Information Bulletin of the BRICS Trade Union Forum
Issue 36.2021
2021.09.06 — 2021.09.12
International relations
Foreign policy in the context of BRICS
'We Are an Influential Voice': PM Modi's Opening Remarks at 13th BRICS Summit («Мы влиятельный голос»: вступительное слово премьер-министра Моди на 13-м саммите БРИКС) / India, September, 2021
Keywords: narendra_modi, quotation, summit

BRICS is an influential voice for emerging economies of the world and the countries must ensure that it becomes more productive in the next 15 years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his opening remarks of the 13th BRICS summit, being attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Brazil's Jair Bolsanaro.

"It is a matter of great pleasure for me and India to chair this summit for the 15th anniversary of the summit. India has received full cooperation from all BRICS partners during its chairmanship. I am deeply grateful to all of you for this. The BRICS platform has witnessed several achievements in one and half decades," he said.

"Today we are an influential voice for emerging economies of the world. This platform has also been useful for focussing attention on the priories of the developing nations as well," he added.

Thanking the partners for full cooperation during India's presidency, PM Modi said BRICS has also adopted a counter-terrorism action plan. The summit comes at a time when the Taliban have declared a new interim government in Afghanistan and the situation in the country is being discussed on all global platforms.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said the five countries of the grouping -- Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa -- have supported multilateralism and taken part in global governance in the spirit of equity justice and mutual assistance. "Over the past 15 years, our five countries have enhanced strategic communication and political trust in the spirit of openness, inclusiveness, and equality and explored a sound path to interact with each other. Our five countries have sought synergy between our development policies and drawn on our complementarities. We have made solid progress in various areas of cooperation in the spirit of pragmatism, innovation. And we have forged ahead on our common journey of development," Xi Jinping said.

Vladimir Putin commented on the situation in Afghanistan as he said it is still unclear how what is happening in Afghanistan will affect global and regional security.

"The withdrawal of US forces and its allies from Afghanistan has led to a new crisis, and it's still unclear how this will affect global and regional security. It is for good reason that our countries have paid special attention to this issue. Afghanistan should not become a threat to its neighbouring countries, a source of terrorism and drug trafficking," Putin said.

13th BRICS Summit Pledges to Build on Multilateralism and Reform UN Security Council (13-й саммит БРИКС обещает развивать многосторонность и реформировать Совет Безопасности ООН) / India, September, 2021
Keywords: summit, expert_opinion

Considering an effective and representative multilateralism the need of the hour in order to improvise and strengthen resilience to fight the prevailing as well as future global challenges, the 13th BRICS summit on Thursday took the pledge to integrate "new life" in the discussions regarding the much needed reshuffle of the UN Security Council and revitalisation of the General Assembly.

In the Delhi Declaration, which was adopted following completion of the summit, all the leaders of the member states of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa concurrently resolved towards taking effective measures in a bid to accomplish further strengthening and reforming of the multilateral system to transform the current global governance into a more responsive, agile, effective, transparent, democratic, representative and accountable to member states.

The member states also reiterated their commitment to upholding international law, including the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.

"The pandemic has reinforced our belief that effective and representative multilateralism is essential for building resilience against current and future global challenges, promoting well-being of our people and building a sustainable future for the planet," said the declaration issued after deliberations between Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Brazil's Jair Bolsanaro.

During an online briefing, Sanjay Bhattacharyya, Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs said that throughout the discussions, a strong echo was observed that insinuated the need for reform of the UN Security Council as well as several other outfits that fall within the realm of global governance system as well,

The BRICS noted that despite the many successes of the UN system and its associated architecture, its continued relevance would be determined by its ability to adapt to contemporary realities and respond to the evolving and inter-connected challenges of our time.

The leaders endorsed the BRICS joint statement on strengthening and reforming the multilateral system adopted by the member states' foreign ministers.

They agreed that the task of strengthening and reforming the multilateral system encompasses making instruments of global governance more inclusive, representative and participatory to facilitate greater and more meaningful participation of developing and least developed countries, especially Africa, in global decision-making processes and structures, and make it better attuned to contemporary realities.

They also called for inclusive consultation and collaboration for the benefit of all, while respecting sovereign independence, equality, mutual legitimate interests and concerns to make the multilateral organisations more responsive, effective, transparent and credible.

The leaders also stressed on the importance of making multilateral organisations more democratic, objective, action-oriented and solution-oriented so as to promote cooperation in building international relations based on the norms and principles of international law, and the spirit of mutual respect, justice, equality, mutual beneficial cooperation and realities of the contemporary world.

They highlighted the importance of strengthening capacities of individual states and international organisations to better respond to new and emerging, traditional and non-traditional challenges, including those emanating from terrorism, money laundering, cyber-realm, infodemics and fake news.

The leaders vowed to promote international and regional peace and security, social and economic development, and preserve nature's balance with people-centered international cooperation at its core.

"We recommit to instil new life in the discussions on reform of the UN Security Council and continue the work to revitalise the General Assembly and strengthen the Economic and Social Council," the BRICS said.

"We recall the 2005 World Summit Outcome document and 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, and to increase the representation of developing countries so that it can adequately respond to global challenges," it said.

China and Russia reiterate the importance they attach to the status and role of Brazil, India and South Africa in international affairs and supported their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN, the declaration said.

"We appreciate the role of South Africa and India during their membership of the UN Security Council for 2019-2020 and 2021-2022 respectively, and congratulate Brazil on its election as a member of the UN Security Council in 2022-2023," it said.

The BRICS also reaffirmed its commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in its three dimensions – economic, social and environmental.

Stressing the importance of achieving the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and its Goals, the member states reiterated their commitment to the achievement of all SDGs, including SDG-12 which identifies sustainable consumption and production patterns as a vital element of sustainable development.

The leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to the full implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), its Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement, and to the principles of the UNFCCC including 'Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities' in the light of different national circumstances.

The BRICS nations appreciated the New Development Bank's substantive progress in membership expansion despite challenges emanating from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We reiterate that the process of expansion should be gradual and balanced in terms of geographic representation in its membership as well as supportive of the NDB's goals of attaining the highest possible credit rating and institutional development," the BRICS said.

The leaders also asserted that the macroeconomic stability of the BRICS economies will play a major role in achieving global recovery and stability.

