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The leaders of the BRICS nations met recently and arrived at a consensus on trade, protectionism, North Korea and climate change, among other crucial global issues. Subsequent to brainstorming among the leaders of these countries, there has been an official communiqué from the organization, known as the Xiamen Declaration, which in turn laid thrust on the need to “redress North-South Development imbalances” and to “firmly oppose protectionism”. The official communiqué from BRICS said, “We recommit to our existing pledge for both standstill and rollback of protectionist measures and we call upon other countries to join us in that commitment.” Quite significantly, ever since Donald Trump took over as the US president and entered the White House nearly 6 months ago, promising an “America First” approach, issues like globalization, free trade, migration and terrorism have become extremely contentious. And the latest BRICS meet focused on these issues threadbare. Trump was instrumental and pulling the US out of an otherwise landmark international agreement aimed at combating climate change. That’s not all. He is now threatening to take punitive trade measures in the steel sector which would eventually hit China, Germany, Canada and a host of other countries. Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Michael Temer, Jacob Zuma and Narendra Modi- the Head of the States of the five BRICS nations pledged to hold on to BRICS cooperation and solidarity. They also reiterated to continue to champion the cause of emerging economies at various multilateral fora. “We will work towards enhancement of the voice and representation of BRICS countries and EMDCs (emerging markets countries) in global economic governance,” a joint statement from the BRICS leaders mentioned. Interestingly, these countries are also looking at establishing a BRICS Energy Research Cooperation platform, the statement said. While being unanimous in its response on global crises zones like Syria and North Korea, these countries said that they welcome the creation of the de-escalation areas in Syria which contributed to decrease the level of crisis and generate positive momentum and conditions for meaningful progress in the peace talks under the aegis of the UN. Some key takeaways from the Xiamen Declaration include: **“We call upon all countries to fully implement the Paris Agreement adopted under the principles of the United Nations Framework of Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) including the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and urge developed countries to provide financial, technological and capacity building support to developing countries to enhance their capability in mitigation and adaption.” ** “We resolve to foster a global economic governance architecture that is more effective and reflective of current global economic landscape, increasing the voice and representation of emerging markets and developing economies. We reaffirm our commitment to conclude the IMF’s 15th General Review of Quotas, including a new quota formula, by the 2019 Spring Meetings and no later than the 2019 Annual Meetings.” ** “We welcome the establishment of the NDB Africa Regional Centre launched in South Africa, which is the first regional office of the bank. ** “We reiterate that the only lasting solution to the crisis in Syria is through an inclusive “Syrian-led, Syrian-owned” political safeguards the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria.” ** “We oppose the use of chemical weapons by anyone, for any purpose and under any circumstance.” ** “We reiterate the urgent need for a just, lasting and comprehensive solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to bring in stability in the middle east on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid Principles, the Arab Peace Initiatives agreements between the parties through negotiations with a view to creating an independent, viable, 20 territorially contigeneous living side by side in peace and security wth Israel. ** “We strongly deplore the nuclear test conducted by the DPRK. We express deep concern over the ongoing tension and on the Korean Peninsula, and emphasize that it should only be settled through peaceful means and direct dialogue of all. The next annual BRICS summit will take place in South Africa.
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