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Address by External Affairs Minister to BRICS Youth Delegates

June 30, 2016

Hon’ble Ministers from BRICS Member States,
Excellencies,
Representatives from the BRICS Countries,
BRICS Youth Delegates,
Friends from Media,


First of all, let me extend my warm welcome to all BRICS Youth Delegates to India. I am happy to see so many of you having travelled from far to be in India. I am sure our Ministry of Youth Affairs and young Indian delegates will be a perfect host to you during the visit.

It is very appropriate that the 2nd BRICS Youth Summit should be held in India, because India is the most youthful country in the world today. 800 million citizens of India are under the age of 35. They are the driving force which has made India the fastest growing major economy in the world and a knowledge society which values learning and innovation.

I am glad that BRICS has recognized the power of youth and the As you all know, India assumed BRICS Chairmanship from the Russian Federation for the year 2016.

It was during the 1st BRICS Youth Summit took place during Russia’s BRICS Chairmanship. that the 1st BRICS Youth Summit took place.

It has been our endeavour to carry this tradition forward to foster bonds and exchanges amongst our Youth, our future.

In Prime Minister Modi you will find the biggest champion of youth. He had stressed the role of youth in his address at the Fortaleza Summit.

I quote, ‘’BRICS should, in fact, be driven by ‘People to People’ contact. Our Youth, in particular must take a lead in this. BRICS should explore developing innovative mechanisms of Youth engagement.’’

I am glad that would like to express my appreciation for our Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has acted which is acting on the words of Prime Minister Modi and is organizing the BRICS Youth Summit. I am told that a rich agenda for discussions has been worked out for your Summit.

You would be deliberating on several issues like skills development, social inclusion, youth volunteerism and participation in governance. These all are themes which are of great contemporary relevance, especially for BRICS countries.

Your deliberations will provide valuable inputs to the leaders of our countries in the BRICS Leadership Summit.

Moreover, it will allow us to factor in the voices of our youth in the agenda of our leaderships.

All five BRICS countries have rich resources in terms of youth, and BRICS countries youthful and democratic profiles, combined with our economic vibrancy, this can be an asset in consolidating exchanges between our people.

I am sure that promoting deeper exchanges, especially among our youth, will enhance our collective prosperity and well-being. Investing in youth makes them a partner in the endeavours that BRICS undertakes. And the youth of BRICS can show the value of cooperation and consensus to the world.

Friends,

Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions is the core theme for our BRICS Chairmanship.

We are especially focused on institution-building, implementing past commitments, and exploring innovative solutions in a spirit of continuity with consolidation.

In its short journey, BRICS has left an indelible mark on the global economic and financial architecture.

The establishment of New Development Bank and Contingency Reserve Arrangement have been landmark achievements in this regard.

Having started with economic issues, the BRICS agenda has considerably expanded over the years.

Today, BRICS is shaping the global discourse significantly on issues ranging from SDGs, climate change, poverty alleviation, health, ICTs, corruption and norms of international law. We also need to work together for early reforms of the UN Security Council, so that this body continues to be relevant to the needs of beneficial in the 21st century.

We also need to work and fight together to eliminate international terrorism. in BRICS, UN Security Council and its various Committees. This should be done without any differentiation of a "good” or "bad” terrorist. A terrorist is a terrorist, and is someone who is acting against humanity as a whole.

Those countries whicho sponsor and harbour terrorists should be made to pay a price.

Friends,

During India’s BRICS Chairmanship, a series of events are being organised with special focus on youth. These include the BRICS Under-17 Football Tournament, Young Diplomats’ Forum, Young Scientists’ Conclave, Film Festival, Urbanisation Forum, Smart Cities Workshop, Local Bodies Conference, Wellness Conclave and Convention on Tourism.

Making BRICS people-centric has been India’s priority. It is in this regard that we are organising BRICS events across the cities and provinces of India. The Summit itself will be held in October in Goa, a State in western India, famous for its churches, beaches and cuisine.

Similarly, the BRICS Youth Summit is being organised in Guwahati, the capital of Assam in north-Eastern India, which has its own distinctive cultural characteristics. This will give you a glimpse of the diversity of India.

I am confident each one of you as BRICS Ambassadors will carry your India-experience and happy memories to your families and friends in your countries.

I am confident wish you all a very pleasant stay in India and hope your deliberations will enrich BRICS efforts in mainstreaming youth in our programmes.

Let me end by a quote from Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of our Nation, who said, "We must become the change we want to see.” You, the youth of BRICS, are the ones who can translate this vision into reality, by working as enlightened global citizens. The youth of BRICS can show the value of cooperation and consensus to the world.

I wish you a pleasant stay in India and the very best in all your future endeavours.

Thank you.

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