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Joint Communiqué of the 14th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation, the Republic of India and the People's Republic of China

April 18, 2016

  • The Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation, the Republic of India and the People's Republic of China held their 14thMeeting in Moscow, Russian Federation, on 18 April 2016.
  • The Ministers agreed that Russia, India and China (RIC), as countries with important influence at international and regional levels and emerging market economies, need to further strengthen practical coordination on global and regional issues in the spirit of openness, solidarity, mutual understanding and trust. They emphasized that cooperation between their countries is conducive to maintaining international and regional peace and stability and promoting global economic growth and prosperity.
  • Ministers reiterated their common vision of the ongoing profound changes in the world as a transition to a more just and democratic multi-polar international system based on the central role of the United Nations and international law. The Ministers underlined the importance of strengthening coordination of efforts on global issues and practical cooperation in the spirit of solidarity, mutual understanding and trust. They reaffirmed the need to respect diversity of civilizations and the independent choice of development path and social system by people of all countries. They remained confident that there is no alternative to collective methods of solving international problems and to peaceful settlement of disputes through political and diplomatic means. They firmly oppose forced regime change from the outside in any country or attempts at extraterritorial use of national legislation in violation of norms of international law.
  • The Ministers reiterated their strong commitment to the United Nations as a universal multilateral organization entrusted with the mandate of helping the world community maintain international peace and security, advance common development, promote and protect human rights. The United Nations enjoys universal membership and is at the very center of global governance and multilateralism. The Ministers recalled the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document. They reaffirmed the need for a comprehensive reform of the United Nations, including its Security Council, with a view to make it more efficient and to increase the representation of the developing countries, so that it could better respond to global challenges. Foreign Ministers of China and Russia reiterated the importance they attached to the status of India in international affairs and supported its aspiration to play a greater role in the United Nations.
  • The Ministers underlined the importance of establishment of a just and equitable international order based on international law. In this respect they indicated the necessity for elaborating coordinated approaches regarding the strengthening of the legal basis of international relations and strict compliance by all states with their international legal obligations. The Ministers emphasized the importance of such core principles of international law as refraining from the threat or use of force, peaceful settlement of disputes, respect for state sovereignty and non-interference into internal affairs of other states.
  • 6. The Ministers agreed that the imposition of unilateral sanctions, which exceed the ones agreed by the United Nations Security Council, is inconsistent with principles of international law, undermines the prerogatives of the United Nations Security Council as set forth in the UN Charter, reduces effectiveness of its sanctions regimes, disproportionally affects States against which they are imposed, as well as, when applied extra-territorially, has a negative impact upon third States and international trade and economic relations at large. Good-faith implementation of principles of sovereign equality of States, non-intervention in the internal affairs of States and cooperation excludes imposition of unilateral coercive measures not based on international law.
  • The Ministers reiterated their commitment to strengthening coordination and cooperation in a joint effort to maintain lasting peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region. The Ministers pledged to work together to seek common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security. They called for the development of an open, inclusive, indivisible and transparent security and cooperation architecture in the region on the basis of universally recognized principles of international law. In this regard, they confirmed their commitment towards continued discussion on regional security architecture in the Asia Pacific region under the framework of the East Asia Summit through the workshop on Regional Security Architecture and other appropriate channels and agreed to hold the first trilateral Russia-India-China consultation on Asia Pacific affairs in China by the end of this year.The Ministers recognized that APEC is of great significance in achieving long-term development and common prosperity of the Asia Pacific region. Acknowledging India's important role in driving global economic growth, and supporting the openness of APEC, China and Russia reiterated that they would welcome India’s participation in APEC.
  • The Ministers welcomed the successful 7thBRICS Summit held in Ufa on 9 July 2015 including the adoption of the Strategy for the BRICS Economic Partnership. They emphasized the importance of further strengthening and broadening BRICS strategic partnership based on the principles of openness, solidarity, equality and mutual understanding, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation. The Ministers noted the enhanced role of BRICS countries in international affairs and their coordinated efforts based on consensus among all the BRICS States in responding to emerging challenges, ensuring peace and security, cooperation in tackling financial and economic issues, promoting sustainable development, addressing poverty eradication, inequality and unemployment for the benefit of their peoples and the international community in general. The Ministers recognized that BRICS countries are confronted with new challenges in their respective economic development, but still have broad prospects with strong growth momentum and will continue to be a critical engine for the global economic growth. The Ministers welcomed the establishment of the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, which will contribute to the stability of the international financial system and the development of the emerging markets and developing countries.

