South Africa

It’s official: Brics welcomes new members to partnership

Brics has officially expanded with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Iran, Ethiopia and Egypt now all new members of the collaboration.

The membership of these five countries came into effect as of 1 January 2024 according to the agreement reached at the 2023 Brics Summit in South Africa.

They now join the original five members of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (Brics).

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During a speech at the Kremlin on January 1st, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed that the addition of new members was a clear sign of the increasing influence of the association and its role in global affairs.

Brics ‘principle’ of sovereign equality

He emphasised that sovereign equality was an esteemed principle of the agreement between the countries and that the new addition of countries would be included with under the same principle.

He went on to express Russia’s commitment to advancing all facets of the BRICS partnership across its main domains.

Russia has taken over as chair of Brics – a title that had previously belonged to South Africa.

The upcoming Brics summit is scheduled for October 2024 in the Russian city of Kazan.

The  2023 Brics summit was held in South Africa in August last year and was attended by the presidents of four of the five members.

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Putin skipped the 2023 summit in South Africa because of an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court, accusing him of war crimes in connection to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A pursuit of a more equitable and inclusive global order

The Brics Summit implemented various measures to advance the pursuit of a more equitable and inclusive global order, emphasizing the equal progress of all nations.

Among the pivotal resolutions adopted by Brics member nations was the endorsement of a comprehensive overhaul of the United Nations, including its Security Council. The objective is to enhance its democratic, representative, effective, and efficient functioning.

It was also agreed at the summit that finance ministers or central bank governors of BRICS nations, as needed, should explore using our countries’ local currencies, payment tools, and platforms in international trade and financial dealings between BRICS and their respective trading partners.