In a landmark decision, members of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) on August 24 declared expansion of the grouping by welcoming six new countries into the fold. Announcing the decision at the end of the 15th BRICS summit at Johannesburg, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said addition of new members would strengthen the outfit and increase confidence in the idea of multipolar world order. Current Chair of BRICS South African President Cyril Ramaphosa presented the Johannesburg Declaration, the outcome document of the summit, and made an indirect reference to the Ukraine conflict saying the grouping’s members had sought “peaceful resolution” of disputes.
“I am happy that our teams have built consensus on the guiding principles, standards, criteria, and procedures for expansion of BRICS. On this basis we have agreed to welcome Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and the United Arab Emirates into BRICS. I congratulate the leaders and the people of these countries,” Mr. Modi said, expressing confidence that together with the new members, BRICS would be able to have new dynamism and energy in its actions.
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The decision to expand BRICS was taken 13 years after the organisation was last expanded with the addition of South Africa in 2010. Originally consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China, BRICS was envisioned as a global-level outfit of major economies that are playing an increasingly important role in the post-Cold War world order.
Mr. Modi said India had warm relation with the six countries who were set to be the new BRICS members from next January and added, “India is trying to build consensus so that some countries that have expressed desire to join BRICS can work as partner countries.”
Mr. Ramaphosa announced that the BRICS had adopted the Johannesburg Declaration.
“We reiterate our commitment to inclusive multilateralism and upholding international law, including the purposes and principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter. We are concerned about the ongoing conflicts in many parts of the world. We stress our commitment to the peaceful resolution of differences and disputes through dialogue inclusive consultation,” Mr. Ramaphosa said. He also pointed at the growing disparity in the world which is yet to recover from the ravages of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Ramaphosa announced that Dilma Roussef, the president of the New Development Bank, has submitted a report about the scope of the bank and its vision. Mr. Modi also thanked everyone at the BRICS for greeting India on the successful soft landing of Chandrayaan- 3 on the south pole of the moon. He said the success of India’s moon mission was an achievement of the scientific community of the world.