Your Excellencies President Putin, President Xi, President Ramaphosa, President Bolsonaro,
I welcome you all to this BRICS summit. It is a matter of great pleasure for me, and for India, to chair this summit on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of BRICS. We have the detailed agenda for today’s Summit meeting with you. If you all agree we can adopt this agenda. Thank you, the agenda is now adopted.
Once this agenda has been adopted we can all give our opening remarks in short. I will take the liberty to first deliver my opening remarks. Then I will invite each one of your Excellences for your opening remarks.
India has received full cooperation from all BRICS partners and from everybody during this Chairmanship and I am deeply grateful to all of you for this. The BRICS platform has witnessed several achievements in the last one and a half decades. Today we are an influential voice for the emerging economies of the world. This platform has also been useful for focusing attention on the priorities of developing nations as well.
BRICS has created strong institutions like the New Development Bank, the Contingency Reserve Arrangement and the Energy Research Cooperation Platform. These are all very strong institutions. There is no doubt that there is much we can be proud of. However, it is also important that we do not become too self-satisfied and we must ensure that BRICS is even more result oriented in the next 15 years.
The theme that India has selected for its tenure of Chairmanship demonstrates exactly this priority - ‘BRICS@15: Intra BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus’. These four Cs are in a way the fundamental principles of our BRICS partnership.
This year, despite the challenges posed by COVID, more than 150 BRICS meetings and programs were organized, out of which more than 20 were at the Ministerial level. Along with enhancing cooperation in traditional areas, we have also made efforts to further expand the BRICS agenda. In this context, BRICS has achieved several 'Firsts' meaning there were several things that were done for the first time. Just recently the first ever BRICS digital summit was held. This is an innovative step to increase health access with the help of technology. In November, our Water Resources Ministers will be meeting for the first time under the BRICS format. It is also the first time that BRICS has taken a collective position on 'Strengthening and Reforming Multilateral Systems'.
We have also adopted the BRICS Counter Terrorism Action Plan. With the agreement on Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation between our space agencies a new chapter of cooperation has begun. With cooperation between our Customs departments, intra- BRICS trade will become easier.There has also been a consensus with regards to starting a virtual BRICS Vaccination Research and Development Centre.BRICS Alliance on green tourism is also another new initiative.
All of these new initiatives will not only benefit our citizens but will also enable BRICS as an institution to remain relevant in the coming years. I am confident that today's meeting will guide us in the right direction for making BRICS even more useful.
We will also be discussing important global and regional matters. I now invite all of you for your opening remarks.