The Gist of Press Information Bureau: May + June 2013

The Gist of Press Information Bureau: May
+ June 2013

Content

  • Human Development Index
  • Millennium Development Goals
  • Planning Commission Hosting Google Hangout
  • 5th BRICS Summit – eThekwini Declaration and Action Plan

Global Hunger Index, 2012 

The report ‘Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2012’ by the
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is based on three equally
weighted indicators, namely undernourishment (proportion of undernourished
people as percentage of population), child underweight and child mortality. This
report mentions that India has lagged behind in improving its GHI score despite
strong economic growth along with the statement that GHI data is based partly on
outdated data.The approach in dealing with the nutrition challenges has been two
pronged: First is the Multi-sectoral approach for accelerated action on the
determinants of malnutrition in targeting nutrition in schemes/ programmes of
all the sectors. The second approach is the direct and specific interventions
targeted towards the vulnerable groups such as children below 6 years,
adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating mothers. The Government has accorded
high priority to the issue of malnutrition especially among children and women
including young girls and is implementing several schemes/programmes through
State Governments/UT Administrations. The schemes/programmes include the
Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), National Rural Health Mission (NRHM),
Mid-Day Meal Scheme, Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (RGSEAG)
namely SABLA, Indira Gandhi Matritva SahyogYojna (IGMSY) as direct targeted
interventions. Besides, indirect multi-sectoral interventions include Targeted
Public Distribution System (TPDS), National Horticulture Mission, National Food
Security Mission, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS),
Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, National Rural Drinking Water Programme etc. All these
schemes have potential to address one or other aspect of Nutrition. This was
stated by Smt. Krishna Tirath, Minister for Women and Child Development, in a
written reply to the Lok Sabha today. 

Panel on Climate Change 

The Government has constituted the Executive Committee on
Climate Change consisting of representatives of various Ministries and agencies
under the Chairmanship of Principal Secretary to Prime Minister to monitor the
implementation of eight national missions and other initiatives on climate
change and assist the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change in evolving a
coordinated response to climate change related issues at the national level.
This was stated by Shrimati Jayanthi Natarajan Minister of State (Independent
Charge) for Environment and Forests, in the Lok Sabha today, in a written reply
to a question by Shri Pralhad Joshi & Shri S.S. Ramasubbu. The Executive
Committee comprises, inter alia, of the representatives of the Cabinet
Secretariat, the Planning Commission, and the Ministries/ Departments of Power,
New and Renewable Energy, Urban Development, Water Resources, Science and
Technology, Agriculture & Cooperation, Agriculture Research and Education, Earth
Sciences, Coal, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Economic Affairs, and Environment and
Forests. Functions of the Committee include, inter alia, advising the PM’s
Council on Climate Change on modifications, as may be necessary, in the
objectives, strategies and structures of the missions and coordinating with
various agencies on issues relating to climate change. The Minister further
stated that National Missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC)
include appropriate deliverables and timelines for monitoring of their
implementation. These are regularly reviewed from time to time through the
institutional mechanism laid down in the NAPCC. 

Human Development Index 

The latest Human Development Index (HDI) 2011 prepared by the
UNDP ranks India at 134 out of 187 countries and its HDI is shown as 0.547 which
is an improvement of 5.39% (HDI was 0.519 in 2010 HDI part). The health aspects
are reflected in life expectancy at birth which is shown as 65.4 year in HDI
2011 against 64.4 year in HDI 2010. High IMR and Under 5 MR are the major
factors in lowering Life Expectancy at Birth. MMR also needs improvement. A
target of 25/1000 for IMR and 1000/100,000 live births for MMR has been
prescribed by the 12 Five Year plan document for the end of 2017. Some of the
steps taken under NRHM for improving the situation are: 

  • Regular ANC care at health facilities and home visits by ASHA
  • Personalized monitoring of pregnant women, the new born and the post
    partum woman through MCTS
  • Promotion of institutional delivery through JSY, increase in delivery
    points and improvement in referral transport.
  • JSSK
  • Increase in number of SNCU for managing preterm and sick neonates
  • Promotion of exclusive breast feeding
  • Reduction in incidence of diarrhoea through improvement in hygiene by
    measures such as hand washing and management of diarrhoea through Zinc and
    ORS supplementation.
  • Extension of immunization coverage
  • The various disease control programs against Malaria, Kala Azar, filaria,
    TB (RNTCP) etc have improved the burden of disease and mortality due to
    major infectious diseases in all stages of life.
  • In order to tackle the impact of Non-communicable
    diseases, Government of India has launched the National Programme for
    prevention and control of cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and
    stroke (NPCDCS) in 2010 in 100 districts of 21 States with a focus on an
    awareness generation for behaviour and life style changes, early diagnosis
    and referral to higher facilities for appropriate management. It has also
    been envisaged to build capacity at various levels of health care systems
    for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of NCDs.

