• India
  • Jun 11

India participates in ministerial meeting of expanded BRICS

The foreign affairs ministers of BRICS nations met in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia on June 10. 

It was the first ministerial meeting following BRICS expansion in 2023 when Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE joined BRICS as full-fledged members.

India welcomed the new member countries joining the BRICS as their representatives attended a key meeting of the grouping.

The BRICS nations

• The BRICS nations or Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa form the key pillars of south-south cooperation and are the representative voice of emerging markets and developing countries in the global forums such as the G20.

• The grouping has become a 10-nation body now with Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates joining it as new members.

• With the new states joining, the bloc now accounts for 37.3 per cent of the world’s GDP. 

• The acronym BRIC was first used in 2001 by Goldman Sachs in their Global Economics Paper, ‘The World Needs Better Economic BRICs’ on the basis of econometric analyses projecting that the four economies would individually and collectively occupy far greater economic space and would be amongst the world’s largest economies in the next 50 years or so.

• The leaders of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) countries met for the first time in St. Petersburg, Russia, on the margins of the G8 Outreach Summit in July 2006. Shortly afterwards, in September 2006, the group was formalised as BRIC during the First BRIC Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, which met on the sidelines of the General Debate of the UN Assembly in New York City.

• After a series of high level meetings, the first BRIC summit was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia on June 16, 2009.

• It was agreed to expand BRIC into BRICS with the inclusion of South Africa at the BRIC Foreign Ministers meeting in New York in September 2010. Accordingly, South Africa attended the third BRICS Summit in Sanya on April 14, 2011. 

• In 2014, the BRICS nations established the New Development Bank (NDB). It has an initial authorised capital of $100 billion and initial subscribed capital of $50 billion of which $10 billion is paid-in capital.

Expansion of BRICS

• BRICS leaders have left the door open to future enlargement as dozens more countries voiced interest in joining a grouping.

• Around 40 countries had shown interest in joining BRICS out of which 23 formally applied for the membership.

• In August 2023, the top BRICS leaders at the grouping’s summit in Johannesburg approved a proposal to admit six countries, including Argentina, into the bloc with effect from January 1. However, Argentina’s President Javier Milei announced withdrawing his country from becoming a member of the BRICS.

• The decision to expand the bloc is seen as an effort to reshape global governance while putting the voices of the Global South as a key priority area to advance the overall development agenda.

• Russia assumed the presidency of BRICS on January 1, 2024.

• Russia’s presidency features more than 250 various events, with a BRICS summit in Kazan in October 2024 being the central one.

• Russian chairmanship under the motto ‘Strengthening Multilateralism For Equitable Global Development And Security’ will focus on positive and constructive cooperation with all concerned countries.

Highlights of the ministerial meeting in Russia:

• The ministers exchanged views on major global and regional trends and issues. They reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the framework of BRICS Strategic Partnership under the three pillars of cooperation: 

i) Politics and security

ii) Economy and finance

iii) Cultural and people-to-people exchanges. 

• They reaffirmed their commitment to the BRICS spirit featuring mutual respect and understanding, equality, solidarity, openness, inclusiveness, and consensus.

• The BRICS foreign ministers voiced their support for a comprehensive reform of the United Nations, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more democratic, representative, effective and efficient.

• Voicing their concern about ongoing conflicts in many parts of the world, the ministers reiterated their commitment to the peaceful resolution of disputes through diplomacy, inclusive dialogue and consultations in a coordinated and cooperative manner and supported all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of crises.

• The BRICS ministers expressed grave concern at the deterioration of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in particular the unprecedented escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip as a result of the Israeli military operation that led to mass civilian displacement, death and casualties, and destruction of civilian infrastructure.

• They reaffirmed their support for Palestine’s full membership in the United Nations and reiterated their unwavering commitment to the vision of the two-state solution based on international law. 

• The ministers also underscored the importance of the enhanced use of local currencies in trade and financial transactions between the BRICS countries.

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