Russian official, Indian PM discuss possible development of dialogue at highest level (Официальный представитель России и премьер Индии обсудили возможности развития диалога на высшем уровне) / Russia, September, 2021
Keywords: quotation, top_level_meeting

The conversation touched on a wide range of the issues of Russian-Indian cooperation as well as a number of problems on the international agenda

NEW DELHI, September 8. /TASS/. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev during his working visit to New Delhi, the press service of the Russian Security Council reported.

It was noted that the conversation touched on a wide range of the issues of Russian-Indian cooperation as well as a number of problems on the international agenda. "The possibilities were discussed for the further development of especially privileged strategic partnership of Russia and India including the deepening of political dialogue at the highest and high levels," the statement said.

They also reviewed the possibility of strengthening the interaction of Russia and India in multilateral formats, including the SCO and BRICS, as well as developing bilateral cooperation in the trade and economic sphere. "The intent of both countries to bolster coordination in the sphere of strengthening the regional stability, including on the Afghan track, was confirmed," the Security Council added.

The Russian Security Council secretary is in New Delhi on a working visit. He arrived there to hold Russian-Indian consultations on security issues. The situation in Afghanistan is included among the subjects on the agenda of the event.

BRICS countries set good example of cooperation amid COVID-19 pandemic — trade ministry (Страны БРИКС показали хороший пример сотрудничества в условиях пандемии COVID-19 - министерство торговли) / Russia, September, 2021
Keywords: expert_opinion, social_issues, trade_relations

According to the Russian Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Alexei Gruzdev, digital transformation has become a long-term trend for economic development, including the promotion of various industrial sectors

SHANGHAI, September 7. / TASS /. The BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have set an example of open international cooperation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Russian Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Alexei Gruzdev said on Tuesday in a video message to the participants of the BRICS Forum on Partnership on New Industrial Revolution.

"No doubt, the pandemic has greatly affected all sectors of the economy. It has become a serious challenge to global trade and relations, forcing national economies to rebuild supply chains and re-establish links. Nevertheless, the five BRICS countries have set an example of open international cooperation in terms of combating COVID-19 along with the use of each other's achievements, in particular, medicine and vaccines to the benefit of the BRICS members," Gruzdev stated.

According to the Russian deputy minister, digital transformation has become a long-term trend for economic development, including the promotion of various industrial sectors. "In the next few years, efforts should be made to complete the automation of technological processes, production, logistics and management," Gruzdev said, noting that in the next three years, Russia was going to invest about $4 bln in the development of its digital industry. "And we are ready for mutually beneficial interaction in this field," the official mentioned.

Gruzdev also emphasized the importance of implementing programs to reduce environmental emissions, pointing out that all BRICS countries had already announced plans in this area. "We are willing to cooperate with the BRICS countries in these fields as well as to join scientific and commercial projects," the deputy minister stated.

The BRICS Forum on Partnership on New Industrial Revolution is taking place on the sidelines of the China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT), which will open on September 8, 2021, in Xiamen.

BRICS summit (Саммит БРИКС) / Russia, September, 2021
Keywords: vladimir_putin, summit, speech

The theme of the summit is "BRICS@15: Intra-BRICS cooperation for continuity, consolidation and consensus."

The summit was attended by President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, President of China Xi Jinping, and President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa.

The key agreements have been laid down in the New Delhi Declaration.

* * *

Speech by President of Russia Vladimir Putin at the BRICS summit

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Prime Minister Modi, President Xi Jinping, President Ramaphosa, President Bolsonaro,

Ladies and gentlemen,

First, I would like to join my colleagues who spoke before and thank Prime Minister Modi and all our Indian friends for the active work conducted by India as the BRICS chair this year.

Despite the special conditions related to the coronavirus pandemic, India as the chair has done everything it could to ensure the progressive development of strategic partnership of the BRICS countries without any setbacks.

I agree with my colleagues who expressed this opinion that the authority of our association is growing. Its role in international affairs is on the rise and it is substantial. This is a logical result of the BRICS ability to develop effective cooperation in the entire range of topical global and regional issues during 15 years of our joint activities.

Such close partnership of the BRICS countries is greatly in demand, considering that the global situation still remains very turbulent. The risks of the coronavirus pandemic are obvious to all of us, and my colleagues have just spoken about this. This threat has affected practically all aspects of our life, impeding the development of the global economy and exacerbating many social problems.

In addition to this, what is happening around the world remains very tense. Global security is subjected to serious trials and the system of strategic stability has noticeably deteriorated. Far from being settled, long-standing regional conflicts are flaring up with renewed force.

The withdrawal of the US and their allies from Afghanistan has led to a new crisis situation, and it remains unclear how it will affect regional and global security, so it is absolutely right that our countries pay special attention to this issue.

Understandably, just like its BRICS partners, Russia has consistently advocated the establishment of long-awaited peace and stability in Afghanistan, where the people have been fighting for many decades and have earned the right to independently determine what their state will be like.

At the same time, we are not interested in Afghanistan remaining a threat to neighboring countries or having terrorism and illegal drug trafficking coming from the Afghan territory threaten us. We are interested in stopping the migration flow and we want the Afghans to be able to live a peaceful and dignified life in their own country.

I have mentioned many times that the current round of the crisis in Afghanistan is a direct consequence of irresponsible extraneous attempts to impose someone else's values on the country and to build "democratic structures" using socio-political engineering techniques, ignoring the historical and national specifics of other nations and the traditions by which they live.

All of that leads to nothing but destabilization and, ultimately, chaos, after which the masterminds behind these experiments hastily retreat leaving their charges behind. The entire international community then has to face the consequences.

I am convinced that peaceful progress in international relations can be guaranteed only through ensuring the existence of states with different political and social systems, their own national interests, and spiritual and moral values, but with mandatory observance of the fundamental principles of international law enshrined in the UN Charter, including non-interference in internal affairs and respect for sovereignty.

It is likewise important to maintain and promote mutually respectful, constructive, and meaningful interaction at the global level, to strengthen the emerging multipolar system which comprises independent centers of economic growth and political influence, of which BRICS is, of course, a part.

In this context, we consider very relevanty the topic of our meeting and the topic of the entire year in BRICS that was chosen by our Indian partners and the Indian chairmanship which is promoting cooperation on the basis of continuity, consolidation, and consensus. In fact, the entire international community is facing this challenge, and five BRICS countries are playing a significant and noticeable role in addressing it.

