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BRICS countries anticipate a worldwide geopolitical transformation since they are “strong enough today”

Aug 21, 2023 | Politics | 0 comments

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This week, leaders of the BRICS developing economies, who account for 25% of the world’s wealth, gather in Johannesburg to expand their influence and change global geopolitics.

Cyril Ramaphosa will welcome China’s President Xi Jinping, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Brazil’s President Lula da Silva for the annual three-day summit on Tuesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will participate remotely.

Putin declined to go because South Africa is obligated to implement an International Criminal Court arrest order if he enters.

Sergei Lavrov will visit Johannesburg instead.

The BRICS represent billions of people across three continents with various degrees of progress and resentment for a global system they regard as benefiting affluent Western countries.

“The old global governance structure has become inefficient, weak and absent in action,” said Chinese ambassador to Pretoria Chen Xiaodong, at a briefing on Friday. The BRICS are “increasingly becoming a fierce force in protecting international justice”.

BRICS membership is rising, with at least 40 nations expressing interest and 23 submitting applications.

‘Polarized world’
South Africa’s ambassador-at-large for Asia and the BRICS, Anil Sooklal, told AFP on Friday that “the highly divided world we live in, that has been further polarised by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and where nations are being compelled to choose sides” is one reason countries are joining.

“South countries don’t want to be told who to support, how to act, or how to run their sovereign affairs. Now powerful enough to establish their viewpoints, “said Sooklal.

The BRICS have given nations hope for reorganizing the global “architecture”, he remarked.

“The largest markets are now in the Global South… yet we are still marginalized in global decision-making.”

International politics professor Lebogang Legodi at the University of Limpopo said many governments interested in joining “are viewing BRICS as an alternative to the present predominance” in global affairs.

During the summit, a conference centre in Johannesburg’s Sandton, the continent’s wealthiest square mile, will host a “friends of BRICS” event for 50 international leaders.

This year’s topic is “BRICS and Africa: Collaboration for mutually enhanced growth, sustainable development and inclusive multilateralism”.

Steven Gruzd of the Africa-Russia Africa project at the South African Institute of International Affairs called it “a significant turning moment.”

“The multilateral system is stressed,” he remarked.

After the meeting, Sooklal expects a BRICS membership expansion decision.

On Saturday, a confident Ramaphosa assured the governing ANC in Johannesburg that “we are going to have a terrific BRICS conference”.

He said the various heads of state “goes to highlight the power and the effect that South Africa” has worldwide.

Experts monitoring the BRICS need to be more bullish about the meeting’s results.

“I don’t believe this conference will produce major outcomes since Western nations have influence. While increasing, China is not yet the dominating power “said Gruzd of SAIIA.

Founded in 2009, the BRICS represent 23% of the global GDP and 42% of the world’s population.

The alliance accounts for around 16% of global commerce.

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