BRICS Con­sol­i­da­tion

ChinAfrica - - Opinion -

The BRICS, through their sum­mit meet­ings and co­or­di­na­tion at global and re­gional lev­els, have touched upon many is­sues, with eco­nomic, po­lit­i­cal and se­cu­rity as­pects be­ing some of the most prom­i­nent. As the global re­source cen­ters of Rus­sia, Brazil and South Africa com­bine with China and In­dia - the world’s man­u­fac­turer and “back-of­fice” re­spec­tively, the BRICS are poised to ex­ert greater clout in the in­ter­na­tional arena in a num­ber of ways.

First, in light of the trend to­ward uni­lat­er­al­ism, pre-emp­tive mil­i­tary ac­tion and regime change, the BRICS have em­pha­sized ne­go­ti­a­tion, peace­ful res­o­lu­tion and the role of the UN in re­solv­ing con­flicts. The BRICS joint state­ments called for re­solv­ing is­sues peace­fully in Egypt, Libya and Syria as well as on the Ira­nian nu­clear pro­gram. They were also un­equiv­o­cal in rais­ing con­cerns on the spread of ter­ror­ism in var­i­ous re­gions of the world. Al­though th­ese state­ments re­mained declar­a­tive in na­ture, im­pact on the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity has been sig­nif­i­cant.

Sec­ond, co­in­cid­ing with the for­ma­tion of the BRICS was the in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion of the cli­mate change pro­pos­als. Mov­ing on from the Ky­oto Pro­to­col of 1997 that cen­tered on in­dus­tri­al­ized na­tions, de­vel­op­ing coun­tries have now been in­cor­po­rated into the global drive to cut emis­sions.

Third, one of the most sig­nif­i­cant as­pects of the Goa BRICS Sum­mit was the re­solve to broaden the base of global eco­nomic gov­er­nance. For in­stance, the Bret­ton Woods in­sti­tu­tions which have gov­erned the world’s eco­nomic af­fairs since 1945 are heav­ily skewed to­ward the in­dus­tri­al­ized West, with GDP be­ing the cri­te­rion de­ter­min­ing vot­ing rights in th­ese in­sti­tu­tions.

How­ever, while emerg­ing economies have en­hanced their GDP pro­files over the last two decades, there is no com­men­su­rate in­crease in their in­flu­ence upon th­ese in­sti­tu­tions. Specif­i­cally, as the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis and the euro-zone cri­sis in­ten­si­fied, fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions began to di­vert cap­i­tal to­ward the Euro­pean re­gion, some­times at the cost of pro­mot­ing in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries. The pres­sure from the BRICS fi­nally led the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund to re­or­ga­nize its vot­ing mech­a­nism to ac­com­mo­date higher vot­ing shares for China and In­dia.

The BRICS also formed a co­or­di­na­tion group in the Group of 20 (G20) to ar­tic­u­late the in­ter­ests of the de­vel­op­ing coun­tries in eco­nomic global gov­er­nance. At the re­cently held G20 Sum­mit in China’s Hangzhou for ex­am­ple, the group’s con­cerns on sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment,

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