    They now look forward to operationalization of NDB’s mandate through contributions in fields of infrastructure and development among the BRICS and other developing countries. The Ministers also committed full support to enhance further BRICS’ institutional network through innovative initiatives. Russia and China declared their full support to India’s chairmanship in BRICS and a successful 8thBRICS Summit to be hosted in Goa on 15-16 October 2016.
  • Russia, India and China attach special importance to their joint work within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), regarding it as one of the key instruments in promoting multilateral political, security, economic and people-to-people interaction in the region. China and India highly praised the outcomes of Russia’s Chairmanship in the SCO in 2014-2015. Foreign Ministers of China and Russia reiterated the commitment of their countries to full and early implementation of the decisions of the SCO Summit Meeting in Ufa on 10 July 2015, and actively pushing forward the process of accession of India to the SCO. India expresses its willingness to become a full member of the SCO as early as possible so as to make greater contribution to the development of the SCO. It was agreed to work towards signing the Memorandum on India’s Obligations for Obtaining the Status of SCO Member State by the Organization’s Summit in Tashkent in June 2016.
  • The Ministers further underlined the necessity to strengthen coordination and cooperation in various regional forums and organizations such as ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus), Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), so as to contribute to maintaining regional peace and stability and to promote regional development and prosperity.
  • The Ministers confirmed their strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stressed that there can be no justification whatsoever for any acts of terrorism, whether based upon ideological, religious, political, racial, ethnic or any other reasons. The Ministers are determined to consistently strengthen cooperation between China, India and Russia in preventing and countering international terrorism, both bilaterally and tri-laterally. They stressed that the UN has a central role in coordinating multilateral interaction against terrorism, which must be conducted in accordance with international law, including the UN Charter, as well as refugee and humanitarian law and international human rights law. They reemphasized the need to bring to justice perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of terrorist acts. They called for early conclusion of negotiations on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.

    The Ministers underlined that terrorist threats can be effectively addressed through comprehensive implementation by states of their commitments and obligations arising from relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. They urged all states to unite their efforts in countering terrorism. In this regard the Ministers expressed their support for the formation of a broad counter-terrorist front with the UN playing a central role pursuant to the initiative of the President of the Russian Federation announced at the general debate at the 70thsession of the UN General Assembly.

    Russia, India and China are deeply concerned about the threat of WMD falling into the hands of terrorist groups, including the use of chemicals and biological agents for terrorist purposes. The Ministers emphasize the need to address the threat of chemical and biological terrorism through intensified meaningful work in international fora. In this context they express a firm determination to explore actively the modalities of launching negotiations to elaborate an international convention for the suppression of acts of chemical and biological terrorism at the Conference on Disarmament which has already made an invaluable contribution to the reduction of the chemical weapons threat through successful elaboration of the Biological and Chemical Weapons Conventions.

    The Ministers emphasized that effective fight against terrorism is impossible without countering terrorism financing. They called upon all states to fully implement the UN Security Council Resolution 2199 that prohibits trade in oil and other natural resources with the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). In this regard the Ministers welcomed the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 2253 aimed at preventing financial and other economic support to ISIL and affiliated terrorist organizations. The Ministers also underlined the need to strengthen practical cooperation between the UN Security Council and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in preventing terrorist financing. They urged FATF to identify states, legal entities and individuals involved in financial and economic relations with terrorist organizations.

    The Ministers expressed deep concern about the world drug problem, primarily about the illicit production and trafficking of opiates, cocaine and synthetic drugs, including new psychoactive substances, which continue to threaten security and stability, undermine sustainable economic development and adversely affect public health and well-being. The Ministers plan to address the world drug problem with an integrated and balanced approach to drug supply and demand reduction strategies in line with the UN conventions of 1961, 1971 and 1988 and other relevant norms and principles of international law. Russia, India and China take into account the unprecedented global growth in the production and demand of narcotic drugs and reaffirm their commitment to the implementation of the political Declaration and Plan of Action on International Cooperation towards an Integrated and Balanced Strategy to Counter the World Drug Problem adopted in 2009 at the 64thsession of the UN General Assembly, as well as the Joint Ministerial Statement of the 2014 High-Level Review by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. These documents provide a solid basis for an open and inclusive UN General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem scheduled to be held on 19-21 April 2016.
  • The Ministers emphasized the need to strengthen cooperation to counter the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) including the Internet in violation of the UN Charter as well as for terrorist and other criminal purposes. In this regard they reaffirmed common views set forth in the Fortaleza (15 July 2014) and Ufa (9 July 2015) declarations of BRICS summits.