Millennium Development Goals 

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted during the
U.N. Millennium Summit, 2000 by 189 countries including India consists of eight
goals which are sought to be achieved during the period 1990 to 2015. 
The Millennium Development Goal (MDG) -1 is regarding Eradication of Extreme
Poverty and Hunger, which have 2 targets namely, (i) Halve, between 1990 and
2015, the percentage of population below the National Poverty Line and (ii)
Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.
The indicator for measuring target two is the prevalence of underweight children
under three years of age. Thus from the estimated 52% in 1990, the proportion of
underweight children below 3 years is required to be reduced to 26% by 2015.
All-India trend of the proportion of underweight children below 3 years of age
shows India is going slow in eliminating the effect of malnourishment as the
prevalence of underweight has declined by 3 percentage points during 1998-99 to
2005-06 , from about 43 percent to about 40 percent (as per the National Family
Health Survey, 2005-06). At this historical rate of decline the proportion of
underweight children is expected to come down to about 33% only by 2015
vis-à-vis the 2015 target level of 26% falling short of the target. The problem
of malnutrition is complex, multi-dimensional and inter-generational in nature,
and cannot be improved by a single sector alone. Poverty and hunger along with
household food insecurity, illiteracy and lack of awareness especially in women,
access to health services, availability of safe drinking water, sanitation and
proper environmental conditions are some of the determinants of malnutrition. In
fact, improvement in malnutrition is linked to achievement of six of the
Millennium Development Goals. 

The approach in dealing with the nutrition challenges has
been two pronged: First is the Multi-sectoral approach for accelerated action on
the determinants of malnutrition in targeting nutrition in schemes/ programmes
of all the sectors. The second approach is the direct and specific interventions
targeted towards the vulnerable groups such as children below 6 years,
adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating mothers. The Government has accorded
high priority to the issue of malnutrition especially among children and women
including young girls and is implementing several schemes/programmes through
State Governments/UT Administrations including Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar
Pradesh. The schemes/programmes include the Integrated Child Development
Services (ICDS), National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Mid-Day Meal Scheme,
Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (RGSEAG) namely SABLA,
Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY) as direct targeted interventions.

Besides, indirect multi-sectoral interventions include
Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), National Horticulture Mission,
National Food Security Mission, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment
Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, National Rural Drinking Water
Programme etc. All these schemes have potential to address one or other aspect
of Nutrition. Recently Government has approved the strengthening and
restructuring of ICDS with special focus on pregnant and lactating mothers and
children under three. The restructured and strengthened ICDS will be rolled out
in three phases with focus on the 200 high burden districts for malnutrition
during 2012-13 (which includes 15 districts in Gujarat, 27 districts in Madhya
Pradesh and 41 districts in Uttar Pradesh); additional 200 districts in 2013-14
including districts from the special category States and NER and the remaining
districts in 2014-15. Further, an Information Education and Communication
Campaign (IEC) to generate awareness against malnutrition has been launched in
the country including Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh . This was
stated by Smt. Krishna Tirath, Minister for Women and Child Development, in a
written reply to the Lok Sabha today. 

Planning Commission Hosting Google Hangout

The Planning Commission, along with the National Innovation
Council, is hosting its first Google Hangout on the 12th Five Year Plan on 15th
March 2013 at 5 PM. The hour long session on Google Hangout will be attended by
Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Sh. Sam
Pitroda, Chairman, National Innovation Council, Members and the Secretary of the
Planning Commission who will answer questions from the public and from a panel
invited to attend the Hangout. The aim through this interaction is communicate
the 12th Five Year Plan through social media platforms to enhance public
participation and citizen engagement. 

