Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair the annual summit of the five-nation grouping BRICS on Thursday in the virtual format and it is expected to focus extensively on the situation in Afghanistan. The meeting will be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
The BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) brings together five of the largest developing countries of the world, representing 41 percent of the global population, 24 percent of the global GDP, and 16 percent of the global trade. "As part of India's ongoing chairship of BRICS in 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair the 13th BRICS Summit on September 9 in virtual format," the MEA said in a statement.
This is the second time that Modi will be chairing the BRICS summit. Earlier he had chaired the Goa summit in 2016. The Indian Chairship of BRICS this year coincides with the 15th anniversary of BRICS.
The theme for the summit is: 'BRICS@15: Intra-BRICS cooperation for continuity, consolidation and consensus'. India had outlined four priority areas for its Chairship. These are reform of the multilateral system, counter-terrorism, using digital and technological tools for achieving SDGs and enhancing people-to-people exchanges.
"In addition to these areas, the leaders will also exchange views on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and other current global and regional issues," the MEA said. Separately, the Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev said the situation in Afghanistan is expected to figure prominently at the summit.
The MEA said that NSA Ajit Doval, President of the New Development Bank Marcos Troyjo, the 'pro tempore' Chair of the BRICS Business Council Onkar Kanwar and 'pro tempore' Chair of the BRICS Women's Business Alliance Sangita Reddy will present reports on the outcomes pursued this year under their respective tracks to the leaders during the Summit.