New Delhi: The BRICS summit hosted by South Africa has announced the extension of invitations to six nations, signifying a remarkable expansion of the consortium of developing economies. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have received invitations alongside Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Iran.
These countries have been granted full membership status within the BRICS bloc, a revelation shared by Cyril Ramaphosa, the summit's host, during a press briefing on the concluding day of the BRICS Summit.
The focal point of discussions during the 15th BRICS summit in Johannesburg revolved around the strategic enlargement of the BRICS coalition, originally comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
Commending President Ramaphosa for orchestrating this historic summit on the 15th anniversary of BRICS, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed unwavering support for the decision to expand the group's membership.
The Prime Minister asserted that this move would not only fortify BRICS as an organization but also invigorate collective efforts for shared pursuits.
Emphasizing the significance of the decision, the Prime Minister elaborated, "This stride will amplify the confidence of numerous nations in the concept of a multipolar global order. I am pleased that, through joint endeavours, we have established the guiding principles, criteria, and protocols for expansion. Building upon these foundations, we are delighted to welcome Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and the UAE into the BRICS fold."
Expressing optimism about the future collaboration, the Prime Minister added, "I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the leaders and citizens of these nations.
Together, we are poised to infuse fresh momentum and vitality into our cooperative efforts. India shares deep-rooted and historical connections with each of these countries, which, through BRICS, will undoubtedly gain new dimensions of bilateral cooperation."
Further endorsing the expansion, the Prime Minister highlighted, "Other nations expressing interest in BRICS membership will find India actively advocating for their inclusion as partner nations." This stance aligns with India's commitment to fostering consensus and cooperation within the BRICS framework.
The expansion and modernization of BRICS transcend a mere diplomatic milestone. It resonates as a global message, urging all institutions to evolve in sync with the evolving times. This pioneering initiative could potentially serve as a model for the reform of other 20th-century global establishments.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his yesterday’s address also, wholeheartedly endorsed the expansion, reiterating India's dedication to progress through shared consensus within BRICS.
Additionally, he called upon BRICS nations to rally behind the African Union's membership in the G20.
Reflecting on the evolution of the organization, Prime Minister Modi revisited the 2016 definition of BRICS as "Building Responsive, Inclusive, and Collective Solutions." Given the passage of seven years since then, he envisaged a novel identity for BRICS, encapsulated by the acronym "BRICS: Breaking Barriers, Revitalizing Economies, Inspiring Innovation, Creating Opportunities, and Shaping the Future." This new vision was embraced as a unifying call for all BRICS partners to actively contribute to its realization.
The announcement reverberated with enthusiasm across various quarters. The President of the United Arab Emirates welcomed the decision, expressing keen eagerness to join the ranks of BRICS.
The expanded BRICS alliance carries profound symbolic significance, particularly in the context of China and Russia's partnership, a matter of note amidst the ongoing Ukraine conflict and the broader China-US rivalry.
Beyond symbolic gestures, the summit also delved into practical policy adjustments, including a comprehensive strategy to transition from trading in the US dollar to utilizing local currencies for inter-BRICS trade. This pragmatic shift underscores the bloc's evolving economic dynamics and its pursuit of increased autonomy.