The Google Hangout takes forward the inclusive process
followed by the Commission in formulating the Plan. In formulating the 12th Five
Year Plan, the Planning Commission consulted much more widely than ever before,
underlining the need for a more inclusive and interactive approach. During this
process, inputs were provided by over 950 civil society organisations, multiple
business associations, all State Governments, as well as local representative
institutions and unions. The Plan has been approved by the National Development
Council and the aim now is to share its vision with the country’s citizens.

This is a first step in leveraging social media for
engagement on the 12th Five Year Plan and over the next few months, the Planning
Commission will publicise the content of the Plan on several other social media
channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube on which it already
has a presence. The details of the event are available on
www.innovationcouncil.gov.in and the event will be streamed live via
www.youtube.com/PlanComIndia on 15th March at 5 PM. More details of the event
will be made available via the Twitter handles of Planning Commission (@PlanComIndia)
and Mr. Sam Pitroda (@pitrodasam). 

Implementation of BRGF Programme

This Ministry of Panchayati Raj is tasked with the
implementation of the Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF) Programme as per
Government’s policy of ensuring balanced development.  The BRGF Programme is
designed to redress regional imbalances in development of 272 identified
backward districts in the country.  The funds there under provide financial
resources for supplementing and converging existing developmental inflows into
identified districts so as to bridge critical gaps in local infrastructure and
other development requirements.

As per the BRGF Guidelines, the Annual Action Plans prepared
by the Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) are consolidated into the
District Plans by the respective District Planning Committees which are then
forwarded to the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India, by the
respective State Governments for releasing the funds as per eligibility of the
districts.  A statement showing funds released and utilised by the States under
the BRGF Programme during the last three years and current year is at
Annex-1.The complaints received regarding misuse of Backwards Regions Grant
Funds (BRGF) are forwarded to the concerned State Governments for taking
necessary action. A list of complaints received during the current year is at
Annex-2. The Ministry of Panchayati Raj insists that auditing of Panchayats
funds/ works under BRGF Programme is done and Audit Reports are submitted along
with other necessary documents for release of funds.  The audit is to be done
either by Local Fund Auditors or by Chartered Accountants listed in the panel of
the State Government or AGs of the State.

This information was given by the Minister of Panchayati Raj Shri V. Kishore
Chandra Deo in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.   

GISAT

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is designing a GEO Imaging
Satellite (GISAT). 

GISAT will carry a GEO Imager with multi-spectral (visible,
near infra-red and thermal), multi-resolution (50m to 1.5 km) imaging
instruments. GISAT will be placed in geostationary orbit of 36,000 km. The
remote sensing satellites launched by ISRO revisit the same area once in every 2
to 24 days and acquire images of a geographical strip (swath) at different
spatial resolution (360 meter to better than 1 meter). GISAT will provide near
real time pictures of large areas of the country, under cloud free conditions,
at frequent intervals. That is, selected Sector-wise image every 5 minutes and
entire Indian landmass image every 30 minutes at 50m spatial resolution. The
total financial outlay for the project is 392 crore excluding the launch cost.
The amount spent up to March 2012 is 9.9 crore and BE provision of 50 crore is
made for the year 2012-2013. GISAT is planned to be launched during 2016-17. 

Appointments Made to the 20th Law Commission of India

The Government has appointed Shri Justice S.N. Kapoor,
retired Judge of Delhi High Court, as a full-time Member of the 20th Law
Commission of India with effect from the forenoon of 15th March, 2013 and up to
31st August, 2015 i.e. till the end of its term. Prof. (Dr.) Mool Chand Sharma,
Vice Chancellor, Central University of Haryana, has also been appointed as
full-time Member. As per the Notification issued by the Government, Prof. (Dr.)
Yogesh Tyagi, Dean & Professor of Law, South Asian University, New Delhi; and
Shri R. Venkataramani, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India, have been
appointed as Part-time Members of the 20th Law Commission of India with effect
from the date they assume charge and up to 31st August, 2015. The Twentieth Law
Commission was constituted through a Government Order with effect from 1st
September, 2012. It has a three-year term, ending on 31st August, 2015. Shri
Justice D. K. Jain, Former Judge of the Supreme Court of India, is the Chairman
of the Commission. 

