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China had shown special support for the expansion of the bloc that seeks more weight in international institutions, dominated by the U.S. and Europe.
The Government of Ethiopia celebrated as a “great moment” its admission to the BRICS group of emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) at the XV Summit of Heads of State and Government held this week in Johannesburg.
“A great moment for Ethiopia, when the BRICS leaders have endorsed our entry into this group today. Ethiopia is ready to cooperate with everyone for a prosperous and inclusive global order,” Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said via the social network X.
The African country was chosen along with Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Iran to become “full members” of the BRICS from January 1, 2024.
“As the five BRICS members we have reached an agreement on the guiding principles, standards, criteria and procedures of the BRICS expansion process” said South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on the closing day.
" President Xi Jinping met with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on the sidelines of the 15th #BRICS Summit today in Johannesburg, and said that that China is a reliable friend and sincere partner of Ethiopia. " pic.twitter.com/UI6iaULsok
Ramaphosa declared that there is “consensus on the first phase of this expansion process”, in a joint press conference with Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva, Brazil; Xi Jinping, China; Namendra Modi, India and Serguéi Lavrov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, who represents Vladimir Putin, who could not attend the meeting because he has an arrest warrant against him by the International Criminal Court due to the war in Ukraine, one of the points of controversy surrounding the event. In a videoconference, he stated: “I want to tell colleagues that we will continue the cause we have started with you to expand the influence of the BRICS in the world”.
For his part, Lula stressed that “it is very important that Argentina is in the BRICS.” Brazil is the nation’s main trading partner.
Around forty countries expressed their desire to join the group, said the Government of South Africa, which holds the rotating presidency of the bloc, receiving “formal expressions of interest” from 23 countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba, Honduras and Venezuela.
According to activist Patrick Bond, director of the Center for Social Change at the University of Johannesburg, the summit presents a “very unstable situation” as members differ greatly in their priorities and many of the potential candidates for joining the bloc are “carbon-addicted tyrannies and economies.”
China had shown special support for the expansion of the bloc that seeks more weight in international institutions, dominated by the United States and Europe, while Beijing seeks to expand its influence as opposed to the US.
“Some of the proposals are part of a manipulation by the hegemonic sectors to stop dissent in their own countries in pursuit of a unity that does not benefit the masses,” states South African activist and academic Trevor Ngwane, who criticizes the BRICS for “giving the masses a false hope” by presenting themselves as an alternative to U.S. and Western imperialism.
The group was formed by Brazil, Russia, India and China in 2006 and joined by South Africa in 2010 and represents more than 42% of the world’s population and 30% of the planet’s territory, as well as 23% of the world’s GDP and 18% of trade.
#BRICSSummit | South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the BRICS group has agreed to admit Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Ethiopia, the United Arab Emirates, and Iran as full members of the bloc. pic.twitter.com/rcnh1rZX1S