Patna: Fight against terrorism, respective national priorities and challenges and strengthening the organisation will be some of the key issues to be discussed at the BRICS Policy Planning Dialogue being hosted by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in the state capital on Tuesday.
This is the first time Patna is hosting an official foreign policy meet in which 20 diplomats from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) will discuss global and regional issues of mutual interests.
In all, 95 such events and meets will be held across different cities in India in the run up to 8th BRICS Summit-2016 to be held in October this year. “It aims to expand BRICS footprint across India and to disseminate BRICS awareness among the people,” joint secretary (policy, planning and research) of ministry of external affairs Santosh Jha said on Monday.
“All foreign policy matters will be discussed at Tuesday’s dialogue,” Jha said, adding that the talks would also feature terrorism. “Terrorism is high priority issue for India and will definitely figure at the meeting,” he said. Asked if the South China Sea issue and China’s alleged sponsoring of Pakistan’s cross-border terrorism would also figure at the meet, Jha said, “There will be talks on every aspect.”
The BRICS Policy Planning Dialogue will provide a platform for exchanges on strategic assessments of international and regional situations and the trends therein, going beyond immediate issues, role of BRICS in international governance, ongoing cooperation at BRICS forum and identifying areas of convergence.
Officials said the first edition of the dialogue was held in Moscow last year and this is a continuation of the same. “An environment of trust has built up and we can take up the issues in deeper details. What we can do together, how we can understand the foreign policy and planning better and priorities of each country will be discussed,” he said.
As an external regional outreach programme, India has invited the six BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) nations – Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal – as special invitees to the 8th BRICS Summit.
The respective delegations will be led by Michel Arslanian Neto (deputy head of policy planning of Brazil), Oleg Stepanov (head of policy planning of Russia), Wang Wenbin (acting DG policy planning of China), David Malcolmson (chief director – regional organisations of South Africa) and Jha himself.
India’s five-pronged approach for BRICS 2016 comprises institution building, implementation, integration, innovation and continuity with consolidation (or IIIIC). To make BRICS more people-centric, several programmes such as an under-17 football tourney, youth summit, film festival, friendship cities conclave, young diplomats’ forum, smart cities workshop, urbanisation forum, convention on tourism, wellness conclave and digital conclave etc have been planned throughout the year.