5th BRICS Summit – eThekwini Declaration and Action Plan

We, the leaders of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the
Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People‘s Republic of China and
the Republic of South Africa, met in Durban, South Africa, on 27 March 2013 at
the Fifth BRICS Summit. Our discussions took place under the overarching theme,
“BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Development, Integration and
Industrialisation”. The Fifth BRICS Summit concluded the first cycle of BRICS
Summits and we reaffirmed our commitment to the promotion of international law,
multilateralism and the central role of the United Nations (UN). Our discussions
reflected our growing intra-BRICS solidarity as well as our shared goal to
contribute positively to global peace, stability, development and cooperation.
We also considered our role in the international system as based on an inclusive
approach of shared solidarity and cooperation towards all nations and peoples.

We met at a time which requires that we consider issues of
mutual interest and systemic importance in order to share concerns and to
develop lasting solutions. We aim at progressively developing BRICS into a
full-fledged mechanism of current and long-term coordination on a wide range of
key issues of the world economy and politics. The prevailing global governance
architecture is regulated by institutions which were conceived in circumstances
when the international landscape in all its aspects was characterised by very
different challenges and opportunities. As the global economy is being reshaped,
weare committed to exploring new models and approaches towards more equitable
development and inclusive global growth by emphasising complementarities and
building on our respective economic strengths.

We are open to increasing our engagement and cooperation with
non-BRICS countries, in particular Emerging Market and Developing Countries (EMDCs),
and relevant international and regional organisations, as envisioned in the
Sanya Declaration. We will hold a Retreat together with African leaders after
this Summit, under the theme,”Unlocking Africa’s potential: BRICS and Africa
Cooperation on Infrastructure”.The Retreat is an opportunity for BRICS and
African leaders to discuss how to strengthen cooperation between the BRICS
countries and the African Continent. 

Recognising the importance of regional integration for
Africa’s sustainable growth, development and poverty eradication, we reaffirm
our support for the Continent’s integration processes. 

Within the framework of the New Partnership for Africa’s
Development (NEPAD), we support African countries in their industrialisation
process through stimulating foreign direct investment, knowledge exchange,
capacity-building and diversification of imports from Africa. We acknowledge
that infrastructure development in Africa is important and recognise the strides
made by the African Union to identify and address the continent’s infrastructure
challenges through the development of the Programme for Infrastructure
Development in Africa (PIDA), the AU NEPAD Africa Action Plan (2010-2015), the
NEPAD Presidential Infrastructure Championing Initiative (PICI), as well as the
Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plans that have identified priority
infrastructure development projects that are critical to promoting regional
integration and industrialisation. We will seek to stimulate infrastructure
investment on the basis of mutual benefit to support industrial development,
job-creation, skills development, food and nutrition security and poverty
eradication and sustainable development in Africa. We therefore, reaffirm our
support for sustainable infrastructure development in Africa.

We note policy actions in Europe, the US and Japan aimed at
reducing tail-risks in the world economy. Some of these actions produce negative
spillover effects on other economies of the world. Significant risks remain and
the performance of the global economy still falls behind our expectations. As a
result, uncertainty about strength and durability of the recovery and the
direction of policy in some major economies remains high. In some key countries
unemployment stays unusually elevated, while high levels of private and public
indebtedness inhibit growth. In such circumstances, we reaffirm our strong
commitment to support growth and foster financial stability. We also underscore
the need for appropriate action to be taken by advanced economies in order to
rebuild confidence, foster growth and secure a strong recovery. 

Central Banks in advanced economies have responded with
unconventional monetary policy actions which have increased global liquidity.
While this may be consistent with domestic monetary policy mandates, major
Central Banks should avoid the unintended consequences of these actions in the
form of increased volatility of capital flows, currencies and commodity prices,
which may have negative growth effects on other economies, in particular
developing countries. 

We welcome the core objectives of the Russian Presidency in
the G20 in 2013, in particular the efforts to increased financing for investment
and ensure public debt sustainability aimed at ensuring strong, sustainable,
inclusive and balanced growth and job creation around the world. We will also
continue to prioritise the G20 development agenda as a vital element of global
economic stability and long-term sustainable growth and job creation. 