I hope our work today will be substantive and productive. I would like to emphasize once again that Russia stands ready to continue close interaction with the BRICS countries in all areas.

Thank you.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's video address to the participants at the BRICS International Youth Camp, September 10, 2021 (Видеообращение Министра иностранных дел Российской Федерации С.В.Лаврова к участникам Международного молодежного лагеря стран БРИКС, 10 сентября 2021 года) / Russia, September, 2021
Keywords: sergey_lavrov, mofa, speech


I am glad to have a chance to welcome the participants at the first BRICS International Youth Camp.

Let me remind you that this initiative was proposed after the successful sixth BRICS Youth Summit held in Ulyanovsk last year. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the leadership of the region for contributing to the development of exchanges between young people of BRICS. In particular, the region has the Project Office for Russia – BRICS International Youth Cooperation aimed at supporting systematic interaction between our countries' youth organisations.

BRICS is a truly unique multilateral format and an excellent example of innovative network diplomacy. Over 15 years, the organisation has come a really long way, and today it has become an essential part of the architecture of international relations. At the BRICS platform, countries that are different in terms of culture and civilisation can build relations based on the principles of equality, consideration of each other's interests, mutual respect and openness to the outside world.

The youth dialogue continues to make a useful contribution in the expansion of the full-scale strategic partnership within BRICS and the promotion of friendship, trust and mutual understanding. The annual Youth Summit that I have mentioned has become a good tradition, as well as the Youth Energy Summit and forums of young parliamentarians and young diplomats. I would like to emphasise that all of these events are initiatives by young people and not some instructions from above.

In this context we believe that your congress will become another step on the path to further strengthening contacts between our people. Its busy agenda will help you to gain new knowledge and skills and find joint projects, as well as to observe the unique culture and traditions of our Motherland and, of course, make new friends. The key to success is your special energy, a creative, out-of-the-box approach to business, and a focus on results.

I wish you all new achievements, interesting meetings, fruitful discussions and all the best.

Thank you for your attention.

XIII BRICS Summit- New Delhi Declaration (XIII Саммит БРИКС - Нью-Делийская декларация) / India, September, 2021
Keywords: summit, concluded_agreements

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi chaired the 13th BRICS Summit virtually today.

The theme of the Summit, chosen by India, was, BRICS@15: Intra-BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation, and Consensus. The Summit saw the participation of all other BRICS Leaders - President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, President Xi Jinping of China, and President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa.

Prime Minister expressed his appreciation for the cooperation received from BRICS partners during India's Chairship this year, which allowed the achievement of several new initiatives. These included the first BRICS Digital Health Summit; the first BRICS Ministerial Joint Statement on multilateral reforms; a BRICS Counter-Terrorism Action Plan; an Agreement on cooperation in the field of remote-sensing satellites; a virtual BRICS vaccine Research & Development Centre; BRICS Alliance on Green Tourism, etc.

Highlighting the leading role that BRICS countries can play in the post-COVID global recovery, Prime Minister called for enhanced BRICS cooperation under the motto of 'Build-back Resiliently, Innovatively, Credibly and Sustainably'.

Elaborating on these themes, Prime Minister stressed the need for accelerating 'build back by enhancing speed and accessibility of vaccination, creating 'resilience' by diversifying pharma and vaccine production capacities beyond the developed world, fostering 'innovation' by creatively using digital tools for the public good, ensuring reform of multilateral institutions to enhance their 'credibility, and promoting 'sustainable development by articulating a common BRICS voice on environmental and climate issues.

The leaders also discussed important regional and global issues, including recent developments in Afghanistan. There was a convergence of views on the threat posed by the growth of terrorism and extremism, and all BRICS partners agreed to accelerate the implementation of the BRICS Action Plan on Counter-Terrorism.

At the conclusion of the Summit, the leaders adopted the "New Delhi Declaration".
Investment and Finance
Investment and finance in BRICS
BRICS' Influence Grows as Three New Members Join the New Development Bank (Влияние БРИКС растет по мере того, как три новых члена присоединяются к Новому банку развития) / Russia, September, 2021
Keywords: expert_opinion, economic_challenges, ndb

Paul Antonopoulos, independent geopolitical analyst

The New Development Bank (NDB) was created by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) in 2015. The BRICS bank, as it is more commonly known, invests mainly in developing economies in areas such as transportation, water and sanitation, clean energy, digital infrastructure, social infrastructure and urban development. On September 2, NDB President Marcos Troyjo announced that the United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and Bangladesh were the first members of the bank's expansion.

"New members will have in NDB a platform to foster their cooperation in infrastructure and sustainable development," said NDB President Marcos Troyjo in a statement. "We will continue to expand the bank's membership in a gradual and balanced manner."

The UAE, Uruguay and Bangladesh will become fully fledged members once internal processes of the NDB is complete. However, the NDB's ambitions do not end there, and according to Brazilian newspaper Estadão, a fourth partner, likely from Africa, should be announced by the end of the year. In fact, the Shanghai-based bank anticipates three to four new members per year, reaching up to 20 members in the coming years.

Although BRICS is obviously already represented in South America and South Asia by Brazil and India respectively, the accession of Uruguay and Bangladesh into the NDB allows the bank to act on a regional scale. It also opens the possibility for future membership in BRICS. With NDB members neighboring each other in South America and South Asia, the bank has the possibility to finance binational projects that promotes regional economic and transportation integration.

For his part, Emirati Minister of State for Financial Affairs, Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, said: "The United Arab Emirates membership in the New Development Bank represents a new step to enhance the role of the UAE economy on the global stage, especially in light of the great capabilities and expertise that the country possesses in supporting infrastructure projects and sustainable development. This monumental step would not have been achieved without the vision and direction of the UAE leadership, who believe in the importance of supporting development projects around the world, especially in emerging economies."

The UAE has undergone a massive transformation in the past quarter of a century, turning desert wastelands into thriving economic hubs and progressing from reactionary Salafi ideology to one of tolerance and open-mindedness. As recently as the beginning of the Syrian War in 2011, the UAE was backing jihadist groups, but in a matter of only a few years reverted from this policy and became far more moderate and independent in their decision making and pursuit of partnerships.

