BRICS ministers talk to expand bloc in Cape Town meeting

The BRICS foreign ministers' meeting in South Africa advocated for a redistribution of global power and renewed forms of cooperation and addressed increased cooperation and an expansion of the bloc.

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According to South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor, the group aims to assume global leadership in a world divided by geopolitical tensions, inequality, and global insecurity.

Minister Pandor confirmed that Johannesburg will host the BRICS Summit of heads in August.

The discussions were overshadowed by allegations of Russian war crimes in Ukraine with further discord between the South Africa and the “West” as the International Criminal Court (ICC) had issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin. As a member of the ICC, South Africa would be obligated to apprehend Putin if he attends the August BRICS summit, sparking speculation surrounding a change of location to China.

BRICS, short for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, which collectively accounts for over 3.2 billion people or approximately 40% of the world’s population is perceived by some as an alternative to the G7.

The G7 group of developed nations which recently held its annual summit in Japan were highly critical of Russia and China. With. As tensions rise globally, alternative alliances and blocs have been challenging “traditional” cooperation and decision-making leadership.

During the first day of talks in Cape Town, Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar emphasized the need to convey a strong message that the world is multipolar, undergoing a rebalancing process, and that old approaches are insufficient to address current challenges. He identified economic concentration as a core problem, leaving many nations vulnerable to the control of a few.

Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira characterized the Brics as an essential mechanism for establishing a multipolar world order that caters to the interests and requirements of developing countries. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu proposed expanding the Brics group to provide assistance to developing nations and emerging market economies.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that more than a dozen countries, including Saudi Arabia, have expressed interest in joining the group.

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