Developing countries face challenges of infrastructure
development due to insufficient long-term financing and foreign direct
investment, especially investment in capital stock. This constrains global
aggregate demand. BRICS cooperation towards more productive use of global
financial resources can make a positive contribution to addressing this problem.
In March 2012 we directed our Finance Ministers to examine the feasibility and
viability of setting up a New Development Bank for mobilising resources for
infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging
economies and developing countries, to supplement the existing efforts of
multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and
development. Following the report from our Finance Ministers, we are satisfied
that the establishment of a New Development Bank is feasible and viable. We have
agreed to establish the New Development Bank. The initial contribution to the
Bank should be substantial and sufficient for the Bank to be effective in
financing infrastructure. 

In June 2012, in our meeting in Los Cabos, we tasked our
Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to explore the construction of a
financial safety net through the creation of a Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA)
amongst BRICS countries. They have concluded that the establishment of a
self-managed contingent reserve arrangement would have a positive precautionary
effect, help BRICS countries forestall short-term liquidity pressures, provide
mutual support and further strengthen financial stability. It would also
contribute to strengthening the global financial safety net and complement
existing international arrangements as an additional line of defence. We are of
the view that the establishment of the CRA with an initial size of US$ 100
billion is feasible and desirable subject to internal legal frameworks and
appropriate safeguards. We direct our Finance Ministers and Central Bank
Governors to continue working towards its establishment. 

We are grateful to our Finance Ministers and Central Bank
Governors for the work undertaken on the New Development Bank and the Contingent
Reserve Arrangement and direct them to negotiate and conclude the agreements
which will establish them. We will review progress made in these two initiatives
at our next meeting in September 2013. 

We welcome the conclusion between our Export-Import Banks (EXIM)
and Development Banks, of both the “Multilateral Agreement on Cooperation and
Co-financing for Sustainable Development” and, given the steep growth trajectory
of the African continent and the significant infrastructure funding requirements
directly emanating from this growth path, the “Multilateral Agreement on
Infrastructure Co-Financing for Africa”. 

We call for the reform of International Financial
Institutions to make them more representative and to reflect the growing weight
of BRICS and other developing countries. We remain concerned with the slow pace
of the reform of the IMF. We see an urgent need to implement, as agreed, the
2010 International Monetary Fund (IMF) Governance and Quota Reform. We urge all
members to take all necessary steps to achieve an agreement on the quota formula
and complete the next general quota review by January 2014. The reform of the
IMF should strengthen the voice and representation of the poorest members of the
IMF, including Sub-Saharan Africa. All options should be explored, with an open
mind, to achieve this. We support the reform and improvement of the
international monetary system, with a broad-based international reserve currency
system providing stability and certainty. We welcome the discussion about the
role of the SDR in the existing international monetary system including the
composition of SDR’s basket of currencies. We support the IMF to make its
surveillance framework more integrated and even-handed. The leadership selection
of IFIs should be through an open, transparent and merit-based process and truly
open to candidates from the emerging market economies and developing countries. 

We emphasise the importance of ensuring steady, adequate and
predictable access to long term finance for developing countries from a variety
of sources. We would like to see concerted global effort towards infrastructure
financing and investment through the instrumentality of adequately resourced
Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and Regional Development Banks (RDBs). We
urge all parties to work towards an ambitious International Development
Association(IDA)17 replenishment. 

We reaffirm our support for an open, transparent and
rules-based multilateral trading system. We will continue in our efforts for the
successful conclusion of the Doha Round, based on the progress made and in
keeping with its mandate, while upholding the principles of transparency,
inclusiveness and multilateralism. We are committed to ensure that new proposals
and approaches to the Doha Round negotiations will reinforce the core principles
and the developmental mandate of the Doha Round. We look forward to significant
and meaningful deliverables that are balanced and address key development
concerns of the poorest and most vulnerable WTO members, at the ninth
Ministerial Conference of the WTO in Bali. 

We note that the process is underway for the selection of a
new WTO Director-General in 2013. We concur that the WTO requires a new leader
who demonstrates a commitment to multilateralism and to enhancing the
effectiveness of the WTO including through a commitment to support efforts that
will lead to an expeditious conclusion of the DDA. We consider that the next
Director-General of the WTO should be a representative of a developing country. 

We reaffirm the United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development’s (UNCTAD) mandate as the focal point in the UN system dedicated to
consider the interrelated issues of trade, investment, finance and technology
from a development perspective. UNCTAD’s mandate and work are unique and
necessary to deal with the challenges of development and growth in the
increasingly interdependent global economy. We also reaffirm the importance of
strengthening UNCTAD’s capacity to deliver on its programmes of consensus
building, policy dialogue, research, technical cooperation and capacity
building, so that it is better equipped to deliver on its development mandate. 

