Johannesburg: National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Tuesday participated in the 13th BRICS NSA meeting in Johannesburg. He said that terrorism remains one of the key threats to national peace and security.
He stressed that terror organizations in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region continue to operate with impunity. He said that listing terrorists and their proxies under the United Nations counter-terrorism sanctions regime is an area on which BRICS can work together.
Doval called it important that the decision-making of the UN Security Council sanctions committee is free from politicization and double standards, and said that the meeting is being held at a time of great churn in the international security environment.
NSA Doval further said that the global security situation is marked by uncertainty and rising tensions. The global economy is still covering the aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also appreciated the cooperation extended by South Africa for India’s G20 Presidency and assured India’s continued support for South Africa’s BRICS chairship this year.
The global commons of cyber, maritime and space are contested, he said.
NSA Doval stated that non-traditional challenges of food, water, and energy security have been facing stress. The inclusion of these topics by South Africa in the BRICS NSA’s Meeting reflects a clear understanding of the broader dimensions of security.
He said that the opportunities presented by the digital age will also pose challenges and the need to be united to fortify cyber defences, foster international corporations and build a resilient national cyber infrastructure.
He noted that cyber attacks known no borders and the linkage between cyber criminals and terrorists is an emerging concern. Regional mechanisms should be utilised to advance common goals and address emerging challenges.
NSA Doval said all efforts need to be made to ensure equitable and fair access to global commons in line with international laws. Water security is a major global issue and its prudent usage and conservation is a shared responsibility.
He also spoke about instances of weaponisation of water and called for the need for complete transparency and unhindered information sharing with respect to shared cross-border water resources.
The politicization of water needs to be countered. Supply chain disruptions have had a disproportional impact on the food security of vulnerable people. The issue needs to be urgently addressed which is a shared commitment and common responsibility, he pointed out, he said.
Doval further called for access to a secure and affordable supply of critical materials for the development of clean energy technologies is crucial. India has attached importance to the BRICS process and is willing and prepared to enhance cooperation in all joint efforts.
NSA Doval recalled the Voice of the Global South summit hosted by India. He said that this year the G20 agenda under India’s Presidency will truly encompass the needs of the world, particularly the Global South. During India’s G20 Presidency, one of the priorities is to voice the concerns of developing countries. India is proposing to create a global biofuel alliance under G20.
“India has been at the forefront of supporting educational and behavioural approaches through initiatives like Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE),” NSA Doval said.
He said that BRICS countries should set an example for the world by focusing on individual behaviour and making a shift to Lifestyle for Environment.
India is a major actor in the global food supply system and has assisted many countries during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
Doval also highlighted the need to ensure the unhindered availability of fertilisers.
He cautioned that today’s fertiliser shortage could be tomorrow’s food crisis.
He stressed that research and development occupy primacy in the cyber domain to tackle common threats and risks due to emerging technologies.
He also expressed satisfaction that the BRICS working group on ICTs has identified some cutting-edge areas like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, cloud security, blockchain and the Internet of Things as possible Research topics.
Earlier in the day, NSA Doval met top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi on the sidelines of the BRICS meeting in South Africa and the two sides agreed that India-China bilateral relationship is significant not only for the two countries but also for the region and the world.
During the meeting, NSA Doval conveyed that the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the western Sector of the India-China boundary since 2020 had eroded strategic trust and the public and political basis of the relationship, according to a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs.
On the sidelines of the meeting, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval also held a working meeting with the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushev and discussed the cooperation between the two countries in the field of security and economy, the Russian embassy in India said in a statement.