India, Russia, China hold 18th Foreign Ministers meeting virtually

Foreign Ministers of India, Russia and China have reaffirmed their support for a transparent, open, inclusive and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization, WTO at its core. In a Joint Communique after the 18th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of three countries, the leaders reiterated their support for the necessary reform which would preserve the centrality, core values and fundamental principles of the WTO while taking into account the interests of all members, especially developing countries and Least Developing Countries, LDCs. They emphasized the primary importance of ensuring the restoration and preservation of the normal functioning of a two-stage WTO Dispute Settlement system, including the expeditious appointment of all Appellate Body members. They said, the post-pandemic world requires diversified global value chains that are based on resilience and reliability.

The leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in its three dimensions- economic, social and environmental in a balanced and integrated manner and reiterated that the Sustainable Development Goals are integrated and indivisible and must be achieved leaving no one behind.

The Ministers condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The Ministers reaffirmed that terrorism must be comprehensively countered to achieve a world free of terrorism. They called on the international community to strengthen UN-led global counter-terrorism cooperation by fully implementing the relevant UN Security Council, UNSC resolutions and the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. In this context, they called for early adoption of the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.

The 18th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers India, Russia and China was held in the digital video-conference format on Friday. The meeting took place in the backdrop of negative impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing economic recovery as well as continuing threats of terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking, transnational organized crime, natural and man-made disasters, food security and climate change.

The Ministers exchanged views on further strengthening the Russia-India-China trilateral cooperation and also discussed various regional and international issues of importance. The Ministers recalled their last meeting in Moscow in September last year as well as the RIC Leaders’ Informal Summit in Osaka in June 2019 and noted the need for regular high-level meetings to foster closer cooperation among the RIC countries.

Expressing their solidarity with those who were negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministers underlined the importance of a timely, transparent, effective and non-discriminatory international response to global health challenges including pandemics, with equitable and affordable access to medicines, vaccines and critical health supplies.

Emphasizing the need for collective cooperation in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministers noted the measures being taken by the World Health Organisation (WHO), governments, non-profit organisations, academia, business and industry in combating the pandemic. In this context, the Ministers called for strengthening the policy responses of WHO in the fight against COVID-19 and other global health challenges. They also called for making COVID vaccination a global public good.

The Ministers agreed that cooperation among the RIC countries will contribute not only to their own growth, but also to global peace, security, stability and development. The Ministers underlined the importance of strengthening of an open, transparent, just, inclusive, equitable and representative multi-polar international system based on respect for international law and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and central coordinating role of the United Nations in the international system.

Expressing concern over deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, the Ministers called for immediate and unhindered humanitarian assistance to be provided to Afghanistan. The Ministers also emphasized on the central role of UN in Afghanistan.

The Ministers reiterated that a multi-polar and rebalanced world based on sovereign equality of nations and respect for international law and reflecting contemporary realities requires strengthening and reforming of the multilateral system. Foreign Ministers of China and Russia reiterated the importance they attached to the status of India in international affairs and supported its aspiration to play a greater role in the United Nations. Foreign Ministers of Russia and China congratulated India for its successful Presidency of the UNSC in August 2021.

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