCC, in particular the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. In this regard, we reiterate our support to the Presidency of the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties and the 10th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, to be held in Lima, Peru, in December 2014. We also note the convening of the UN Climate Summit 2014 to be held this September.
53. While bearing in mind that fossil fuel remains one of the major sources of energy, we reiterate our belief that renewable and clean energy, research and development of new technologies and energy efficiency, can constitute an important driver to promote sustainable development, create new economic growth, reduce energy costs and increase the efficiency in the use of natural resources. Considering the dynamic link between renewable and clean energy and sustainable development, we reaffirm the importance of continuing international efforts aimed at promoting the deployment of renewable and clean energy and energy efficiency technologies, taking into account national policies, priorities and resources. We stand for strengthening international cooperation to promote renewable and clean energy and to universalize energy access, which is of great importance to improving the standard of living of our peoples.
54. We are committed to working towards an inclusive, transparent and participative intergovernmental process for building a universal and integrated development agenda with poverty eradication as the central and overarching objective. The agenda should integrate the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development in a balanced and comprehensive manner with concise, implementable and measurable goals, taking into account differing national realities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities. The Post-2015 Development Agenda must also be based on and fully respect all Rio principles on sustainable development, including the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. We welcome the outcome document of the UN General Assembly Special Event on the Millennium Development Goals, which decided to launch an intergovernmental process at the beginning of the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly that will lead to the adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
55. We reiterate our commitment to the UN General Assembly Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to working together to achieve a consensual and ambitious proposal on SDGs. We emphasize the importance of the work by the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing and highlight the need for an effective sustainable development financing strategy to facilitate the mobilization of resources in achieving sustainable development objectives and supporting developing countries in the implementation efforts, with ODA as a major source of financing. We support the creation of a facilitation mechanism for the development, transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies and call for the establishment of a working group within the UN on this proposal, taking into account the Rio+20 outcome document and the Secretary General’s reports on the issue. In this regard, we reaffirm that the outcome of each of these processes can contribute to the formulation of Sustainable Development Goals.
56. We recognize the strategic importance of education for sustainable development and inclusive economic growth. We reaffirm our commitment to accelerating progress in attaining the Education for All goals and education-related Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and stress that the development agenda beyond 2015 should build on these goals to ensure equitable, inclusive and quality education and lifelong learning for all. We are willing to strengthen intra-BRICS cooperation in the area and welcome the meeting of Ministers of Education held in Paris, in November 2013. We intend to continue cooperation with relevant international organizations. We encourage the initiative to establish the BRICS Network University.
57. In March 2014 we agreed to collaborate through dialogue, cooperation, sharing of experiences and capacity building on population related matters of mutual concern to member states. We recognize the vital importance of the demographic dividend that many of us possess to advance our sustainable development as well as the need to integrate population factors into national development plans, and to promote a long-term balanced population and development. The demographic transition and post-transition challenges, including population ageing and mortality reduction are amongst the most important challenges facing the world today. We confirm our strong commitment to address social issues in general and in particular gender inequality, women’s rights and issues facing young people and we reaffirm our determination to ensure sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights for all.
58. We recognize that corruption negatively affects sustainable economic growth, poverty reduction and financial stability. We are committed to combat domestic and foreign bribery, and strengthen international cooperation, including law enforcement cooperation, in accordance with multilaterally established principles and norms, especially the UN Convention Against Corruption.
59. Considering the link between culture and sustainable development, as well as the role of cultural diplomacy as a promoter of understanding between peoples, we will encourage cooperation between BRICS countries in the cultural sector, including on the multilateral basis. Recognizing the contribution and the benefits of cultural exchanges and cooperation in enhancing our mutual understanding and friendship, we will actively promote greater awareness, understanding and appreciation of each other’s arts and culture. In this regard, we ask our relevant authorities responsible for culture to explore areas of practical cooperation, including to expedite negotiations on the draft agreement on cultural cooperation.
60. We are pleased with progress in implementing the eThekwini Action Plan, which further enhanced our cooperation and unleashed greater potential for our development. In this regard, we commend South Africa for the full implementation of the eThekwini Action Plan.
61. We are committed to promoting agricultural cooperation and to exchange information regarding strategies for ensuring access to food for the most vulnerable population, reduction of negative impact of climate change on food security and adaptation of agriculture to climate change. We recall with satisfaction the decision of UN General Assembly to declare 2014 the International Year of Family Farming.
