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Communique of BRICS Ministers of Communications on the outcomes of the meeting on "Expansion of Cooperation in the Field of Communications and ICTs"

 Moscow, 23 October 2015

The Parties acknowledged that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have become a key factor for sustainable economic and social growth and development. ICTs are of increasing importance in governance, business and social activities and their impact will increase in the future. There is a common agreement on the importance of ICTs as essential tools for the growth and advancement of developing countries. Expansion of cooperation in the field of ICTs should therefore ensure universal access and be based on an understanding of the needs of government, business and society. Universal access is not qualified merely by quantitative access to the Internet, but embraces appropriate access to ICTs and media that government, business and society can use in moving from an information society towards a knowledge society. Taking into account the importance of broadband access for society, the economy and government, the Parties consider facilitating the implementation and use of high-speed (broadband) access to the Internet as an important part of BRICS ICTs strategies. 

The Parties have noted the existing imbalance in the development and distribution of software and IT equipment and find it necessary to ensure joint efforts towards the diversification of the world market of software and IT equipment.

Noting the aspiration of BRICS countries in the field of ICT design and manufacturing, the Parties agreed to use their complementary strengths in these areas and resolved to work together to share best practices, skills and promote investment in these areas to achieve these goals. The Parties confirmed that universal and accessible Internet remains a priority for all of the BRICS countries in order to ensure social and economic development.

The Parties also consider it necessary to promote measures and facilitate favorable conditions for ensuring the progressive development of ICTs. These measures and conditions include factors such as the equitable use of security measures relating to the continuity and stability of the use of ICTs in all spheres of life and production. The Parties also note the need to strengthen international cooperation by sharing the opportunities and outcomes in the field of the Internet development with a particular focus on developing countries so that these countries can bridge the digital divide.

Noting that the Internet can be an important tool for the development and for the exercise of human rights, the Parties further confirmed the right of all States to establish and implement policies for information and communication networks in their territories in accordance with their respective history, culture, religion and social factors. Other States should understand and respect this right to self- determination.

Considering the necessity to ensure the secure, stable and continued operation and use of ICTs, including Internet, the Parties note the importance of the establishment of mechanism for the Internet governance based on the principles of multilateralism, democracy, transparency and mutual trust and involving relevant stakeholders in their respective roles and responsibilities.

This will in turn promote universal access to the Internet for everybody, participation of States in governing the Internet infrastructure, the sovereign rights of States to participate in governing the Internet in their respective jurisdictions in accordance with international law and the adherence to fundamental human rights and freedoms. The Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Communications of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People`s Republic of China, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Telecommunications and Postal Services of the Republic of South Africa therefore commit to the building of appropriate capacity for cooperation and interaction in the field of ICTs, to hold annual meetings of the BRICS Working Group on ICT Cooperation to further strengthen cooperation in the areas of ICTs, including Internet.

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