Originally a major oil exporter, and still is, the UAE has now diversified its economy so that it is in line with the UN 2030 agenda to end poverty and hunger, protect human rights and gender equality, and protect the planet from degradation. The UAE has immense resources that can be directed towards projects that are in line with not only the UN's vision, but also the NDB's.

BRICS signed an agreement on Tuesday involving 28 projects in the fields of computer programming, technical services, culture, art, economy, commerce, logistics and transportation - with a total value of more than $2.1 billion. The UAE's contribution to such projects will be fundamental in deciding whether the mega-rich Arab country should ascend into BRICS and not only the NDB.

The selection of the UAE, Uruguay and Bangladesh as the first three non-founding partners of the NDB indicates the intentions of BRICS - regional expansion with a focus on economic and transportation cooperation. This cooperation, as well as integration, is especially crucial as the world struggles to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic fallout. Because of this, the NDB will likely focus in the short to medium term on the rejuvenation of member countries following the pandemic, particularly in transitioning to a digital economy and green energy.

It was estimated that emerging economies needed about $2 trillion in infrastructure investments per year for the next 20 years to maintain growth rates, however, commercial banks have refused to meet the gap. Essentially, the NDB partly fills the gap that Western financial institutions refuse to do.

By positioning itself to take advantage of a unique opportunity to project a new vision for financing, the NDB is challenging the dominance of Western financial institutions and also progressing the prestige of BRICS in its endeavour to advance a multipolar world order. The accession of the UAE sees one of the Middle East's most influential countries join the NDB, whilst Uruguay and Bangladesh open the path for regional integration under the context of BRICS, something that has not occurred since the group was established in 2006.

Investment cooperation between Russia, China should be steadied, says trade envoy (Инвестиционное сотрудничество между Россией и Китаем необходимо укреплять, считает торговый представитель) / Russia, September, 2021
Keywords: trade_relations, expert_opinion

Investment cooperation between the two countries formed a firm basis for development over the past 20 years, whereas the total amount of direct Chinese investment in Russia exceeded $12 bln in 2020

SHANGHAI, September 8. /TASS/. Russia and China possess efficient mechanisms to expand investment cooperation, though it is necessary to steady this interaction considering the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, Trade Representative of the Russian Federation in the People's Republic of China Alexey Dakhnovsky said at the opening of the Russian-Chinese investment cooperation forum, which is part of the 21st China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) in Xiamen.

"There are efficient mechanisms aimed at attracting investment between our countries," he said, mentioning the intergovernmental Russian-Chinese commission on investment cooperation, special investment contracts, and special economic zones among them. Various communication platforms that integrate representatives of the state and business of different countries for the implementation of joint projects serve as important mechanisms of international investment cooperation as well, Dakhnovsky added.

Investment cooperation between the two countries formed a firm basis for development over the past 20 years, whereas the total amount of direct Chinese investment in Russia exceeded $12 bln in 2020, he said. Meanwhile, the Russian-Chinese investment cooperation needs to be steadied, the trade envoy noted. "Amid the consequences of the pandemic, it is necessary to steady trade and investment cooperation. Top-ranked leaders both in Russia and China say about it today. I am confident that today's event will contribute to the future strengthening of investment cooperation between our countries and help reach the national targets of Russia's and China's development," he said.

Russia takes participation in the CIFIT fair, which is currently one of the main investment platforms in China, for the first time. This year it is devoted to the theme 'New international investment opportunities under the new development pattern', whereas the main work will be focused on investment projects and BRICS countries, the 'One Belt One Road' initiative and RCEP states (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement signed at the end of 2020 by China with Australia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and ten ASEAN countries).

Around 5,000 enterprises from almost 100 countries and regions of the world are expected to participate in the fair.

Workshop on Harmonization of Standards: Challenges and Opportunities for World Trade (Семинар по гармонизации стандартов: проблемы и возможности для мировой торговли) / India, September, 2021
Keywords: trade_relations, top_level_meeting

BRICS Workshop on 'Harmonization of Standards: Challenges and Opportunities for World Trade' was held in virtual format under the Chairship of India on 06th September 2021. Shri Jayanta Roy Chowdhury, Deputy Director General (Standardization), Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) chaired the workshop, which was attended by delegates from the National Standards Bodies (NSBs) of BRICS Countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa).

Shri Chowdhury in his opening remarks welcomed his counterparts to the meeting being held during the year the 15th anniversary of BRICS under the theme 'BRICS @ 15: Intra-BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation, and Consensus'. He highlighted the significance of the BRICS grouping, the constituent nations of which are not only are rapidly growing economies but also represent the aspirations of their respective regions, with substantial untapped potential for further all-round growth.

Referring to the disruptions in the world order owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, he stressed the importance of rebound of trade in order to mitigate the financial impact of the pandemic and rebuild lives and livelihoods. He highlighted the significance of standards in building the quality infrastructure of a country, playing a crucial role in achieving and maintaining a minimum level of quality of products and services offered to consumers, and added that harmonization of standards facilitates free-flowing trade, thereby providing manufacturers with access to a larger potential market and providing greater variety for the consumers to choose from.

The Heads of the delegations from Brazil, Russia, China, and South Africa also spoke on the essence of standards and their relevance from the perspective of quality infrastructure and trade. The delegations from each country shared their perspectives on Harmonization of standards and the associated challenges and opportunities for world trade thereof and covered other overlying aspects through their theme presentations.

The NSBs exchanged opinions and suggestions on the theme presentations, which were well received by all the national delegations. The importance of the BRICS forum was highlighted, acknowledging that it acts as a bridge between the developed and the developing world. Some of the key challenges flagged by the NSBs in the workshop that needed to be addressed by the forum were summarized such as challenges of low participation at the international level, need for collaboration at the ISO/IEC, region-specific requirements, resource constraints faced by NSBs, tapping capacity-building potential, etc. as well as the opportunities linked with the harmonization of standards such as compliance with WTO-TBT requirements, aid in the fulfillment of SDGs, integration with global value chains and increased share in global trade, increased uptake of standards by Govt. Policymakers and regulators, etc.

