BRICS invites six countries to strengthen global South

BRICS has invited Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, Argentina and the United Arab Emirates to join. They will be formally admitted on 1 January 2024.

It was until now, comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – announced the proposed expansion at the group’s three-day summit in Johannesburg.

BRICS, founded in 2009, hopes to champion ‘the global South’ and serve as a counterweight to the politically dominant G7 nations. The G7 consists of the UK, US, Canada, France, Italy, Japan and Germany.

BRICS officials have argued against concerns the bloc is developing an anti-West position under the influence of China and Russia.

Its five founding countries are home to 40% of the world’s population and responsible for more than 30% of global economic output.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa told the summit: “BRICS has embarked on a new chapter in its effort to build a world that is fair, a world that is just, a world that is also inclusive and prosperous.”

“This membership expansion is historic,” China’s President Xi Jinping said following the announcement. “It shows the determination of BRICS countries for unity and cooperation with the broader developing countries.”

The expansion is BRICS’ first but looks unlikely to be the last, as the group says another 16 nations have also formally requested to join.

“We have consensus on the first phase of this expansion process and other phases will follow,” Ramaphosa said at a media briefing.

Four out of the five BRICS leaders are in Johannesburg for the annual summit

Vladimir Putin did not travel after the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest for the abduction of children from Ukraine in March.

Russia was represented in Johannesburg by Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov while Putin delivered a 17-minute pre-recorded video address on Tuesday.


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