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Key Highlights of the 15th BRICS Summit

Context:

The 15th BRICS summit hosted by South Africa in Johannesburg, holds significant importance against the backdrop of geopolitical changes and global economic dynamics.

The theme for the 15th BRICS Summit is “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism”.

Relevance:

GS II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key Highlights of the 15th BRICS Summit
  2. What is BRICS?

Key Highlights of the 15th BRICS Summit

Expansion of Membership

  • BRICS expanded its membership from five to eleven countries, aiming to increase its global influence.
  • Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Ethiopia, and Argentina joined, broadening BRICS’ representation across Middle East, Africa, and South America.
  • Full membership will be effective from January 1, 2024.

Diverse Economic Landscape

  • The original BRIC members shared large economies and growth potential.
  • The expanded BRICS-11 is more varied, some facing crises and others thriving, potentially leading to an expanded agenda beyond economics.

India-China Relations

  • The summit held significance for India post the military standoff with China.
  • Bilateral talks between the Indian PM and Chinese President focused on troop disengagement and de-escalation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

India’s Role and Objectives

  • India played a pivotal role in setting membership criteria and fostering partnerships among new members.
  • India utilizes BRICS to expand its network of allies and bolster its global influence.
  • India sees BRICS as a diverse platform, not an anti-western alliance.

Space Exploration and Conservation

  • India proposed establishing a BRICS space exploration consortium to advance collaboration in space technology and research.
  • India advocated BRICS collaboration under the International Big Cat Alliance for the protection of endangered big cats.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine

  • The summit took place following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, leading to discussions with a “counter-western” perspective.

UN Reform and Climate Change

  • BRICS members supported comprehensive United Nations reform, including the Security Council, for greater democracy and representation.
  • Commitment to address climate change challenges and transition to a low-carbon economy.
  • BRICS nations criticized trade barriers imposed by developed countries under the pretext of climate change.

What is BRICS?

  • BRICS is the international grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
  • This was set up as a move towards greater multi­polarity; hence the spread across three continents and both hemispheres.
  • In terms of GDP, China occupies the second position; India the fifth; Brazil the ninth; Russia the 11th; and South Africa the 35th.
  • In terms of growth rates, China grew at 6%; India at 4.5%, Russia 1.7%, Brazil 1.2% and South Africa 0.1%.
  • BRICS does not exist in form of organization, but it is an annual summit between the supreme leaders of five nations.
  • The Chairmanship of the forum is rotated annually among the members, in accordance with the acronym B-R-I-C-S.
  • The BRICS seeks to deepen, broaden and intensify cooperation within the grouping and among the individual countries for more sustainable, equitable and mutually beneficial development.
  • BRICS takes into consideration each member’s growth, development and poverty objectives to ensure relations are built on the respective country’s economic strengths and to avoid competition where possible.
  • BRICS is emerging as a new and promising political-diplomatic entity with diverse objectives, far beyond the original objective of reforming global financial institutions.

-Source: The Hindu


March 2024
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