    The Ministers reaffirmed the key role of the United Nations in addressing issues of security in the use of ICTs. They support the elaboration and adoption of universal rules of responsible behavior of states in the use of ICTs to prevent conflicts in information space.

    The Ministers are particularly concerned over the use of ICTs including the Internet for the purposes of international organized crime, developing offensive tools and conducting acts of terrorism. In this regard they emphasized the need for a broader international universal regulatory binding instrument under UN auspices for combating the use of ICTs for criminal purposes. They underlined the importance of providing timely and appropriate responses to requests from one another for information and assistance concerning malicious incidents and activities in the use of ICTs and agreed to cooperate in this area.

    The Ministers highlighted that adherence to universally recognized principles of international law in the use of ICTs, in particular, the principles of political independence, territorial integrity and sovereign equality of states, respect for state sovereignty, non-intervention into the internal affairs of other states, as well as respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, is of paramount importance.

    The Ministers advocate a peaceful, open and secure Internet space. Considering the Internet a global resource, they are convinced that all states should participate in its evolution and functioning on an equal footing. In particular, the Ministers underlined the primary role of the States in promoting security, stability, and economic cooperation in the use of ICTs. The Ministers emphasized the need to ensure Internet governance based on multilateralism, democracy, transparency with multi-stakeholders in their respective roles and responsibilities. They noted the need to internationalize Internet governance and to enhance in this regard the role of International Telecommunication Union.
  • The Ministers reaffirmed that outer space should be preserved as a safe and conflict-free environment effectively serving peaceful purposes and, therefore, will take joint action to enhance the role of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. They highlighted that prevention of arms race in outer space is one of the key factors of maintaining international peace and security. In this regard they expressed support to the efforts in the Conference on Disarmament to elaborate an international legally-binding treaty banning placement of weapons in outer space and threat or use of force against outer space assets. They further noted that representatives of Russia, India and China are engaged in dialogue on issues related to the drafting, within the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, of a set of guidelines for the long-term sustainability of outer space activities, particularly those related to the safety of space operations, in line with UN General Assembly Resolution 70/82 adopted on 9 December 2015.
  • The Ministers discussed the latest developments in Afghanistan. Deeply concerned at the persisting security challenges in that country, they noted the significant increase in terrorist activities in Afghanistan. The Ministers affirmed their support to the efforts of the Afghan Government to achieve Afghan-led and Afghan-owned national reconciliation and combat terrorism, expressing readiness for constructive cooperation in order to facilitate security in Afghanistan, promote its independent political and economic course, becoming free from terrorism and drug trafficking. The Ministers expressed the view that capable and effective Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) should be the key to the stabilization of Afghanistan. In this regard, Russia, India and China emphasized the need for continued commitment of regional countries and wider international community, including the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission, which as the ISAF’s heir apparent has a key role in the ANSF capacity-building. The Ministers stressed the importance of multilateral region-led interaction on Afghan issues, primarily by those organizations which consist of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries and other regional states, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Collective Security Treaty Organization. In this regard they expressed hope for a productive outcome of the forthcoming Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference in India later this year so that regional countries in close partnership with and financially supported by international donors are able to enhance cooperation among themselves in Afghanistan.
  • The Ministers welcomed the beginning on 16 January 2016 of the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreed upon between E3/EU+3 and Iran in Vienna on 14 July 2015. They shared the view that the main objective is to enhance confidence of the international community with regards to the Iranian nuclear programme and for the IAEA to ultimately confirm that this programme is exclusively for peaceful purposes. The Ministers welcomed the fact that this complex issue was resolved through diplomatic means thus strengthening regional and global security as well as nuclear non-proliferation. They expressed readiness to exert all efforts in order to ensure sustainable implementation of the JCPOA and engagement of Iran in normal economic and political cooperation. It was also noted that the progress in lifting of the UN Security Council sanctions regime will contribute to the consideration, in accordance with the established procedures, of Iran’s application for full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
  • Ministers discussed the situation in Israel and Palestine. They supported a negotiated solution resulting in a sovereign, independent, viable and united State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living within secure and recognized borders, side by side at peace with Israel as endorsed in relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and the Quartet documents. They appealed to the international community and sponsors to provide continued assistance and support for alleviation of humanitarian situation in Palestine.
  • The Ministers welcomed the intra-Libya agreement signed in the Moroccan city of Skheirat on 17 December 2015 and United Nations Security Council Resolution 2259 adopted in this respect for settlement of crisis in Libya. In this regard they called on all Libyans who had not yet defined their position to join the Libyan Political Agreement and give necessary support to the Government of National Accord still under formation.
  • The Ministers discussed the latest developments in Syria. They reiterated that there is no military solution to the Syrian crisis. They welcomed the Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the United States on Cessation of Hostilities in Syria of 22 February 2016 and the resumption of Syrian-Syrian negotiations in Geneva under the UN auspices and urged the participants to act constructively and responsibly in order to achieve political settlement in Syria on the basis of the UN SC Resolution 2254 as soon as possible. They encouraged the activities of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) as an important multilateral mechanism of diplomatic assistance in the process of the Syrian settlement. The Ministers supported the efforts of UN Special Envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura and expressed the hope that peace returns to Syria in terms of the UN Resolutions.

