Excellency President Ramaphosa,
Excellency President Lula da Silva,
Excellency President Putin,
Excellency President Xi,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I once again congratulate and thank my dear friend President Ramaphosa for the grand organization of the 15th BRICS Summit and the warm hospitality extended to us.
It is a matter of great pleasure for me and my delegation to be once again in the beautiful city of Johannesburg.
This city has a very deep connection with the people of India and the history of India.
Tolstoy Farm, at some distance from here, was built by Mahatma Gandhi 110 years ago.
By combining the great ideas of India, Eurasia and Africa, Mahatma Gandhi had laid a strong foundation of our unity and mutual harmony.
In the last nearly two decades, BRICS has completed a very long and wonderful journey.
We have made many achievements in this journey.
Our New Development Bank is playing an important role in the development of the countries of the Global South.
We have created a financial safety net through the Contingency Reserve Arrangement.
With initiatives like BRICS satellite constitution, Vaccine R&D Centre, mutual recognition of pharma products, we are bringing positive changes in the lives of common citizens of BRICS countries.
Through initiatives like Youth Summit, BRICS Games, Think Tanks Council, we are strengthening people-to-people ties between all countries.
Railway Research Network, closer cooperation between MSMEs, online BRICS database, Startup Forum were some of the suggestions given by India to give a new direction to the BRICS agenda.
I am glad that significant progress has been made on these subjects.
I would like to put forward some suggestions for further broadening our close cooperation.
The first is cooperation in the field of space. We are already working on the BRICS satellite constellation.
Taking it a step further, we can consider creating a BRICS Space Exploration Consortium.
Under this, we can work for global good in areas like space research, weather monitoring.
My second suggestion is cooperation in education, skill development and technology.
To make BRICS a future ready organization, we have to make our societies future ready. Technology will play an important role in this.
In India, we have created DIKSHA i.e. Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing platform to provide education to the children of remote and rural areas.
Also, to promote innovation among school students, we have created 10,000 Atal tinkering labs across the country.
Bhashini, an AI-based language platform, is being used in India to remove language barriers.
CoWIN platform has been created for vaccination.
Public service delivery is being revolutionized through Digital Public Infrastructure i.e. India Stack.
Diversity is a great strength of India.
The solution to any problem in India comes out at the test of this diversity.
That’s why these solutions can be easily implemented in any corner of the world.
In this context, we will be happy to share all these platforms developed in India with BRICS partners.
My third suggestion is that we can do skills mapping together to identify each other’s strengths.
Through this we can complement each other in the journey of development.
My fourth suggestion is regarding big cats.
A large number of big cats of different species are found in all the five countries of BRICS.
Under the International Big Cat Alliance, we can make joint efforts for their protection.
My fifth suggestion is about traditional medicine.
We all have ecosystems of traditional medicine in our countries.
Can we together create a repository of traditional medicine?
The countries of the Global South have been given a special importance in BRICS, under the chairmanship of South Africa.
We heartily welcome it.
This is not only the expectation of the present time, but also the need.
India has given top priority to this topic under its G-20 presidency.
Our effort is to move forward together with all the countries on the motto of “One Earth, One Family, One Future”.
125 countries participated in the Voice of Global South summit held in January this year, sharing their concerns and priorities.
We have also proposed to give permanent membership of G-20 to the African Union.
I am sure all the BRICS partners are also together in the G20. And all will support our proposal.
Giving special place to all these efforts in BRICS will increase the self-confidence of the countries of the Global South.
India fully supports the expansion of the BRICS membership. And welcomes moving forward with consensus in this.
In 2016, during India’s chairmanship, we defined BRICS as Building Responsive, Inclusive, and Collective Solutions.
After seven years, we can say that, BRICS will be – Breaking barriers, Revitalizing economies, Inspiring Innovation, Creating opportunities, and Shaping the future.
Together with all the BRICS partners, we will continue to contribute actively in making this new definition meaningful.
Thank you very much.
DISCLAIMER – This is the approximate translation of Prime Minister’s Press Statement. Original Press Statement were delivered in Hindi.