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Xiamen declaration: 2nd golden decade of BRICS begins
September 4, 2017, 9:37 am

Leaders of BRICS countries pose for a group photo before the 2017 BRICS Summit in Xiamen, southeast China’s Fujian Province, Sept. 4, 2017 [Xinhua]

BRICS leaders met on Monday to forge a consensus on trade, protectionism, North Korea and climate change, among other international hotspots.

After intensive consultations, the final communique, the Xiamen Declaration, notes the need to “redress North-South development imbalances” and to “firmly oppose protectionism”.

“We recommit to our existing pledge for both standstill and rollback of protectionist measures and we call upon other countries to join us in that commitment,” the communique said.

The BRICS meet focused on globalisation, free trade, migration and terrorism- issues that have become more contentious since Donald Trump entered the White House half a year ago promising an “America First” approach.

Trump has pulled the United States out of a landmark international agreement aimed at combating climate change. Trump is also threatening to take punitive trade measures in the steel sector which would hit China, Germany, Canada and a host of other countries.

The five BRICS leaders- Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, Michel Temer, Jacob Zuma and Narendra Modi- pledged to “usher in the second golden decade of BRICS cooperation and solidarity”.

On Monday, the BRICS said they will continue to champion the cause of emerging economies at multilateral fora.

“We will work towards enhancement of the voice and representation of BRICS countries and EMDCs (Emerging Markets and Developing countries) in global economic governance,” the joint statement noted.

BRICS are also looking to establish a BRICS Energy Research Cooperation Platform.

On global crises zones like Syria and North Korea, the bloc was unanimous in it’s response.

BRICS nations said they “welcome the creation of the de-escalation areas in Syria which contributed to decrease the levels of violence and generate positive momentum and conditions for meaningful progress in the peace talks” under the aegis of the UN.

South Africa will host the next annual BRICS summit.

Some highlights from the Xiamen Declaration:
• “We call upon all countries to fully implement the Paris Agreement adopted under
the principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC) including the principles of common but differentiated
responsibilities and respective capabilities, and urge developed countries to
provide financial, technological and capacity-building support to developing
countries to enhance their capability in mitigation and adaptation.”
• “We resolve to foster a global economic governance architecture that is
more effective and reflective of current global economic landscape, increasing
the voice and representation of emerging markets and developing economies.
We reaffirm our commitment to conclude the IMF’s 15th General Review of
Quotas, including a new quota formula, by the 2019 Spring Meetings and no
later than the 2019 Annual Meetings.”
• We welcome the establishment of the NDB Africa Regional Center
launched in South Africa, which is the first regional office of the Bank.
• We reiterate that the only lasting solution to the crisis in Syria is through an inclusive “Syrian-led, Syrian-owned” political process which safeguards the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria
• We oppose the use of chemical weapons by anyone, for any purpose and under any circumstance.
• We reiterate the urgent need for a just, lasting and comprehensive solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid Principles, the Arab Peace Initiative and previous agreements between the parties through negotiations with a view to creating an independent, viable, 20 territorially contiguous Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security with Israel.
• We strongly deplore the nuclear test conducted by the DPRK. We express deep concern over the ongoing tension and prolonged nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, and emphasize that it should only be settled through peaceful means and direct dialogue of all the parties concerned.