    The Ministers appreciated international efforts to create a favorable atmosphere for Syrian peace talks.

    The Ministers welcomed the important achievements made in the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons, and complimented the Organizations for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in its efforts towards elimination and destruction of chemical weapons in Syria. They also called upon all parties in Syria and foreign stakeholders to implement relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions on Syria. They called upon the international community to abide by the guiding principles of the United Nations on humanitarian assistance.

    The Ministers hailed the liberation of Syrian Palmyra and welcomed unanimous approval by UNESCO Executive Board at its 199thSession of the Russia-drafted resolution on the role of this organization in restoring the ancient city of Palmyra and Syria’s other historical sites.
  • The Ministers expressed their respect for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq. They fully support the efforts of the Iraqi government to combat terrorism and restore its control over the territories taken by the so called Islamic State of Iraq and Levant. The Ministers strongly condemned mass killings and oppressions and other barbaric crimes and medieval atrocities, including those targeting minorities and cultural heritage, committed on a daily basis by religious extremists and terrorists. They expressed hope that all ethnic and confessional parties in Iraq enhance reconciliation as the only way to overcome ongoing turmoil and bring long-awaited peace for the Iraqi people. In this regard the Ministers called on all parties to support an all-inclusive national reconciliation process in Iraq taking into account the interests of all segments of the Iraqi society. The Ministers also urged the international community to provide continued assistance and humanitarian support for Iraqi refugees and internally displaced people.
  • The Ministers welcome the achieved ceasefire in the east of Ukraine generally observed by the parties and urged them to make it sustainable. They stressed that there is no military solution to the conflict and the only way to reconciliation is through inclusive political dialogue. In this regard all parties to the conflict are called to comply with all the provisions of the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements adopted in February 2015 in Minsk by the Contact Group on Ukraine supported by the leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine and endorsed by the UN Security Council Resolution 2202.
  • Russia, India and China are committed to maintaining a legal order for the seas and oceans based on the principles of international law, as reflected notably in the UN Convention on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS). All related disputes should be addressed through negotiations and agreements between the parties concerned. In this regard the Ministers called for full respect of all provisions of UNCLOS, as well as the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and the Guidelines for the implementation of the DOC.
  • The Ministers noted that as the world economy slowly recovers from the recent global financial crisis it still faces significant downside risks and challenges like high unemployment and debt levels, growing volatility of the capital markets and the low price of bulk commodities. Emerging market economies in general have been showing signs of relative slowdown.