The meeting ended with Shri Chowdhury expressing his gratitude to all the delegates for sharing their inspiring thoughts and ideas and thanking them for making the workshop a success.
NDB President Reports to BRICS Leaders at 13th BRICS Summit (Отчета президента НБР перед лидерами БРИКС на 13-м саммите БРИКС) / China, September, 2021
Keywords: ndb, summit

On September 9, 2021, Mr. Marcos Troyjo, President of the New Development Bank (NDB), reported on the Bank's achievements to the Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa at the 13th BRICS Summit, held in a virtual format under the chairmanship of the Government of India.

"The NDB is a valuable output of BRICS cooperation. It is an important symbol of what emerging economies can achieve when they work together," said Mr. Troyjo. "Our portfolio now nears 80 projects. They amount to USD 30 billion of infrastructure that is improving peoples' lives."

In his speech, Mr. Troyjo also underlined that the NDB committed USD 10 billion through its COVID-19 Emergency Response Program. "Our Emergency Program supports healthcare and social protection. We help small and medium-sized enterprises, creating jobs and boosting the economy," he added.

"The NDB has a new organizational structure in place," said the NDB President. "An ESG department mainstreams environmental, social and governance best practices in all of our activities. Areas fully dedicated to business with the private sector and to talent management are being set up."

"We continue to improve the balance of our project portfolio across our member countries," highlighted Mr. Troyjo. "The NDB is closer to its client base thanks to offices in Brazil, South Africa and Russia. Very soon, we'll open the Indian Regional Office. And in a few months, the NDB Team will operate from new Headquarters in Shanghai."

The NDB President also provided an update on the expansion of the Bank's membership, in line with the guidance provided by the BRICS Leaders. After a round of successful negotiations, the NDB admitted the United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and Bangladesh as new members. Mr. Troyjo highlighted that they "extend the Bank's outreach and diversify its portfolio. They broaden our pool of resources, ideas and experiences."

In the New Delhi Declaration adopted by the Leaders at the BRICS Summit, the Leaders noted the Bank's progress as follows:
"We appreciate the NDB's substantive progress in membership expansion despite challenges emanating from the COVID-19 pandemic. We reiterate that the process of expansion should be gradual and balanced in terms of geographic representation in its membership as well as supportive of the NDB's goals of attaining the highest possible credit rating and institutional development. We note with satisfaction the discussions held at the Annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the New Development Bank and look forward to the Bank's second General Strategy for 2022-26. We recognize the role of New Development Bank as vital to addressing health and economic consequences of the pandemic and encourage the NDB to explore the possibility of financing more social infrastructure projects, including those that use digital technologies. We also urge the Bank to enhance its role in mobilizing and catalyzing private capital as well as undertake more co-financing ventures with other Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and Development Financial Institutions (DFIs). We look forward to the Bank's relocation to its permanent headquarters in Shanghai and the opening of NDB's regional office in India in 2021."

Background information

The NDB was established by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries, complementing the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development. In 2021, NDB initiated membership expansion and admitted the United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and Bangladesh as its first new member countries.

World of Work
RISS Director addressed the BRICS Forum in China (Директор РИСИ выступил на форуме БРИКС в Китае) / Russia, September, 2021
Keywords: quotation, top_level_meeting

On September 7th, RISS Director Mikhail Fradkov participated via video link in the 3rd BRICS Forum on Partnership on New Industrial Revolution. The meeting took place in China and was organized by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People's Republic of China with the support of China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges.

In his speech, M.E. Fradkov noted that the current state of international relations is marked by the growing economic power of Asian countries and other developing nations, and their greater influence on global and regional processes.

According to RISS Director, the current transformation of international cooperation is taking place in the light of a «new industrial revolution» followed by a massive introduction of information technology to production, large-scale automation of business processes, and widespread adoption of artificial intelligence. Today it is important to continue efforts to effectively integrate BRICS companies into global and regional supply chains and production activities despite the emerging challenges.

M.E. Fradkov stressed that the cooperation of the BRICS countries proves their readiness to jointly respond to new global challenges, promote economic growth, overcome economic crises and instability in the financial sector.

Winners of the Grant competition of youth projects of the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund (Победители Грантового конкурса молодежных проектов Фонда общественной дипломатии Александра Горчакова) / Russia, September, 2021
Keywords: social_issues, rating

During the closing ceremony of the International Youth Forum Eurasia Global on September 7, 2021, the winners of the Grant competition of youth projects of the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund were announced.

The Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund has selected 9 projects as the winners of the grant contest out of 27 projects presented by the Foreign participants, held within the framework of the International Youth Forum "Eurasia Global-2021". In 2021, 92 applications were received during a correspondence stage of the contest. In advance of the forum, the Gorchakov Fund hosted online master classes on preparation of the applications and improvement of project management skills. Rosmolodezh covered travel expenses for participation in the Eurasia Global Forum for several participants of the preliminary program. 28 projects from 19 countries were selected for the final stage of the project defense on the sidelines of the forum. The project defense was held online and in person.

The Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund was established in accordance with a decree of the President of Russia on February 2, 2010.The mission of the Fund is to encourage development of public diplomacy and support creation of public, political and business climate abroad, favorable for Russia. The Gorchakov Fund provides support to Russian and foreign non-governmental organizations and think tanks active in the field of foreign policy with implementation of their projects, which comply with the statutory goals of the Fund, through grant awards. Review of grant applications and grant administration are organized in accordance with the Grant Provision Statues. In addition to that, the Fund offers training programs for new non-governmental organizations.

Akil Mohammad was announced as one of the winners of the grant contest in Orenburg, Russia whose project is supported by the Gorchakov Fund. He defended the project on 4th September 2021 in front of the Jury. The project International Youth Forum"BRICS PLUS" is planned to be held in December 2021 in India. The main aim of the BRICS PLUS Forum is to build an inclusive partnership among young leaders to spread the idea of cooperation with BRICS, creating awareness of the opportunities that BRICS block could bring to them and their respective countries.

Akil Mohammad from Noida (India) is a student enrolled in the Peoples friendship University of Russia (RUDN University). He is Founder & Chairperson of the International Youth Edu-Skills Foundation (IYES Foundation- ) , President of Indian Students Association (ISA) in People's Friendship University, Moscow (RUDN) and member of the project office for international youth cooperation "Russia-BRICS".

