India focuses on youth power to bolster BRICS, rejects selective approach on terror

brics-youthPlacing youth at the centre of its vision of a people-centric youth, India, the current chair of the five-nation grouping of emerging powers, has pushed for fast-tracking reform of the UN Security Council and collective response to tackling global terror.

Ahead of the 8th BRICS summit in Goa on October 15-16, India hosted the second BRICS Youth Summit, which brought together young people from China, Russia, Brazil and South Africa, to brainstorm on a slew of global challenges and enhance people-to-people connect between the five countries.

Underscoring the power of youth in deepening the BRICS agenda, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj stressed on the importance of promoting deeper exchanges among young people of the five BRICS countries. “Investing in youth makes them a partner in the endeavours that BRICS undertakes. And the youth of BRICS can show the value of cooperation and consensus to the world,” Swaraj said in New Delhi on June 30.

“All five BRICS countries have rich resources in terms of youth, and BRICS countries youthful and democratic profiles, combined with our economic vibrancy, this can be an asset in consolidating exchanges between our people,” she said.

People-centric BRICS

The BRICS Youth Summit started at the 7th summit in Ufa, Russia, and fits in with India’s emphasis on making the grouping people-centric. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had unveiled a 10-pronged plan at the Ufa summit to make BRICS people-driven, which included promoting youth exchanges. Against this backdrop, under India’s BRICS Chairmanship, a series of events are being organised with special focus on youth. These include the BRICS Under-17 Football Tournament, Young Diplomats’ Forum, Young Scientists’ Conclave, Film Festival, Urbanisation Forum, Smart Cities Workshop, Local Bodies Conference, Wellness Conclave and Convention on Tourism.

“Making BRICS people-centric has been India’s priority. It is in this regard that we are organising BRICS events across the cities and provinces of India. The Summit itself will be held in October in Goa, a State in western India, famous for its churches, beaches and cuisine,” said Swaraj.

No good or bad terrorist

The minister also highlighted India’s priorities at the BRICS summit, which include spurring the reforms of the Security Council and shaping collective response to the rising tide of terrorism in the world. “Today, BRICS is shaping the global discourse significantly on issues ranging from SDGs, climate change, poverty alleviation, health, ICTs, corruption and norms of international law.”

“We also need to work together for early reforms of the UN Security Council, so that this body continues to be relevant to the needs of beneficial in the 21st century,” she said.

The minister also seized the occasion to send a message to “those countries which sponsor and harbour terrorists” and underlined the need to “work and fight together to eliminate international terrorism.” “This should be done without any differentiation of a “good” or “bad” terrorist. A terrorist is a terrorist, and is someone who is acting against humanity as a whole.”