The BRICS countries recognized the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic

“We recognize the complexity and interconnectedness of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and its adverse impact on the international economy, healthcare systems, financial sector and development, and the well-being of the most vulnerable groups in our societies. In this regard, we reaffirm our commitment to contribute, in coordination with the broader international community, to healthcare and economic recovery,” read the declaration of the 12th BRICS summit held on Tuesday.

The BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) also said it will strengthen its efforts as necessary to promptly navigate the member countries towards strong, sustainable, balanced, and inclusive economic development as well as growth in the post-COVID-19 era.

The leaders of the BRICS countries called on the member states of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to ensure that the restrictive measures related to combating the coronavirus pandemic are targeted and temporary.

"We call on all WTO members to ensure that all COVID-19 related measures are targeted, proportionate, transparent and temporary and do not create unnecessary barriers to trade or disruption to global supply chains, and are consistent with WTO rules," the Moscow Declaration said.

The BRICS leaders also reiterated the importance of open, stable, and secure global markets and acknowledged the building of more resilient global supply chains for increased production of critical health, food, and other industrial and agricultural products at the national level and in their respective regional contexts, consistent with WTO rules.

Further, the BRICS nations vowed to lead in reinvigorating multilateral cooperation and consolidating international efforts, aimed at elaborating common, efficient, and sustainable solutions to tackling the current crisis and ensuring economic growth.

"We will strengthen our efforts as necessary to promptly navigate the BRICS countries towards strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive economic development and growth in the post-COVID-19 era and acknowledge substantial fiscal, monetary and financial stability measures implemented in our countries in order to support economic growth," the leaders said.

Reaffirming their determination to continue using available policy tools to safeguard people's lives and livelihoods, the leaders said, "We attach great importance to the information exchange on the nationally adopted measures as well as short-term and mid-term stimulus packages aimed at effectively mitigating the consequences of the current crisis and full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," the leaders said in their declaration.

The BRICS leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to a strong, quota-based, and adequately resourced International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the center of the global financial safety net.

"We acknowledge the crucial role of international trade in economic recovery and remain fully committed to a transparent, open, inclusive, non-discriminatory, and rules-based multilateral trading system, as embodied in the World Trade Organisation," they said.

Maintaining that they support the international efforts to provide support for low-income countries, the BRICS leaders welcomed the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) and its extension by 6 months, which was decided in the G20 meeting.

“We welcome the international efforts to provide support for low-income countries, including through the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) and its extension by 6 months,” the declaration said.

Reiterating that rural development is of great significance to the balanced improvement of the world agricultural production, food security, and the implementation of sustainable goals in agriculture, the BRICS leaders said that they will reinforce the resilience of agriculture, rural areas, and farmers in light of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic through deepening agricultural cooperation including South-South and the promotion of comprehensive development of rural areas, through forms of support compatible with WTO rules on agriculture.

Besides, the leaders also committed to contributing further to the global efforts of preventing and countering terrorism. The declaration said that terrorism should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization, or ethnic group.

"We reaffirm our unwavering commitment to contribute further to the global efforts of preventing and countering the threat of terrorism on the basis of respect for international law and the Charter of the United Nations, emphasizing that states have the primary responsibility in combating terrorism with the United Nations continuing to play central and coordinating role in this area," the leaders said.

"We also stress the need for a comprehensive and balanced approach of the whole international community to effectively curb the terrorist activities, which pose a serious threat, including in the present-day pandemic environment," they said.

Further, the BRICS leaders congratulated India on its election as a member of the United Nations Security Council for the term starting next year.

“We congratulate India on its election as a member of the UN Security Council for the term 2021-2022 and commend South Africa for its contribution as a UN Security Council member in 2019-2020,” the declaration said.