Press Trust of india

BRICS decides to admit 6 countries as new members

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New Delhi: Top leaders of the BRICS nations on Thursday decided to admit Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as the full members of the grouping that is largely seen as a counterweight to Western powers.

The decision to invite the six countries to join the bloc as the new members was announced by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on the final day of the annual summit of the BRICS that currently comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

“The new membership will take effect from January 1, 2024,” Ramaphosa, flanked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, said at a media briefing in Johannesburg.

The South African president said an agreement was reached on the “guiding principles, standards, criteria and procedures of the BRICS expansion process, which has been under discussion for quite a while”.

“We have consensus on the first phase of this expansion process, and further phases will follow,” he said.

South Africa is holding the current presidency of BRICS.

“We have decided to invite the Argentine Republic, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to become full members of BRICS,” he added.

In his media statement, Modi said the “expansion and modernisation” of BRICS is a message that all institutions in the world need to mould themselves according to changing times.

“India has always fully supported the expansion of the BRICS membership. India has been of the view that the addition of new members will further strengthen BRICS as an organisation, and give a new impetus to all our common endeavours,” he said.

The prime minister said the decision to expand the bloc will further strengthen the faith of many countries in the multipolar world order.

The grouping took shape in September 2006 and it originally comprised Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC). It was renamed as BRICS after South Africa was accepted as a full member in September 2010.

At present, the BRICS represents 41 per cent of the global population, 24 per cent of the global GDP and 16 per cent of the global trade. The BRICS member nations have been the main engines of global economic growth over the years.

Chinese President Xi described the expansion of BRICS as a “new starting point” for cooperation in the grouping.

“It will bring new vigour to the BRICS cooperation mechanism, further strengthening a force for world peace and development,” he said at the press briefing.

Speaking remotely, Russian leader Vladimir Putin hailed the expansion.

In his remarks, Ramaphosa said the BRICS valued the interests of other countries in building partnership with the grouping.

“We have tasked our foreign ministers to further develop the BRICS partner country model and a list of prospective partner countries and report by the next summit,” he said.

“Through this 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,” he noted.

Ramphosa said the BRICS is ready to explore opportunities for improving the “stability, reliability and fairness of the global financial architecture”.

He said the summit agreed to task the BRICS finance ministers and Central Bank Governors to consider the issue of local currencies, payment instruments and platforms and report back to the leaders by the next summit.

“We are concerned about ongoing conflicts in many parts of the world. We stress our commitment to the peaceful resolution of differences and disputes through dialogue and inclusive consultation,” the South African President said.

“We addressed our expectations for the BRICS economic partnership to generate tangible benefits for our communities and deliver viable solutions for common challenges faced by the global South,” he said.

“We shared our vision of BRICS as a champion of the needs and concerns of the peoples of the Global South. These include the need for beneficial economic growth, sustainable development and reform of multilateral systems,” he added.

The South African leader said the BRICS reiterated its commitment to inclusive multilateralism and upholding international law.

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