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BRICS To Meet In South Africa; Putin To Not Attend

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Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) are scheduled to meet in South Africa next week to brainstorm on creating a global force of nations accounting for a quarter of its economy to challenge the dominance of the West.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be part of the meeting. The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against Putin. Meanwhile, The BRICS leaders are considering broadening the membership of the bloc to include various nations from the “Global South” who are willing to join.

The BRICS summit will take place in South Africa from August 22 to 24 and will be attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The fundamental factor that unites the BRICS, which are otherwise far disconnected in geography and have distinct economies, is mistrust towards a global order that they perceive as serving the interests of the United States and its rich-country allies who endorse international standards they enforce but ones they occasionally disregard.

There isn’t much information about what they’ll be talking about, but according to South Africa, over 40 countries have expressed interest in attending, either formally or informally. Saudi Arabia, Argentina, and Egypt are among them.

Brazil is opposing BRICS enlargement out of concern that it will weaken the already cumbersome club’s prestige. China wants to fast broaden the bloc in an effort to increase its geopolitical power as it struggles with the US.

China’s foreign ministry stated in a written response to questions from Reuters that it “supports progress in expanding membership, and welcomes more like-minded partners to join the ‘BRICS family’ at an early date.”

South Africa, Russia’s most significant ally in Africa, is eager to bring in new members as Russia seeks allies to overcome its diplomatic isolation over the Ukraine.

India is undecided.

BRICS- Goal of global governance reform

This is the bloc’s 15th summit with the theme “BRICS and Africa,” a tribute to its African hosts. It emphasises how the group can forge relationships with a continent that is quickly turning into a battleground for global dominance.

In an apparent jab at Western hegemony, South Africa’s foreign minister Naledi Pandor said last week that the BRICS nations wanted to demonstrate “global leadership in addressing the needs… of the majority of the world, namely… development and inclusion of the Global South in multilateral systems.”

The BRICS countries are eager to position themselves as alternatives to the West as development partners. The foreign ministry of China stated that the goal of BRICS was to “reform global governance systems (to) increase the representation … of developing countries and emerging markets.”

By dedollarizing banking and providing an alternative to the heavily condemned Breton Woods institutions, the bloc’s New Development Bank (NDB) aims to address criticism of the dollar.

However, in over ten years, it has only granted $33 billion in loans, or approximately one-third of the amount the World Bank promised to give out just last year. Additionally, it has recently been constrained by sanctions imposed on member Russia.

The BRICS currency, which Brazil proposed earlier this year as a possible alternative to the dollar’s hegemony, is not on the agenda, according to South African officials.

With 40% of the world’s population, the carbon-intensive BRICS countries account for roughly the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change may come up, but officials in Brazil, China, and South Africa said they wouldn’t prioritise it.

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