We acknowledge the important role that State Owned Companies
(SOCs) play in the economy and encourage our SOCs to explore ways of
cooperation, exchange of information and best practices. 

We recognise the fundamental role played by Small and
Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the economies of our countries. SMEs are
major creators of jobs and wealth. In this regard, we will explore opportunities
for cooperating in the field of SMEs and recognise the need for promoting
dialogue among the respective Ministries and Agencies in charge of the theme,
particularly with a view to promoting their international exchange and
cooperation and fostering innovation, research and development. 

We reiterate our strong commitment to the United Nations (UN)
as the foremost multilateral forum entrusted with bringing about hope, peace,
order and sustainable development to the world. The UN enjoys universal
membership and is at the centre of global governance and multilateralism.In this
regard, we 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, so that it can be more responsive to global challenges. In this
regard, China and Russia reiterate the importance they attach to the status of
Brazil, India and South Africa in international affairs and support their
aspiration to play a greater role in the UN. 

We underscore our commitment to work together in the UN to
continue our cooperation and strengthen multilateral approaches in international
relations based on the rule of law and anchored in the Charter of the United
Nations. 

We are committed to building a harmonious world of lasting
peace and common prosperity and reaffirm that the 21stcentury should be marked
by peace, security, development, and cooperation. It is the overarching
objective and strong shared desire for peace, security, development and
cooperation that brought together BRICS countries. 

We welcome the twentieth Anniversary of the World Conference
on Human Rights and of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action and agree
to explore cooperation in the field of human rights. 

We commend the efforts of the international community and
acknowledge the central role of the African Union (AU) and its Peace and
Security Council in conflict resolution in Africa. We call upon the UNSC to
enhance cooperation with the African Union, and its Peace and Security Council,
pursuant to UNSC resolutions in this regard. We express our deep concern with
instability stretching from North Africa, in particular the Sahel, and the Gulf
of Guinea. We also remain concerned about reports of deterioration in
humanitarian conditions in some countries. 

We welcome the appointment of the new Chairperson of the AU
Commission as an affirmation of the leadership of women. 

We express our deep concern with the deterioration of the
security and humanitarian situation in Syria and condemn the increasing
violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law as a result of
continued violence. We believe that the Joint Communiqué of the Geneva Action
Group provides a basis for resolution of the Syrian crisis and reaffirm our
opposition to any further militarization of the conflict. A Syrian-led political
process leading to a transition can be achieved only through broad national
dialogue that meets the legitimate aspirations of all sections of Syrian society
and respect for Syrian independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty as
expressed by the Geneva Joint Communiqué and appropriate UNSC resolutions. We
support the efforts of the UN-League of Arab States Joint Special
Representative. In view of the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in
Syria, we call upon all parties to allow and facilitate immediate, safe, full
and unimpeded access to humanitarian organisations to all in need of assistance.
We urge all parties to ensure the safety of humanitarian workers. 

We welcome the admission of Palestine as an Observer State to
the United Nations.We are concerned at the lack of progress in the Middle East
Peace Process and call on the international community to assist both Israel and
Palestine to work towards a two-state solution with a contiguous and
economicallyviable Palestinian state, existing side by side in peace with
Israel, within internationally recognized borders, based on those existing on
4 June 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.We are deeply concerned about
the construction of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories,
which is a violation of international law and harmful to the peace process.In
recalling the primary responsibility of the UNSC in maintaining international
peace and security, we note the importance that the Quartet reports regularly to
the Council about its efforts, which should contribute to concrete progress. 

We believe there is no alternative to a negotiated solution
to the Iranian nuclear issue. We recognise Iran´s right to peaceful uses of
nuclear energy consistent with its international obligations, and support
resolution of the issues involved through political and diplomatic means and
dialogue, including between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and
Iran and in accordance with the provisions of the relevant UN Security Council
Resolutions and consistent with Iran’s obligations under the Treaty on the
Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). We are concerned about threats of
military action as well as unilateral sanctions. We note the recent talks held
in Almaty and hope that all outstanding issues relating to Iran’s nuclear
programme will be resolved through discussions and diplomatic means.

