New Delhi: Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday underlined that multilateralism, international trade free of constraints and a rules-based world order were facing “strong headwinds" as she called for concerted action by the BRICS nations against money laundering, terrorist-financing and de-radicalisation.

Swaraj is on a five-day trip to South Africa to attend the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) foreign ministers’ meeting. The meeting is aimed at laying the foundation for the annual summit of the grouping in Johannesburg next month, which is expected to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In her speech, Swaraj called for joint action among the BRICS nations against challenges to long-term growth.

“Our meeting today takes place at a time when multilateralism, international trade, and a rules-based world order face strong headwinds," Swaraj said, according to a text made available by the Indian foreign ministry.

“Though global growth has exhibited signs of recovery, the challenges to long-term growth continue to persist. Ensuring that the benefits of globalisation are shared widely remains a challenge," she said.

“Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi had given a call for a BRICS Counter-Terrorism Strategy for joint-action with a focus on money laundering, terrorist-finance, cyber-space and de-radicalisation as our priorities," Swaraj said.

“Our leaders have also called for making the UN Counter Terrorism framework efficient and effective. We reiterate our commitment to implement our leaders’ mandate on counter terrorism under South Africa’s BRICS chairship," she said.

The five nations brought together almost 42% of the global population and had recorded impressive economic growth, Swaraj said later at a press conference.

“BRICS meetings are keenly watched world over and our decisions have profound impact globally. In today’s meeting we exchanged views on current issues of global significance in political, security, and economic spheres," she said.

The other foreign ministers attending the meeting were China’s Wang Yi, South Africa’s Lindiwe Sisulu, Brazil’s Marcos Bezerra Abbott Galvao and Russia’s Sergey Lavrov.

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