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South Africa Lauds BRICS as 'Champion' in Addressing Unequal Global Political Architecture

© SputnikThe 10th BRICS Summit, in Sandton, South Africa, July 24, 2018
The 10th BRICS Summit, in Sandton, South Africa, July 24, 2018 - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 26.04.2023
BRICS, an acronym for the world's five leading emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, is seen as an increasingly important player in global affairs. In recent years, the BRICS states have been working to deepen their economic and political ties, with the goal being to promote a more multipolar world order.
Since the beginning of the the Russia-Ukraine crisis last year, there has been a growing interest in joining BRICS, according to Anil Sooklal, sherpa of the Republic of South Africa in BRICS. The crisis highlighted the fault lines in the global political architecture and showed that countries of the Global South are not treated as equals by the countries of the Global North, who "want to continue to dominate and be the global [leaders]".
Countries in the Global South increasingly want to exert their independence, sovereignty, and have their voice heard on the global stage, the official said, adding that BRICS is seen as the forum that is most receptive and most aligned to the aspirations of those nations to create a more equitable, inclusive, and fairer global community.
According to Sooklal, this surge of interest indicates that these countries see BRICS as championing issues that need to be tackled concerning their development, their voices being heard, and creating a more inclusive multipolar world order.

"So I think for a number of reasons, these countries would like to align themselves with BRICS because they have faith and trust in BRICS," Sooklal told Sputnik. "This is an affirmation that BRICS has been a champion of the Global South in addressing the issues around the unequal global political architecture, the global financial architecture and the global trade architecture, all of which favor the Global North."

He noted that countries from all parts of the world, from Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, are seeking to become BRICS members. African nations that have already asked to join BRICS include Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia, according to the South African envoy.
As BRICS continues to discuss the possibility of expanding its membership, the question of how this will affect its standing in the international community remains a topic of discussion.
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Sooklal commented on the ongoing process of working out how to expand and said that last year the BRICS leaders announced their intention to expand through the Beijing declaration, and the bloc is still working on determining how best to proceed. One possibility is admitting new countries as full members, and another is creating partner countries or other categories for expansion.
The New Development Bank (NDB), a financial institution established by the BRICS countries in 2014, has already admitted new partners as members of the bank, he said. Countries such as Uruguay, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bangladesh have already been admitted as BRICS members of the bank. However, what is being sought from these countries is political association with the BRICS group.

"And therefore, we will do as we did when we started to expand the New Development Bank - we set out criteria and guidelines on how to expand, and that's what we are busy with at the moment," Sooklal said.

The South African representative added that an expanded BRICS membership could potentially increase the collective weight of the group in the international community. He argued that the BRICS countries have already outpaced the G7's contribution to global growth since 2020, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro (R) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) attend to  a meeting with members of the Business Council and management of the New Development Bank during the BRICS Summit in Brasilia, November 14, 2019 - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 21.04.2023
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Sooklal pointed out that BRICS countries accounting for 31.5 percent of global GDP compared with the G7's 30 percent. However, if the four new members of the New Development Bank (Uruguay, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bangladesh) are added to BRICS' GDP, it would rise to 34.5 percent.

"So you can see that already BRICS in its present form is becoming bigger than the G7, and it's predicted that by 2030 BRICS will account for 50 percent of global GDP. So an expanded membership will also increase the global economic footprint of the BRICS," he concluded.