Afghanistan needs time, development assistance and
cooperation, preferential access to world markets, foreign investment and a
clear end-state strategy to attain lasting peace and stability. We support the
global community’s commitment to Afghanistan, enunciated at the Bonn
International Conference in December 2011, to remain engaged over the
transformation decade from 2015-2024. We affirm our commitment to support
Afghanistan’s emergence as a peaceful, stable and democratic state, free of
terrorism and extremism, and underscore the need for more effective regional and
international cooperation for the stabilisation of Afghanistan, including by
combating terrorism. We extend support to the efforts aimed at combating illicit
traffic in opiates originating in Afghanistan within the framework of the Paris
Pact. 

We are gravely concerned with the deterioration in the
current situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) and deplore the loss of
life. We strongly condemn the abuses and acts of violence against the civilian
population and urge all parties to the conflict to immediately cease hostilities
and return to negotiations. We call upon all parties to allow safe and
unhindered humanitarian access. We are ready to work with the international
community to assist in this endeavour and facilitate progress to a peaceful
resolution of the conflict. Brazil, Russia and China express their sympathy to
the South African and Indian governments for the casualties that their citizens
suffered in the CAR. 

We are gravely concerned by the ongoing instability in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). We welcome the signing in Addis Ababa on
24 February 2013 of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the
Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region. We support its independence,
territorial integrity and sovereignty. We support the efforts of the UN, AU and
sub-regional organisations to bring about peace, security and stability in the
country. 

We reiterate our strong condemnation of terrorism in all its
forms and manifestations and stress that there can be no justification,
whatsoever, for any acts of terrorism. We believe that the UN has a central role
in coordinating international action against terrorism within the framework of
the UN Charter and in accordance with principles and norms of international law.
In this context, we support the implementation of the UN General Assembly Global
Counter-Terrorism Strategy and are determined to strengthen cooperation in
countering this global threat. We also reiterate our call for concluding
negotiations as soon as possible in the UN General Assembly on the Comprehensive
Convention on International Terrorism and its adoption by all Member States and
agreed to work together towards this objective. We recognize the critical
positive role the Internet plays globally in promoting economic, social and
cultural development. We believe it’s important to contribute to and participate
in a peaceful, secure, and open cyberspace and we emphasise that security in the
use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) through universally
accepted norms, standards and practices is of paramount importance. 

We congratulate Brazil on hosting the UN Conference on
Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012 and welcome the outcome as
reflected in “The Future we Want”, in particular, the reaffirmation of the Rio
Principles and political commitment made towards sustainable development and
poverty eradication while creating opportunities for BRICS partners to engage
and cooperate in the development of the future Sustainable Development Goals. 

We congratulate India on the outcome of the 11th Conference
of the Parties to the United Nations Conference on Biological Diversity (CBD
COP11) and the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the
Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. While
acknowledging that climate change is one of the greatest challenges and threats
towards achieving sustainable development, we call on all partiesto build on the
decisions adopted in COP 18/CMP8 in Doha, with a view to reaching a successful
conclusion by 2015, of negotiations on the development of a protocol, another
legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention
applicable to all Parties, guided by its principles and provisions. 

We believe that the internationally agreed development goals
including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) address the needs of
developing countries, many of which continue to face developmental challenges,
including widespread poverty and inequality. Low Income Countries (LICs)
continue to face challenges that threaten the impressive growth performance of
recent years. Volatility in food and other commodity prices have made food
security an issue as well as constraining their sources of revenue. Progress in
rebuilding macro-economic buffers has been relatively slow, partly due to
measures adopted to mitigate the social impact of exogenous shocks. Many LICs
are currently in a weaker position to deal with exogenous shocks given the more
limited fiscal buffers and the constrained aid envelopes, which will affect
their ability to sustain progress towards achieving the MDGs. We reiterate that
individual countries, especially in Africa and other developing countries of the
South, cannot achieve the MDGs on their own and therefore the centrality of Goal
8 on Global Partnerships for Development to achieve the MDGs should remain at
the core of the global development discourse for the UN System. Furthermore,
this requires the honouring of all commitments made in the outcome documents of
previous major international conferences. 