62. We take note of the following meetings which were held in preparation for this Summit:
– Third BRICS Think Tanks Council (BTTC);
– Third BRICS Business Council;
– Sixth Academic Forum;
– Fifth Business Forum;
– Fourth Financial Forum.
63. We welcome the outcomes of the meeting of the BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors and endorse the Joint Communiqué of the Meeting of the BRICS Trade Ministers held in preparation for the Summit.
64. The 5th edition of the BRICS Business Forum provided an opportunity for match-making and for in-depth discussion of highly relevant issues of the trade and investment agenda. We welcome the meeting of the BRICS Business Council and commend it for its Annual Report 2013/2014. We encourage the respective business communities to follow-up the initiatives proposed and to deepen dialogue and cooperation in the five areas dealt with by the Industry/Sector Working Groups with a view to intensifying trade and investment flows amongst BRICS countries as well as between BRICS and other partners around the world.
65. We reiterate our commitment made during the BRICS Leaders-Africa Retreat at the 5th BRICS Summit to foster and develop BRICS-Africa cooperation in support of the socioeconomic development of Africa, particularly with regard to infrastructure development and industrialization. We welcome the inclusion of these issues in discussions during the BRICS Business Council Meeting, held in Johannesburg in August 2013.
66. We welcome the BTTC Study “Towards a Long-Term Strategy for BRICS: Recommendations by the BTTC”. We acknowledge the decision taken by the BTTC, taken at its Rio de Janeiro meeting in March 2014 to focus its work on the five pillars upon which the BRICS long-term strategy for cooperation will rest. The BTTC is encouraged to develop strategic pathways and action plans that will lead to the realization of this long-term strategy.
67. We welcome the holding of the first Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Science, Technology and Innovation and the Cape Town Declaration, which is aimed at: (i) strengthening cooperation in science, technology and innovation; (ii) addressing common global and regional socio-economic challenges utilizing shared experiences and complementarities; (iii) co-generating new knowledge and innovative products, services and processes utilizing appropriate funding and investment instruments; and (iv) promoting, where appropriate, joint BRICS partnerships with other strategic actors in the developing world. We instruct the BRICS Ministers of Science and Technology to sign at their next meeting the Memorandum of Understanding on Science, Technology and Innovation, which provides a strategic framework for cooperation in this field.
68. We welcome the establishment of the BRICS Information Sharing and Exchange Platform, which seeks to facilitate trade and investment cooperation.
69. We will continue to improve competition policy and enforcement, undertake actions to address challenges that BRICS Competition Authorities face and further enable competitive environments in order to enhance contributions to economic growth in our economies. We note South Africa’s offer to host the 4th Meeting of BRICS Competition Authorities in 2015.
70. We reiterate our commitment to fostering our partnership for common development. To this end, we adopt the Fortaleza Action Plan.
71. Russia, India, China and South Africa extend their warm appreciation to the Government and people of Brazil for hosting the Sixth BRICS Summit in Fortaleza.
72. Brazil, India, China and South Africa convey their appreciation to Russia for its offer to host the Seventh BRICS Summit in 2015 in the city of Ufa and extend their full support to that end.
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$100 bn BRICS Development Bank and a reserve currency pool worth over another $100 bn. Both will counter the influence of Western-based lending institutions and the dollar. The new bank will provide money for infrastructure and development projects in BRICS countries, and unlike the IMF or World Bank, each nation has equal say, regardless of GDP size.Each BRICS member is expected to put an equal share into establishing the startup capital of $50 billion with a goal to reach $100 billion. The BRICS bank will be headquartered in Shanghai, India will preside as president the first year, and Russia will be the chairman of the representatives.
“BRICS Bank will be one of the major multilateral development finance institutions in this world,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday at the 6th BRICS summit in Fortaleza, Brazil.
The big launch of the BRICS bank is seen as a first step to break the dominance of the US dollar in global trade, as well as dollar-backed institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, both US-based institutions BRICS countries have little influence within.
“In terms of escalating international competition the task of activating the trade and investment cooperation between BRICS member states becomes important,” Putin said.
Russia, Brazil, India, China and South Africa account for 11 percent of global capital investment, and trade turnover almost doubled in the last 5 years, the president reminded.
Each country will send either their finance minister or Central Bank chair to the bank’s representative board.
Membership may not just be limited to just BRICS nations, either. Future members could include countries in other emerging markets blocs, such as Mexico, Indonesia, or Argentina, once it sorts out its debt burden.