    In this context the international community should work towards coordinating their actions to secure a strong economic recovery and foster sustainable and balanced growth. Further macroeconomic coordination and support for innovation and structural reform amongst all major economies, in particular in the G20, remain a critical factor for strengthening the prospects for a strong and sustainable recovery worldwide. Russia and India welcome and support the efforts of China to host the G20 Summit in 2016. The Ministers reiterate their readiness to contribute to its successful results.
  • The Ministers expressed their support for improved global economic governance to ensure sound, stable and balanced growth of the world economy. They welcomed the implementation of 2010 IMF Quota and Governance Reforms and called on the IMF to continue to carry out reforms in order to increase the voice and representation of emerging markets and developing countries as soon as possible. The Ministers reaffirmed their strong support for joint efforts to further develop and strengthen an open, transparent, rules-based, non-discriminatory and inclusive multilateral trading system that contributes to growth, sustainable development and employment generation in all sectors. They recognized the central role of the WTO in setting the universal rules and principles of international trade. The Ministers welcomed the outcomes of the 10thWTO Ministerial Conference held in Nairobi, Kenya on 15-18 December 2015 and pledged to continue to contribute significantly to progress aimed at advancing negotiation of the WTO Doha Round. The Ministers reaffirmed the need to ensure that bilateral and regional trade agreements (RTAs) remain complementary to the multilateral trading system as embodied in the WTO. In this context, they underlined the importance of ensuring transparency and openness of Regional Trade Agreements. The Ministers also stressed the necessity of cooperation within the WTO among all interested parties with the view of ensuring the interconnectivity and harmonization of regional economic integration projects.
  • The Ministers stated that despite the financial crisis, emerging markets and fast developing countries have not only helped stabilize the global economy but have also contributed significantly to global growth. They confirmed that their respective countries remain committed to deliver constructive responses to global economic and financial challenges and to promote sustainable development, foster financial stability, support sustainable, stronger and inclusive growth, create quality jobs and contribute to more representative international economic governance. They expressed conviction that all countries should enjoy due rights, equal opportunities and fair participation in global economic, financial and trade affairs. They reaffirm their strong support for an open world economy with efficient allocation of resources, free flow of goods and fair and orderly competition to the benefit of all.
  • The Ministers fully recognized the significance of the UN Summit for the adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda held in September 2015. They welcomed the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development including the Sustainable Development Goals that are integrated, indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental. They reaffirmed commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and called for enhanced efforts at all levels towards the timely achievement of the SDGs, taking into account various national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities. The Ministers underlined that the 2030 Agenda, including the SDGs, can be met within the framework of a revitalized Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, supported by the concrete policies and actions as outlined in the outcome document of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development held in Addis Ababa on 13-16 July 2015. Recognizing that each country has primary responsibilities for its own economic and social development, the Ministers stressed the need to further promote mobilization and effective use of financial resources as well as capacity-building and the transfer of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on mutually agreed terms. They emphasized that national development efforts need to be supported by an enabling international economic environment as well as strengthened and enhanced global economic governance.
  • The Ministers expressed appreciation to the outcomes of the 21stSession of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11thSession of the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol held on 30 November – 13 December 2015. They confirmed that Russia, India and China are ready to work actively and constructively towards fulfillment of the decisions of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties necessary for the timely entry into force and implementation of the Paris Agreement.
  • The Ministers stressed the importance of regional connectivities, which will inject strong impetus in enhancing political mutual trust, economic cooperation, and promoting cultural and people-to-people exchanges. In this context, they welcomed synergy of various initiatives to improve regional connectivity in Asia. They emphasized the necessity to explore all connectivity options for greater economic integration of the common region and stressed that the three countries will closely coordinate and work together to ensure that various initiatives mutually agreed upon bear fruit and benefit all countries and people in the region. The Ministers also welcomed the role to be played by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in enhancing connectivity in the region.
  • The Ministers agreed that Russia, India and China should enhance their cooperation between think-tanks, promote parliamentary, media, cultural, film and television and youth exchanges, including visits of young diplomats. They expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the 14thTrilateral Academic Conference held in China in May 2015 and welcomed the 15thTrilateral Academic Conference to be held in India later this year.
  • The Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China and the External Affairs Minister of the Republic of India extended their warm appreciation and sincere gratitude to the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation for hosting and making excellent arrangements for the meeting in Moscow.
  • The Ministers decided to hold the next trilateral meeting in India. The time and venue of the meeting will be agreed through diplomatic channels.
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