We reiterate our commitment to work together for accelerated
progress in attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the target date
of 2015, and we call upon other members of the international community to work
towards the same objective. In this regard, we stress that the development
agenda beyond 2015 should build on the MDG framework, keeping the focus on
poverty eradication and human development, while addressing emerging challenges
of development taking into consideration individual national circumstances of
developing countries. In this regard the critical issue of the mobilization of
means of implementation in assisting developing countries needs to be an
overarching goal. It is important to ensure that any discussion on the UN
development agenda, including the “Post 2015 Development Agenda” is an inclusive
and transparent inter-Governmental process under a UN-wide process which is
universal and broad based.  We welcome the establishment of the Open Working
Group on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in line with the Rio+20
Outcome Document which reaffirmed the Rio Principles of Sustainable Development
as the basis for addressing new and emerging challenges. We are fully committed
to a coordinated inter-governmental process for the elaboration of the UN
development agenda.

We note the following meetings held in the implementation of the Delhi
Action Plan: 

  • Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs on the margins of UNGA.
  • Meeting of National Security Advisors in New Delhi. 
  • Meetings of Finance Ministers, and Central Bank Governors in Washington
    DC and Tokyo. 
  • Meeting of Trade Ministers in Puerto Vallarta. 
  • Meetings of Health Ministers in New Delhi and Geneva. 

We welcome the establishment of the BRICS Think Tanks Council and the BRICS
Business Council and take note ofthe following meetings which were held in
preparation for this Summit: 

  • Fifth Academic Forum
  • Fourth Business Forum
  • Third Financial Forum

We welcome the outcomes of the meeting of the BRICS Finance Ministers and
Central Bank Governors and endorse the Joint Communique of the Third Meeting of
the BRICS Trade Ministers held in preparation for the Summit. 

We are committed to forging a stronger partnership for common
development. To this end, we adopt the eThekwini Action Plan. We agree that the
next summit cycles will, in principle, follow the sequence of Brazil, Russia,
India, China and South Africa. Brazil, Russia, India and China extend their warm
appreciation to the Government and people of South Africa for hosting the Fifth
BRICS Summit in Durban. Russia, India, China and South Africa convey their
appreciation to Brazil for its offer to host the first Summit of the second
cycle of BRICS Summits, i.e. the Sixth BRICS Summit in 2014 and convey their
full support thereto. eThekwini Action Plan:

1. Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs on the margins of UNGA. 
2. Meeting of BRICS National Security Advisors. 
3. Mid-term meeting of Sherpas and Sous-Sherpas. 
4. Meetings of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in the margins of
G20 meetings, WB/IMF meetings, as well as stand-alone meetings, as required. 
5. Meetings of BRICS Trade Ministers on the margins of multilateral events, or
stand-alone meetings, as required. 
6. Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian Development, preceded
by a preparatory meeting of experts on agro-products and food security issues
and the Meeting of Agriculture Expert Working Group. 
7. Meeting of BRICS Health Ministers and preparatory meetings. 
8. Meeting of BRICS Officials responsible for population on the margins of
relevant multilateral events. 
9. Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Science and Technology and meeting of BRICS
Senior Officials on Science and Technology. 
10. Meeting of BRICS Cooperatives. 
11. Meetings of financial and fiscal authorities in the margins of WB/IMF
meetings as well as stand-alone meetings, as required. 
12. Meetings of the BRICS Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues (CGETI). 
13. Meeting of the BRICS Friendship Cities and Local Governments Cooperation
Forum. 
14. Meeting of the BRICS Urbanisation Forum.
15 .Meeting of BRICS Competition Authorities in 2013 in New Delhi. 
16. 5th Meeting of BRICS Heads of National Statistical Institutions. 
17. Consultations amongst BRICS Permanent Missions and/or Embassies, as
appropriate, in New York, Vienna, Rome, Paris, Washington, Nairobi and Geneva,
where appropriate. 
18. Consultative meeting of BRICS Senior Officials in the margins of relevant
sustainable development, environment and climate related international fora,
where appropriate. 

New areas of cooperation to be explored-BRICS Public Diplomacy Forum. -BRICS
Anti-Corruption Cooperation. 

  • BRICS State Owned Companies / State Owned Enterprises. 
  • National Agencies Responsible for Drug Control.
  • BRICS virtual secretariat. 
  • BRICS Youth Policy Dialogue. 
  • Tourism. 
  • Energy. 
  • Sports and Mega Sporting Events.

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