BRICS represents 42 percent of the world’s population and roughly 20 percent of the world’s economy based on GDP, and 30 percent of the world’s GDP based on PPP, a more accurate reading of the real economy. Total trade between the countries is $6.14 trillion, or nearly 17 percent of the world’s total.
The $100 billion crisis lending fund, called the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA), was also established. China will contribute the lion’s share, about $41 billion, Russia, Brazil and India will chip in $18 billion, and South Africa, the newest member of the economic bloc, will contribute $5 billion.
The idea is that the creation of the bank will lessen dependence on the West and create a more multi-polar world, at least financially.
“This mechanism creates the foundation for an effective protection of our national economies from a crisis in financial markets,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said.The group has already created the BRICS Stock Alliance an initiative to cross list derivatives to smooth the path for international investors interested in emerging markets.Russia has also proposed the countries come together under an energy alliance that will include a fuel reserve, as well as an institute for energy policy.“We propose the establishment of the Energy Association of BRICS. Under this ‘umbrella’, a Fuel Reserve Bank and BRICS Energy Policy Institute could be set up,” Putin said.
Documents on cooperation between BRICS export credit agencies and an agreement of cooperation on innovation were also inked.Bringing emerging economies closer has become vital at a time when the world is guttered by the financial crisis and BRICS countries can’t remain above international problems, said Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff.She cautioned the world not to see BRICS deals as a desire to dominate.“We want justice and equal rights,” she said.“The IMF should urgently revise distribution of voting rights to reflect the importance of emerging economies globally,” Rousseff said. Media agencies
Today at 1:08 PM
Badaun Gang Rape and Murder
“Experts Rebut CBI Claim of Bungled Autopsy” – Association for Advocacy and Legal Initiatives (AALI)
July 16th, 2014, Lucknow : The double rape and murder of two cousin sisters on 27th May, 2014 in village Katra, Sahadatganj, District Badaun, Uttar Pradesh led to an uproar in the country. The bodies of the young girls, belonging to a lower caste, hung from a tree in the village, in a brazen display of power and impunity, attracting global condemnation.
The accused men, including two policemen, named in the FIR by the victim families, belong to a dominant caste community, wielding much social and political clout in the area. Given the severe power imbalance, the victim family, apprehensive that the local police will collude and shield the accused men, sought a prompt and fair investigation by the CBI. It needs reiteration that it was on the request of the family of the deceased girls that the case was handed over to the CBI. The victim family wants the truth to be uncovered and the murderers punished.
However since then the manner in which the CBI is handling the case, in particular the treatment of the victim family members by the CBI raises serious concern and troubling questions. Association for Advocacy and Legal Initiatives (AALI), a women’s rights organization headquartered in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, has been in regular touch with the family of the deceased and has been providing socio-legal support to them. AALI has been following the case and monitoring the media coverage of the incident and the statements issued the CBI with regard to the investigation.
Surely CBI, the premier investigating agency of the country is well versed in law, procedure and evidence and has up to date knowledge regarding the protocols for medical examination of victims of sexual violence. The trajectory of the CBI’s investigation is therefore puzzling, if not worrying.
Both the fathers and 2 Uncles of the murdered girls were subjected to lie detector tests, even though the same has no evidentiary value before a Court of law. The Supreme Court of India in its landmark judgment of Selvi and ors. Vs. State of Karnataka has “…elaborated how the compulsory administration of any of these techniques is an unjustified intrusion into the mental privacy of an individual. It would also amount to `cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment’ with regard to the language of evolving international human rights norms. … Even when the subject has given consent to undergo any of these tests, the test results by themselves cannot be admitted as evidence because the subject does not exercise conscious control over the responses during the administration of the test.” Given that this test will yield no evidence why did the CBI whisk away the victims’ father and Uncle for more than 72 hours and keep them in undisclosed place beyond the reach of their family. The victim family is anxious, is there a plan afoot to maneuver the investigation, manipulate public opinion and divert investigation away from the accused persons, particularly where poor and vulnerable victims have accused socially politically powerful men and well -networked police men for this heinous crime.
In the Badaun case the media has been faithfully and uncritically reporting only on the basis of CBI handouts, abandoning its role as a watchdog. According to press reports the CBI has expressed dissatisfaction with the autopsy report and has therefore sought to exhume the bodies of the 2 girls. Under law, the exhumation of the bodies can only take place with the voluntary and valid consent of the victim family. Pertinently, the CBI has not yet broached this with the victim family or sought their consent, although the same has been broadcast by CBI in national and local newspapers. Grief stricken, helpless and bewildered the family has expressed discomfort and unease with the proposed exhumation.
