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BRICS agrees on group expansion mechanisms

August 24, 2023 at 9:20 am

A general view of the 15th BRICS summit in Johannesburg, South Africa on August 22, 2023 [BRICS/Handout – Anadolu Agency]

The BRICS group of nations has adopted a document that sets out guidelines and principles for the group’s expansion, South Africa’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor said yesterday according to Reuters.

Establishing a framework and criteria for admitting new members has been at the top of the agenda at this week’s BRICS summit in Johannesburg.

While all BRICS members – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – have publicly expressed support for growing the bloc, they have been divided over how many countries to admit and how quickly.

More than 40 nations have expressed an interest in joining BRICS.

“We have agreed on the matter of expansion. We have a document that we have adopted that sets out the guidelines and principles, processes for considering countries that wish to become members of the BRICS,” Pandor said.

Agreement to expand BRICS paves the way for dozens of countries interested in joining the bloc, which pledged to give the “Global South” more clout in world affairs.

Bloc heavyweight China has long called for an expansion of BRICS as a means of fostering a multipolar world order to challenge Western dominance.

“The world … has entered a new period of turbulence and transformation,” China’s President Xi Jinping said yesterday. “We, the BRICS countries, should always bear in mind our founding purpose of strengthening ourselves through unity.”

BRICS, in its current composition, represents 40 per cent of the world’s population and a quarter of the global GDP.

An infographic titled "15th BRICS Summit" is created in Ankara, Turkiye on August 21, 2023 [Elmurod Usubaliev/Anadolu Agency]

An infographic titled “15th BRICS Summit” is created in Ankara, Turkiye on August 21, 2023 [Elmurod Usubaliev/Anadolu Agency]