The summit discussed issues related to economic collaboration, regional and global security, the need for open trade and fight against protectionism and work of the New Development Bank.
approved seven investment projects worth around $1.5 billion, Putin said that the NDB will soon approve new investment projects worth up to $3 billion.
Also speaking about the need to decrease the dominance of the US dollar as the world reserve currency, Putin said that BRICS nations have already agreed to trade in national currencies.
The summit’s political and security discourse demonstrates that the bloc is gradually evolving from their strong economic cooperation to promoting global governance.
This is most opportune as our world is beset with a multitude of political problems (sanctions and counter sanctions, illegal military escapades into sovereign states, numerous regime changes), and now, the threat of a nuclear war hanging over the world like the sword of Damocles.
Among the smouldering geo-political tensions are NATO’s expansion into Eastern Europe and surrounding Russia with military bases and THAAD missiles; the United States’ efforts to limit China’s dominance in the South China Sea; India’s opposition to China’s One Belt One Road ( New Silk Road) initiative; India’s desire to dominate the Indian Ocean; and the belligerent behaviour of North Korea against all established norms of international law.
Also, the never ending - decades long - crises in the Middle East thanks to illegal regime changes and the Arab Spring to force feed democracy have caused death and destruction, failed states, civil wars, terrorism, mass migration, millions dead and multi-millions homeless.
The summit concluded with the BRICs leaders signing the 70 paragraphs long Xiamen Declaration that underscores their commitment to globalisation - in contrast to the west's more protectionist and inward-looking policies.
President Xi said that “Our ever closer ties with the rest of the world require that we five countries play a more active part in global governance” and stressed that “without our participation, many pressing global challenges cannot be effectively resolved”.
The declaration states that “Cognizant of the profound changes the world is undergoing and the global security challenges and threats faced by the international community, we commit to enhance communication and cooperation in international fora on issues concerning international peace and security”.
Furthermore, the declaration expresses the BRICS countries resolute position on Syria, Palestine, Qatar, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Libya, Sudan, North Korea, etc., and expressed their readiness to contribute towards a just and lasting resolution of these conflicts.
It strongly deplores the nuclear test conducted by North Korea, and emphasiz- es that “it should only be settled through peaceful means and direct dialogue of all parties concerned.”
The declaration confirms its “commitment to safeguarding world peace and security and to upholding the basic norms of international law, and the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations including sovereign equality and non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs”.
Most importantly, the BRICS nations condemn “unilateral military interventions, economic sanctions and arbitrary use of unilateral coercive measures in violation of international law and universally recognised norms of international relations”.
And, they emphasize that “no country should enhance its security at the expense of the security of others.”
It’s time for western countries to learn from BRICS - the most powerful developing countries that are eager to maintain their sovereignty, and have no desire to undermine the sovereignty of other countries.
If the US threats over North Korea ultimately lead to a senseless nuclear war, it would momentarily destroy the multi-trillion dollar economies of the BRICS nations and their aspirations for the future well-being of all emerging countries.
With conflicts and wars raging all over our world, all world leaders and peace loving citizens should focus on developing a new concept of international security under the auspices of the United Nations – to guide the world towards the elimination of nuclear weapons. (The writer is an international lawyer and was a UNESCO delegate to the UN General Assembly and a Representative of UNAIDS at the United Nations.)
BRICS leaders met from 3-5th September in China.