Alarmed at these developments we sought the advice of forensic, health and legal experts to answer our concerns.
According to the CBI the autopsy was bungled as it was done late at night which is in violation of the procedure prescribed for autopsies. Mumbai based, CEHAT (Centre for Enquiry Into Health and Allied Themes), has opined that there is no legal bar on conducting autopsies at night. The directive of 1995 requires the autopsies to be done in a place where there is adequate light. Autopsy on both the girls have been video recorded, which is evidence of the fact that there was sufficient light.
The CBI states that proper procedure was not followed during autopsy and a panel of doctors will conduct the autopsy after exhumation. This claim of the CBI is patently false and inaccurate. The post mortem report clearly states that the post mortem examinations on both the girls was conducted by a panel of three doctors consisting of: Dr. Ranju Kumar Gupta, Physician; Dr. Avdhesh Kumar, Surgeon, both of the District Hospital Badaun and Dr. (Mrs.) Pushpa Pant Tripathi, Gynecologist and Obstetrician, of District Female Hospital, Badaun. The claim that one of the lady doctors who did the autopsies was doing so for the first time does not hold, as the same were conducted by a panel of doctors.
The CBI has also claimed that the autopsy report of the state government was only suggestive of rape without conclusively proving it. But as pointed out by Vrinda Grover, a New Delhi based Supreme Court lawyer and women’s right advocate, “Doctors cannot give a medical opinion whether rape has occurred or not because ‘rape’ is a legal term. The issue of whether an incident of rape/sexual assault occurred is a legal issue and not a medical diagnosis. The post- mortem report of the 2 girls clearly records injury around the vaginal orifice and abrasions and injury on the hymen and the doctors have recorded their provisional findings as suggestive of rape. It would have been more appropriate for the Doctors to say that there are signs of use of force, suggestive of sexual violence. Moreover, the medical findings of the autopsy report are provisional as a final opinion can only be given after receiving reports from FSL of the vaginal smears, clothes sent to the FSL. It is therefore quite shocking and unwarranted that CBI should seek a conclusive finding of rape from the autopsy report.”
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare National Guidelines for medico-legal care for survivors/victims of sexual violence, issued by MoHFW in March, 2014 states that only findings in relation to medical findings should be recorded in the medical report. The doctors are instructed on how to formulate opinion; a provisional opinion immediately after examination and a final opinion after the forensic reports are received. Even in case where there are genital and bodily injuries, the doctor can only state “suggestive of sexual violence” the doctors must ensure that a medical opinion cannot be given on whether ‘rape’ occurred.
As explained by Dr. Jagdeesh Reddy, a Bangalore based forensic doctor, in this case, the doctors should have opined that there are “signs of forced penetration of genitals / vulva, however definitive opinion would be given after receiving final reports from FSL of the vaginal smears” or ‘there are injuries on genitals/vulva which are suggestive of forced penetration of genitals/vulva, however definitive opinion would be given after receiving final reports from FSL of the vaginal smears’ instead of commenting as ‘findings suggestive of rape’.
The opinions of the experts leave no doubt before us that the provisional outcome of the postmortem reports of the deceased girls have little to no flaw in procedure or finding, leaving no cogent or valid reason for the CBI to seek the exhumation of the bodies for a fresh autopsy.
Curious about the CBIs move for a fresh autopsy, Dr. Reddy has also pointed out that ‘it has been about six weeks since the death of these girls. With advanced stages of decomposition of bodies it is unlikely to comment about the skin and mucosal injuries with 100% accuracy. Same applies to the detection of much of the trace evidences from these decomposed bodies.’
If impunity for crimes against women is to be checked and if girls are to live as free and equal citizens, the accused, irrespective of their socio-economic status and their political connections, must be prosecuted by the CBI. It is not just the victim families in Badaun, but women across India and the world community is tracking the Badaun case, to see if justice will be done.
Contact : AALI office (0522-2782060/66) ; Renu Mishra (09415037634)
AirAsia X named “World’s Best Low Cost Airline –– Premium Class Seat” & “World’s Best Low Cost Airline –– Premium Cabin”
Winner for two consecutive years!