The BRICS PLUS Forum will unite youth leaders, public organizations, youth activists, scholars, scientists, entrepreneurs and students from the BRICS and friendly countries to provide better understanding and knowledge of the BRICS and develop and future cooperation in the field of culture, academic, youth, sports, business, and creative industries. During the forum it is planned to organize yoga sessions, master classes, expert sessions, industrial visits, mini-BRICS walk and tree plantation by the participants of the forum.

Recommendations of the BRICS Academic Forum 2021 to the Leaders (Рекомендации Академического форума БРИКС 2021 лидерам) / Russia, September, 2021
Keywords: off_docs, global_governance, think_tank_council

"BRICS @ 15: Intra-BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus"

Delegates from the five BRICS countries met online at the 13th BRICS Academic Forum and worked out the following conclusions and recommendations.

The establishment and growth of BRICS have been a positive factor in global affairs. The group has contributed significantly to creating an alternative narrative on growth and sustainable development for the benefit of developing countries and emerging economies. It has provided a unique forum to discuss important global governance issues and to deliberate on solutions and ideas that benefit all. We call for further strengthening of engagement among the BRICS countries at all levels –governments, academics, business, scientists and peoples.

We the participants of the BRICS academic process and members of the BRICS Think Tank Council (BTTC) appreciate the efforts of the BRICS leadership in maintaining regular interaction with the BRICS experts and academic community. We would like to recommend and communicate the following for the consideration of the BRICS Leaders as they convene in 2021 under Indian Presidency.

Multilateralism and Global Governance

1. The past year has continued to be a tumultuous one with the ongoing pandemic proving that the global community is indelibly intertwined, and we need a truly effective and representative multilateral system for successful global governance. We request the BRICS leaders to support new research and collaborative projects by the BRICS countries academics on the future of a strengthened and reformed multilateral system that is essential for promoting the well-being of people and a shared future for sustainable development of the

2. The BRICS countries through their competent agencies should persist with the call for a more open and merit-based recruitment process at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), and persist with the call for timely and successful completion of the 16th General Review of Quotas by 2023 which better reflects the voice and demands of the

3. We urge the leaders to infuse new momentum to the implementation of the resolution UNGA Resolution 75/1 which calls for reforms of the principal organs of the UN and instilling new life in the discussions on reform of the UN Security Council and continuing the work to revitalize the General Assembly and strengthen the Economic and Social Council with a view to making them more representative, effective and efficient and to increase the representation of the developing countries.

4. To achieve this goal the international relations should be based on international law including the fundamental principles of the UN Charter. In this regard we urge the BRICS Leaders to strengthen the BRICS position against unfair practices and coercive measures not based on international law and UN Charter which undermine the efforts to ensure sustainable development and wellbeing of the

5. We recommend that the BRICS Leaders should continue to express support for transparent, rules-based, open, inclusive and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization at its core.

6. We urge that the BRICS leaders to commit to and together call for reforming multilateralism that would include UN and its principal organs, and other multilateral institutions such as International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB), World Trade Organization (WTO) and World Health Organization (WHO) to effectively address the diverse challenges of our

7. The multilateral system needs to be strengthened and reformed with action-oriented, solution-oriented, and inclusive The BRICS academics and thinks tanks offer to work towards generating new ideas and suggestions to support their governments and institutions in this regard.

8. We recommend the BRICS leadership to maintain their stance on restoration and preservation of the normal functioning of a two-stage binding WTO Dispute Settlement system, including the expeditious appointment of all Appellate Body The BRICS countries should also voice their support for preserving the centrality, core values and fundamental principles of the WTO, including its development focus, special and differential treatment for developing countries.

International Security

9. The BRICS countries should work for a global "zero-tolerance" against support and provision of safe havens to terrorists as well as to recruitment and training, provision of financial assistance and They should constantly raise their collective voice against threat emanating from terrorism, extremism conducive to terrorism and radicalization, in accordance with international law. They should reject double standards in countering terrorism and extremism. They should reiterate the coordinating and central role of the UN in combating international terrorism. It is also important for the BRICS to take a firmer stance on the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the UN which has not been concluded even after almost 25 years of the proposal first being tabled at the UN in 1996.

10. Information security is critical for the BRICS countries. We recommend sharing of regulations and country practices, countering criminal use of technologies and online misconduct in credit and finance, exchanging information on cyber threats, and sharing best practices in information security, as well as strengthening the legal framework for BRICS cooperation in this regard.

11. There is a shared concern amongst the BRICS countries that technology is becoming an enabler to very complex forms of threats to humanity including physical threats like human trafficking and drug trafficking. The deliberation during the academic process yielded the need for a comprehensive approach for the BRICS countries to respond to shared international security challenges including illicit financial flows, financing of terrorism, and cyber security. We place this aspect for the consideration of the BRICS

12. We acknowledge the threat of criminal misuse of the digital landscape in terms of terrorism and other cyber-crimes. We support concerns by the BRICS countries regarding challenges pertaining to prevention, control and prosecution of the terrorist misuse of internet and encourage sharing of best practices in the field of digital forensics, and incorporating learnings both from public and private sector to deal with these We request the leaders to widen practices of sharing national experiences and perspectives in this field that include scientific community, non- governmental organizations and technology sector corporations.

13. We recommend that the BRICS countries should jointly consider capacity building and training programmes for law enforcement and other agencies in addressing issues like darknet and new domains emerging in the digital sector and sharing of best

Sustainable Development

14. The pandemic has also created new challenges to achieving the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the commitments made under UNFCCC's Paris Agreement of We recommend the BRICS leaders to ensure that environmental protection and climate change are important to intra-BRICS initiatives. The BRICS countries are against the use of climate, environmental issues as a tool of unfair competition practices.

15. It is important to note that countries have unique conditions affecting their levels of development and ability to fulfill their SDG commitments. The BRICS academics and thinks tanks offer to work towards conducting research and generating suggestions to identify solutions in cooperation with each other but adapted to local

16. We recommend that an important area of exploration for the BRICS countries should be decarbonisation initiatives and opportunities in hard-to-abate industry sectors, including Carbon Capture Utilization (CCU), use of hydrogen as a heat source or a reduction agent, electrification, use of biomass, gas and nuclear as an energy source, and material

17. We recommend further cooperation between the BRICS countries on Energy Storage Sharing of knowledge could help accelerate the transition to climate friendly clean energy.

