India will convene BRICS foreign ministers meeting on June 1. Chaired by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar amid a ravaging Covid-19 second wave, the meeting will be held virtually and is expected to witness the participation of foreign ministers of Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa. In the meeting, the global leaders will exchange views on not just Covid-19 pandemic but also issues of global and regional concerns like sustainable development and countering terrorism.

A statement released by MEA states that India, as the current BRICS chair, will concern the standalone meeting of BRICS ministers of foreign affairs/international relations on June 1. In the meeting, the ministers are expected to share views on Covid-19 pandemic situation, the need for strengthening and reforming the multilateral system to address contemporary realities, sustainable development, countering terrorism and enhancing people-to-people cooperation.

BRICS foreign minister assumes greater significance as it coincides with growing clamour around probe around Covid-19 origins. If India goes ahead to reiterate the demand for a transparent and fair probe at BRICS, China will be forced to review its actions.

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This year’s BRICS also hold prime importance as the grouping marks its 15th anniversary, providing a good opportunity to review its work. The theme of this year is ‘BRICS@15: Intra BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus’. BRICS Foreign Ministers first met in 2006, and the first BRICS Summit was held in 2009. Over the past fifteen years, the scope of BRICS has steadily expanded to include deliberations and exchange of views on strategic issues such as counter terrorism and cyber security as well as identification of new areas of practical cooperation such as health, education, science and technology and disaster management and resilience.

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