Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at a stand-alone meeting of BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs/International Relations, Moscow, June 1, 2021
Good afternoon, friends.
It is always a pleasure to meet with friends and like-minded people.
Regrettably, the coronavirus infection has prevented us from holding an in-person meeting. I would like to once again express our solidarity with India and the Indian people. We are ready to continue providing assistance in the fight against the pandemic and to promote cooperation in this sphere. It is only through joint efforts that we will overcome the current crisis to the benefit of our nations.
The burden has increased not only on the national healthcare systems. The pandemic has strengthened negative trends in international relations, increasing the conflict potential and the risk of collapse of the strategic stability architecture. National egoism, a desire to ensure one’s domination at all costs and disregard for the interests of other countries are eroding the foundations of the multilateral system created after WWII. The cornerstone of this system is respect for international law, that is, the UN Charter, and not the so-called “rules” invented by our Western colleagues.
The number and complexity of the challenges to the international community and sustainable global development are growing. These are the threats of terrorism, transnational crime, including in the digital sphere, climate change and an expanding rift between the rich and the poor. These problems can only be addressed collectively.
Today we will have an opportunity to hold an in-depth discussion of all the items on our agenda in the BRICS spirit of mutual respect and commitment to results. Our group is playing a leading role in the efforts to deal with current global problems and is an example of truly multilateral, inclusive, universal and non-discriminatory cooperation.
In this context, we would like to support our Indian friends’ initiative for the BRICS foreign ministers to coordinate a strong joint signal to the world in favour of strengthening and reforming the multilateral system of international relations on the solid foundation of international law, with the central role of the UN as the most universal and inclusive organisation in the world. It is now more important than ever for BRICS to speak out as one voice.