- Sputnik Africa, 1920
2023 BRICS Summit in Johannesburg
The 15th BRICS summit will take place from August 22-24 in Johannesburg, South Africa, which assumed the rotating BRICS presidency in January 2023.

SA Foreign Minister Outlines BRICS Membership Criteria

© Sputnik . Press Service of the Russian Foreign Ministry / Go to the mediabankRussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his South African counterpart Naledi Pandor during a meeting at the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his South African counterpart Naledi Pandor during a meeting at the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 27.08.2023
On August 22-24, the leaders of the economic bloc met in Johannesburg, South Africa, for the 15th BRICS Summit. During the event, they announced official invitations to six new members to join the group, namely Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
In a post-summit interview with a local media outlet, South Africa's Minister of International Relations Naledi Pandor revealed the criteria and principles used by the BRICS member states to select the countries that will join the bloc from January 2024.
According to the minister, given the fact that a total of 23 nations had officially applied to join the group, it took some time and debate to reach a consensus and finalize what criteria should be met to be accepted into the bloc and which countries would become members first.
"There were differences. Some of the members were wary of moving too fast, becoming too big, issues of ensuring a balance among the regions, but in the end, I think all of us are happy with the conclusions," she is quoted as saying by local media.
The minister added that during the debate on expansion, the association focused only on those countries that officially expressed their interest in BRICS membership.

Pandor told the media that among the main criteria for admission were "commitment to progressive ideas, peace and respect for international law, belief in freedom and justice," and adherence to ideas of equity and development. She stressed that these are the basic principles that the economic bloc has elaborated in its guideline document.

South Africa's top diplomat noted that the BRICS members did not discuss the envisaged size of the association. As of now, she explained, the association's leaders decided to take a step-by-step approach and admit six countries as full members and the remaining 17 as BRICS partner states.
However, she added, a "modest expansion" of the group, so that it does not become too large and unwieldy, would be an ideal scenario.
"Let’s see where we go, see what develops and see how we relate to the G-77 and the Non-Aligned Movement, of which we are members. I think it’s good to have a modest expansion rather than it becoming too big," she said.
The minister also reiterated that after the admission of new members, the economic bloc is unlikely to change its name and will continue to be called BRICS, which stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Naledi Pandor, South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation addresses a media conference on the second day of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Foreign Ministers Meeting in Cape Town, on June 02, 2023 - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 23.08.2023
2023 BRICS Summit in Johannesburg
BRICS Agree on Principles of Expansion, Adopt Document, SA Foreign Minister Says
The 15th BRICS Summit was held in Johannesburg on August 22-24 under the chairmanship of South Africa. During the summit, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the official invitation of Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Ethiopia, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to join BRICS. He said that the full membership of the new countries joining the group will begin on January 1, 2024.