Leaders of the group of nations known as the BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – are set to begin a three-day summit today. The summit is a gathering of leaders of nations with giant economies, bigger populations and greater ambitions.
Reports say the expansion of BRICS is expected to be high on the agenda of the summit, as at least 40 countries have indicated interest in joining the group.
Also, the conflict in Ukraine and deepening geopolitical tensions between the United States and China serve as the background for the summit.
The BRICS meeting is likely to foreground the grouping’s growing standing as a force challenging a long-dominant, Washington-led world order.
Why BRICS is a club in demand
The five BRICS nations currently have a combined gross domestic product (GDP) larger than that of the G7 in purchasing power parity terms. They are also responsible for 26 per cent of the global GDP. Despite this, they get only 15 per cent of the voting power at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Will BRICS forge a path towards a 21st Century Global Order?
Analysts say the BRICS nations could likely offer piecemeal economic and diplomatic alternatives to the US-led global order than dramatically replace it.
They noted that BRICS could still lead to more tensions with the West as the grouping’s leaders seek to chart out an independent path in a world in flux.
However, the BRICS will need to manage the disparate priorities of its member nations to remain effective.
Who will be at the BRICS summit?
While all the presidents are expected to be in attendance, Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the August 22-24 conclave in Johannesburg, South Africa. Putin will join the summit via a video conference to save the country the embarrassment of hosting a leader with an International Criminal Court (ICC) warrant against him related to Moscow’s war in Ukraine.
This is because South Africa is a member of the ICC and, under international law, would have been obligated to arrest Putin if he were to visit.
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