Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said terrorism has resulted in a loss of $1 trillion to the world economy and described it as the “biggest threat” to development, peace, and prosperity. Modi, who is on a two-day visit to Brazil, made the remarks at the 11th Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Summit.

“According to some estimates, the economic growth of developing nations has decreased by 1.5% due to terrorism,” Modi said at the BRICS Plenary Session at the Itamaraty Palace in Brazil. The prime minister said that terror attacks had claimed around 2.25 lakh people and caused severe damage to societies.

“The atmosphere of doubt created by terrorism, terror financing, drug trafficking and organised crime indirectly and deeply harms trade and business,” Modi said, adding that he was happy that the first seminar on BRICS Strategies for Countering Terrorism was organised. He added that he hoped such efforts would continue and thereby strengthen the cooperation against terrorism and other organised crimes.

In a joint statement, the five nations condemned all forms of terrorism and said it should not be linked to any nationality, religion or civilisation. “We urge for concerted efforts to fight against terrorism under UN auspices in accordance with international law, recognise the primary role of states and their competent authorities in preventing and countering terrorism and express our conviction that a comprehensive approach is necessary to ensure effective results in combating terrorism,” the statement said, according to PTI.

The statement highlighted the responsibility of all the countries to prevent terror financing and activities including those originating from their territories.

In his address, Modi proposed to hold the first meeting of BRICS water ministers in India, adding that sustainable management of the resource along with sanitation was a challenge in urban spaces. The prime minister also spoke about the ‘Fit India Movement’ and said he wanted to increase networking between the nations on fitness and health.

Modi pointed out that special attention should be paid to mutual trade and investments, and said that intra-BRICS trade contributed to only 15% of the global trade despite the countries’ combined population was 40% of the world’s populace.

“Now we need to discuss the direction of BRICS, and how to mutually cooperate more effective in the next 10 years,” Modi said. “The theme of this summit – ‘Economic growth for an innovative future’, is very apt. Innovation has become the basis of our development. Therefore, it is necessary that we strengthen cooperation for innovation under BRICS.”

Leaders of the five nations opened the summit on Thursday where discussions on key areas such as trade, counter-terrorism, and investment were held. Brazil is the current chair of the group, which represents more than 3.6 billion people, or half of the global population. The countries have a combined Gross Domestic Product of $16.6 trillion.

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