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Brics to have 6 new members with 'deep ties' to India, says PM Modi

Inclusion of Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, UAE will make bloc stronger, he says

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (centre) with Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Brics summit in Johannesburg Photo: PTI

Subhayan Chakraborty New Delhi

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The Brics nations have unanimously decided to admit six new countries — Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — into the grouping as full members. The bloc currently comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
 
The new membership will be effective from January 1, 2024, and will be the first of a set of planned expansions, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said at the end of the 15th Brics summit in Johannesburg on Thursday.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: “This step would strengthen the belief of many nations in a multi-polar world order.” He said the expansion of Brics was a message to other global institutions that they needed to change in line with changing circumstances.

In a veiled reference to other multilateral organisations such as the United Nations and the World Bank, the PM said Brics’ move could become an example for other institutions set up in the 20th century. Turn to Page 6 >

Modi said India has had very deep and historic ties with the invitee nations. “With the help of Brics, new dimensions would be added to our bilateral ties,” he added.

India has already entered into formal comprehensive strategic partnerships with Egypt and the UAE, and maintains close political and economic ties with Saudi Arabia and Iran.

“India has always fully supported the expansion of Brics. It has believed that the addition of newer members would make Brics stronger as an organisation and give strength to our collective efforts," Modi said. He said the guiding principles, standards, criteria and procedures of new members being added to the bloc had also been decided on.

With the latest additions, the grouping will have six of the top 9 crude oil producers in the world, according to the 2022 data by the US Energy Information Administration.

Other countries that want to join Brics would be helped by India to become partner nations, Modi said. Ramaphosa said foreign ministers had been tasked with developing the Brics partner country model, and a list of prospective countries would be presented by the next summit. At least 23 nations had applied to join the bloc.

It is yet not clear whether the grouping would stick to its name going forward, or opt for a name change to reflect the new members as well.

Brics currently brings together five of the largest developing countries of the world, representing 41 per cent of the global population, 24 per cent of the global GDP, and 16 per cent of the global trade.

Johannesburg II Declaration

The Johannesburg II Declaration adopted by the BRICS nations accepted that global growth momentum had weakened and the economic prospects had declined owing to trade fragmentation, prolonged high inflation, and tighter global financial conditions. “We reaffirm our commitment to enhance macro-economic policy coordination, deepen economic cooperation, and work to realize strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive economic recovery," the declaration said.

The bloc also called for further reform of the United Nations Security Council and “to increase the representation of developing countries in the Council’s memberships”.

It continued to position itself as a platform to amplify and further integrate the voice of the global South, and urged developed countries to honour their commitments of mobilising $100 billion per annum by 2020 and through 2025 to support climate action in developing countries.

Hinting at frequent western efforts to keep the peace in Africa, the declaration reiterated the principle “African solutions to African problems” should continue to serve as the basis for conflict resolution.

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First Published: Aug 24 2023 | 3:24 PM IST

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