On Friday, the BRICS group of major developing economies convened to strengthen connections and position itself as a counterweight to the West. Senior officials from over a dozen nations, including Saudi Arabia and Iran, discussed stronger ties with the group.
With an increasing number of nations, particularly from the global South, expressing interest in joining, BRICS, which currently consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, is considering expanding its membership.
BRICS was once thought of as a loose coalition of many rising economies, but in recent years, it has taken on a more defined form, led at first by China then, since the beginning of the Ukraine War in February 2022, with additional push from Russia.
Foreign Minister of the host nation, South Africa, Naledi Pandor, opened Friday’s proceedings by praising the bloc as a protector of the poor world, which she claimed had been neglected by developed nations and international organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Cooperation around the world has deteriorated. “Developed nations are attempting to shift all accountability on the global South because they have never kept their promises to the developing world, according to Pandor.
An official program for the so-called “Friends of BRICS” discussions in Cape Town revealed that delegates from Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Comoros, Gabon, and Kazakhstan had all traveled there.
Virtual participants included Egypt, Argentina, Bangladesh, Guinea-Bissau, and Indonesia.
BRICS powerhouse China expressed its desire for the union to begin the process of admitting additional members last year. Additionally, other club members mentioned nations they would want to see join.
Officials, however, stated on Thursday that more work remained to be done and that caution should be exercised.
Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira said, “BRICS is a history of success.” We must protect the group since it is a brand and an asset.
The guiding principles, norms, criteria, and procedures of an expanded BRICS grouping were discussed during the talks, according to Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Thursday.
He continued, “This is still a work in progress.
India’s foreign ministry has already emphasized that rather than considering applications on an individual basis, a single strategy is required for such an extension.
The foreign ministers wanted to finish the framework for new member admissions before the BRICS leaders met in Johannesburg for a meeting in August, according to South Africa’s Pandor.
Due to the potential attendance of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is the subject of an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC), summit preparations are proceeding under a cloud of controversy.
In the event that Putin attended the conference, South Africa would be under pressure as an ICC member to detain him.
According to Pretoria, legal alternatives for hosting the Russian president are still being considered.