Photo Caption 1 (L-R): Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Co-founder and Director of AirAsia X, Tan Sri Rafidah, Chairman of AirAsia X and Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of AirAsia X flanked by AirAsia X Flight Attendants at the Skytrax World Airline Awards
LONDON, 15 July 2014 – AirAsia X, the leading low-cost, long-haul affiliate carrier of the AirAsia Group, was again hailed as the “World’s Best Low Cost Airline –– Premium Class Seat” and the “World’s Best Low Cost Airline –– Premium Cabin award winner at the 2014 World Airline Awards today.
The Skytrax World Airline Awards is the global benchmark of airline excellence and one of the most prestigious accolades for the airline industry. This annual global survey is conducted over a 10-month period, covering over 245 airlines from the largest international airlines to smaller domestic carriers. A total of 18.9 million customer surveys were completed, measuring standards across 41 key performance indicators of an airline’s front-line product and services.
AirAsia X’s CEO, Azran Osman-Rani said, “We are X-static to have received the two awards! This spurs us further to keep innovating our premium service. Look out more for more innovations in the pipeline! We love experimenting and pioneering new service ideas, and to be recognised as a world’s best is simply awesome. An x-tra large thank you to our guests for believing in us.”
AirAsia X was the first long-haul, low fare carrier to introduce Business Class Premium Flatbed seats, which have standard business class specifications of 20” width, 60” pitch and stretch out to 77” in full recline position.
The Business Class Premium flatbeds feature universal power sockets, adjustable headrests and built-in personal utilities such as tray table, drink holder, reading light and privacy screen. Premium seat guests also enjoy premium complimentary products and services including Pick A Seat, Priority Check-in, Priority Boarding, Priority Baggage, 25kg Baggage Allowance, Complimentary Meal and Pillow & Duvet.
AirAsia X was first awarded the World’s Best Low Cost Airline Premium Seat title at the 2013 Skytrax World Airline Awards which took place at the Paris Airshow.
For more information, please visit www.airasia.com
AirAsia is World’s Best Low Cost Airline for 6 years straight!
LONDON, 15 July 2014 – AirAsia is once again named the ‘World’s Best Low Cost Airline’ at the 2014 World Airline Awards today, bringing the tally to six consecutive wins of the coveted award by the airline.
AirAsia also won ‘Asia’s Best Low Cost Airline’ award for the sixth consecutive year. The Skytrax World Airline Awards is the global benchmark of airline excellence and one of the most prestigious accolades for the airline industry. This annual global survey is conducted over a 10-month period, covering over 245 airlines from the largest international airlines to smaller domestic carriers. A total of 18.9 million customer surveys were completed, measuring standards across 41 key performance indicators of an airline’s front-line product and services.
AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said, “It all started with a dream 12 years ago. From two aging aircraft and just six routes back in 2002, we have grown to operate a proud fleet of over 160 aircraft, 95 destinations and carried over 250 million guests. It is a great honour to be acknowledged as the World’s Best Low Cost Airline for six consecutive years and for that, I thank our guests, whose valuable criticisms and feedback made us an outstanding airline today and my incredible team of Allstars who work hard every day to deliver only the best.
“In aviation, the one thing that remains constant is change and innovation. However, such strategies are only successful if they are supported by partners such as airport authorities. We invite them to work as a team and help us to continue to be the world’s best.”
“This year, we are proud to announce a comeback in the low cost carrier market in Japan, with new partners and investors. We shall re-emerge with a greater strategy and business plan in our quest to revolutionize Japan’s LCC segment. We are also ecstatic with the grand launch of AirAsia India, our latest affiliate committed to innovatively tap into India’s underserved aviation market and becoming the obvious choice for low cost travel in India, via lowest fares and unparalleled service and product options.”
AirAsia was established in December 2001, with a mission to democratize air travel in the region and has been operationally profitable from day one of its launch as a low-cost carrier. As a pioneer in the low-cost carrier industry in Asia, AirAsia has set travel trends with many others following in its trail throughout the region. Besides Malaysia, the AirAsia Group also has affiliates in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, India and making a comeback in Japan.
Throughout its existence, AirAsia has established itself as a market leader and innovator in travel and technology, offering not just flights but a wholesome travel experience with the introduction of mobile apps, interactive travel guides, self check-in options and more.
All airline affiliates in the AirAsia Group operate one of the youngest fleet of Airbus A320 in the world, with an average age of only 3 years group wide; with firm orders of 475 Airbus A320 aircraft and deliveries up till 2026. Apart from a modern fleet, AirAsia offers consumer-friendly products and services complemented with everyday low fares, extensive route network and unmatched flight frequencies; along with convenient booking and payment channels and value added services such as hot meals, seat allocations and baggage allowances.