18. The importance of clean and renewable energy cannot be overstated. The BRICS academics and thinks tanks offer to collaborate on generating ideas and pathways to increase the use of clean and renewable We request the BRICS governments to support BRICS-wide research on green transitions that are underway in member countries.

19. We recommend that investing in smart infrastructure, clean and green energy for mobility and transportation has the ability to transform markets. Smart cities are important to transforming the economy. The BRICS academics and thinks tanks offer to make all efforts to strengthen research and development in the field given that urbanisation is still an ongoing project in major parts of these

20. The 2020 Memorandum of BRICS Development Finance Institutions' Principles for Responsible Financing, as approved by BRICS Inter-Bank Cooperation Mechanism, is an important step forward in ensuring that private sector provides its business activities in compliance with the sustainable development agenda committed under the respective national policies. We urge the relevant stakeholders to expedite the implementation of this

21. Agricultural cooperation and rural development are important aspects of intra-BRICS These issues are central to the improvement of production capacities of agricultural goods as well as the implementation of sustainable development goals in agriculture. The BRICS countries contribute a third of all global agricultural output and as such have an important responsibility in ensuring the sustainability of the agriculture and food sector, global food security and nutrition. Given this, it is important to accelerate the sharing of information on agriculture technology and innovation. We urge for greater intra-BRICS cooperation in this area, including the facilitation and incubation of extensive research, including through early operationalization of the BRICS Agriculture Research Platform.

22. The BRICS countries should recognize the importance of disaster risk reduction and create robust and resilient mechanisms in this regard. Each BRICS country is facing a range of disaster-related challenges and we recommend national-level studies to identify possible

23. As biodiversity conservation has become critical to addressing the challenge of climate change, the BRICS Countries should enhance their cooperation in this

Trade, Investment, and Finance

24. We recommend that the BRICS countries should continue to implement the strategy adopted in the BRICS Economic Partnership 2025 agreed in We urge the BRICS leaders to continue work on economic partnership, strengthening intra-BRICS trade, including in domains such as consumer protection in e-commerce, non-tariff measures, sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards, and foster customs cooperation. These are not only important to ensure that the BRICS countries can make positive contributions to multilateral reform, but also necessary to deepen trade and investment ties amongst the countries.

25. We recommend the BRICS countries to share best practices and learnings on fast payments, cross-border payments, use of national currencies in mutual payments, and developments on the financial infrastructure issues initiated by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI).

26. We propose that steps be taken to operationalise the BRICS Bond Fund to strengthen the local bond markets of the BRICS countries. Efforts must be made to resolve operational and governance issues on an expedited

27. Innovative financing models should be found, in cooperation with the private sector for the creation of social infrastructure and digital public goods. The BRICS academic and think tank communities must share learnings, existing research findings and experiences in this regard.

28. We appreciate the New Development Bank's (NDB's) lending push to boost economic The NDB has given emergency response loans to BRICS countries to fight the pandemic covering a broad range of welfare. We urge the BRICS countries to find ways to further strengthen the bank and call for timely expansion. We recommend further progress on the BRICS Environmentally Sound Technology Cooperation Platform for Innovation, signed in 2019.

29. We recommend initiating new studies on how Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) can be activated for new kinds of financial and economic issues that may emerge in the future in the BRICS countries.

Science, Technology, Innovation, and Digitalisation

30. We recognise the crucial role that science, technology and innovation (STI) and digitalisation, play in the development of domestic capacity to tackle global We recommend that the BRICS countries work together to build a BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution, and encourage academic communities to cooperate with the BRICS PartNIR Innovation Center. The academic communities in the BRICS countries working in these important fields should strengthen their collaborations, including cooperation under the BRICS STI Programme.

31. BRICS countries should encourage further research in cutting edge technologies like High Performance Computing (HPC) and its weather-climate-environment applications, application of supercomputers to drug design, artificial intelligence, and HPC-based precision medicine and public Given the strong potential of BRICS countries in the field of artificial intelligence for development, they could play a leading role in shaping international rules and standards in this sphere.

32. We are enthused about the role of remote sensing technology in facilitating Early Warning Systems for disaster management, and its uses in agriculture, food security, and water resource management. We recommend the BRICS leaders facilitate and incubate studies that explore cooperation among the BRICS countries on creating disaster resilient infrastructure.

33. We recommend that scholars from the BRICS countries share existing studies and jointly research new frameworks promoting growth in the digital economy which supports small and medium enterprises and new models for economic

34. We recommend that research institutions from the BRICS countries suggest models that ensure inequalities in the physical economy not get reflected in the digital economy, and do not facilitate biases in artificial intelligence and other emerging

35. We recommend that BRICS leaders commission national-level studies on use of digitalisation and data for inclusive growth and the sustainable development goals. Such national-level policy studies can also be instrumental in identifying solutions that cater to the most vulnerable sections of society. Such studies will enable the cross- pollination of ideas among the BRICS

36. Digital inequality is becoming increasingly important given the background of the 4th industrial revolution in the long run and lockdowns in the short run. The BRICS countries should address this issue on all levels, including development of digital infrastructure, skills and We recommend that the BRICS leaders commission national-level studies on addressing the issue of digital literacy. Such studies could facilitate the cross pollination of ideas among the BRICS countries.

37. The pandemic has demonstrated the importance of digitalisation in the health sector. We call on the BRICS countries to encourage further digitalisation by promoting national-level innovation, startups, and sandboxes backed by public-sector, private industry and civil-society

38. We encourage all efforts to support and preserve the national socio-cultural heritage, traditions as well as multilingualism in the digital environment, by making use of advanced ICT under the global digitalization process

39. Emerging markets are becoming the pathfinders in the digital economy and challenging the domination of digital incumbents through innovation. The next stage of growth in technology will come from small and medium enterprises. We call on the BRICS leaders to facilitate this We recommend that the New Development Bank (NDB) should play a role in the growth of the MSME sector. NDB should encourage technology facilitation for SDGs and this should be supported by the BRICS governments to encourage MSME and entrepreneurial activities.

Economic Recovery, Women-led and Inclusive Growth

40. There is a need for a collective commitment to women's economic empowerment. In this context, we recommend that scholars from the BRICS countries share existing studies and jointly research new frameworks promoting gender-responsive budgeting and trade policy, and collection of sex-disaggregated data from various sectors of the economy, especially for women's participation in MSME, digital economy and

41. Unequal growth has been a problem for all the BRICS countries. The BRICS countries should adopt innovative ways to tackle increasing economic inequalities. The BRICS academics and researchers should study this aspect, and solutions found could be of use to other developing countries as well.

