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South African Sherpa Reveals Why Global South is Knocking on BRICS' Door

© Photo brics-russia2020.ru / Go to the mediabankFlag with the logo of BRICS
Flag with the logo of BRICS - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 24.05.2023
According to Sooklal, many countries in the Global South have written formal letters, while a similar number have made inquiries through their embassies and capitals seeking more information on how to become members of BRICS. Last week, at least two countries submitted written applications to attain membership in the bloc.
The global system is now witnessing the rise of multipolarity as a result of the world's troublesome experience with bipolar and unipolar systems, which have proven to be ineffective as they exclude the majority of the global community, Ambassador Anil Sooklal, sherpa of the Republic of South Africa in BRICS, told Sputnik in an interview.

"We don't want to be caught between borders," Sooklal stressed. "We want to have a world where we recognize that there are various poles of power and all of them work collectively in creating a better global community, a multipolar world and multi-cultural, multi-civilizational world, a world that all countries have a stake in, in determining the shape of this world and how we function within it."

In a multilateral global environment, the United Nations should be at the center, upholding the principles and purposes of its Charter in a reformed multilateral order, he added.
As a sign of the continuing formation of a multipolar world, the South African diplomat stressed that there is a "very high" interest from countries of the Global South to join the bloc of the world's five leading emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, known as BRICS.

"A large number of countries have written formally, and an equally large number of countries have made queries through our embassies, through our capitals, wanting more information of how they can become members of BRICS. And in this past week we have received two written applications from countries wanting to become members of BRICS," Sooklal said.

The South African sherpa explained that the growing interest of developing countries in joining BRICS is due to the current global order being outdated and not reflecting the aspirations of the Global South. Living in a polarized and fractured world, there is great frustration among developing countries who feel that the current global order needs to be reevaluated.
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He argued that even UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres acknowledged the frustrations of the Global South at the recent G7 meeting in Hiroshima and emphasized the need to consider their views.

"I think this is the increasing frustration that in this day and age, countries from the Global South continue to be marginalized, and I think the countries also don't want to be used as pawns and pressurized into supporting any one camp, and I think the days of the global hegemon is past us," Sooklal maintained.

Sooklal emphasized the desire of developing nations for a "more inclusive and fair world". In such a world, the size of a nation would not matter, he argued, because the United Nations system aims to unite all members of the global community under one banner.

"But of course, as even Secretary General Guterres has pointed out, that the UN system has become almost semi-paralyzed, held hostage by a few countries that want to control the agenda of the multilateral order," the South African BRICS envoy said.

Sooklal added that the frustration of developing countries could also be seen in terms of the global Western-centric financial architecture, arguing that these countries increasingly want to be able to trade freely in the currency of their choice and not be held hostage to one currency that dominates the world.

"So this is what BRICS is saying. And BRICS is also saying that we need to actualize and materialize the agreement that we have signed between our banks, the inter-bank agreement to have payments between ourselves in our own currency, to be able to trade in our own currency, and to be able to also borrow from international markets in our own currency, so that we are not left vulnerable to currency fluctuations, if we borrow in one or two global currencies, as is the current situation," he explained.

Commenting on the idea of establishing a BRICS currency, which is set to be on the agenda of the upcoming August BRICS summit in South Africa, Sooklal stated that although the idea is under discussion, there is still a long way to go before a common BRICS currency is established.
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He argued that the first step for BRICS countries is to gain acceptance to trade with each other and to accept their own currencies in the global markets and as they move towards greater currency independence, adding that the nations of the Global South want to be part of the mainstream trade in their currencies.

"Well, a number of African countries, as well as countries from Latin America, from the Middle East and from Asia, have shown interest in becoming BRICS members," the South African representative revealed. "And obviously they are interested in joining BRICS because they have been observing that BRICS stands for certain values and principles with which they can identify."

Sooklal concluded by saying that BRICS is inclusive and tries to be part of the solution and not the problem of global issues, which is another reason why many nations want to be part of the BRICS family.