42. Women and youth have faced the socio-economic brunt of the pandemic. There is a need for gender-sensitive policymaking that supports women-led enterprises and youth entrepreneurs. We recommend that the New Development Bank introduces a metric that incentivizes the funding of women and youth-led ICT technologies create opportunities for new types of employment, modes of production and business models. These can bring benefits to women employment and entrepreneurship. The BRICS countries should encourage facilitation of greater access to ICTs to empower women and bridge the digital gender divide to allow for greater participation of women and girls in STEM and develop skills needed for the job market in the digital economy.

43. In the post-pandemic economic context, the key challenge for the BRICS countries is to generate employment. It is imperative to have national-level plans to revive the service industry which provides livelihoods, particularly tourism. We recommend support for small and medium enterprises that are engaged in this


44. The importance of cooperation between BRICS countries on health has only increased due to the COVID-19 We emphasize the need for robust experience sharing and research collaboration that would assist in creating effective policies to respond to global health issues like the COVID-19 pandemic, and call for incresased intra-BRICS cooperation in this regard.

45. The BRICS countries should continue supporting the ongoing consideration at the WTO for the COVID-19 vaccine Intellectual Property Rights waiver to ensure timely, affordable, and equitable access to We urge the BRICS leaders to commission intra-BRICS collaborative study and to develop a framework that allows maximizing access to life-saving medicines and medical equipment. We recommend early finalization of a BRICS Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of Regulation of Medical Products for Human Use.

46. We urge the BRICS countries and their research and scientific communities to consider sharing knowledge and best practices on next-generation pharmaceuticals and

47. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the inter-linkages between the multiple facets of national and local health We recommend the BRICS countries to study all the elements of health infrastructure in a holistic method which includes the development of local production capacities for medicines and vaccines, promotion of price transparency, and stability of health supply chains. The global fight against COVID-19 should be based on objective scientific principles and should be supported by all countries, avoiding political factors.

48. Given that the BRICS nations have an immense pool of Traditional Medicinal Knowledge, medicinal plant species, and rich biodiversity, we recommend that they improve cooperation and knowledge sharing to respond to diseases and public health Promoting and encouraging the practice, education, research and training of traditional medicine to improve the quality and outreach of healthcare services is thus suggested as a policy priority towards this end.

49. The BRICS countries should enhance sharing knowledge and best practices on responding to the continuing spread of major diseases (HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria, etc.). The BRICS TB Research Network and the BRICS Vaccine Research and Development Centre, and the Integrated Early Warning System for Preventing Mass Infectious Deseases Risks can be important platforms for making access to healthcare more inclusive and strengthening capacity of the BRICS countries to address public health challenges


50. The restriction on movement due to the pandemic has impacted tourism, education, political, cultural, and academic exchanges. We, the BRICS academic and think tank community, will use digital medium to collaborate and expand the areas of partnership and joint research and find innovative ways to deepen people to people At the same time, we recognize that in-person interactions remain a vital part of human life and should be restored with consideration of health and epidemiological situation.

51. We encourage the BRICS countries to further expand the scope of the BRICS Network University to perpetuate further exchanges and elevate the influence of BRICS countries in international Scholarships and grant programmes for students and researchers, besides easing visa norms for academic exchanges could be one method to achieve this.

52. People-to-People exchanges are a key driver behind the service A coordinated response is imperative for the survival of the tourism and hospitality sector, higher education, and cultural exchanges, which help deepen our understanding of each other's cultures and foster cooperation. We urge the BRICS leaders to help support the people-to-people aspect of the BRICS.

53. All the five BRICS countries have rich cultural heritage. We recommend the use of digital technologies to facilitate cultural exchange and dissemination of information. Protecting tangible and intangible cultural heritage is an important aspect of cultural and academic cooperation and must be given due

54. Facilitation of exchanges in sports and creative arts like theatre, cinema, art and music festivals, as well as developing museum and culture spaces is a very important part of the process of cultural exchange. We recommend that the BRICS countries should consider leveraging digital platforms for engagement between the youths of the BRICS countries on cultural projects which will deepen understanding of contexts and cultures building on the BRICS's shared value of mutual respect. We, the BRICS academic and think tank community, seek to promote and foster youth scholarship and promote emerging voices in our common We call on the BRICS countries to support the hosting of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Games and Paralympic Games and further cooperation in winter sports. We call on BRICS countries to support the BRICS Games in 2021 alongside the Khelo India Games. We also recommend that the BRICS Games be held in rotation.

55. The pandemic has demonstrated the importance, effectiveness and necessity of digital education and skilling. We recommend that the BRICS leaders should encourage national-level studies on the experiences of digital learning in the BRICS countries. This will enable the adoption of best practices and offer solutions to other

BRICS Academic Process

56. During the BRICS process in 2021, under India's chairmanship of the BRICS, the members of the BRICS Think Tank Council and nominated representatives engaged in several academic dialogues on themes like reformed multilateralism, global health, SDGs, future of work, women-led economic growth, international security, digitalisation, global economic recovery, and green energy. Each dialogue brought together experts in those fields from every member country to get a holistic perspective on how BRICS countries can strengthen their efforts in the respective areas. This is also a vital step towards collecting and building data for BTTC Indicator System to monitor progress on timely and efficient implementation of the BRICS initiatives and leaders' decisions

57. From the beginning, academic activities and inputs have been an essential element in the evolution of BRICS. Many of the new ideas implemented by the BRICS have emanated from the academic process, particularly the BTTC and the BRICS Academic The best examples of this are the New Development Bank (NDB), Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) and the BRICS Network University (BNU) to name a few. We are grateful for the encouragement, guidance and support of the Leaders and the Sherpas for our activities. We hope for continued support and commit ourselves to providing new ideas and evidence-based research for the governments to work on. ________________________________________

Members of the BRICS Think Tank Council

Institute for Applied Economic Research, Brazil

National Committee on BRICS Research, Russia

Observer Research Foundation, India

China Council for BRICS Think-tank Cooperation, China

South African BRICS Think Tank, South Africa

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