Thirty years ago, pluripolarity was far from a reality in a world that had been under U.S. hegemony since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Today, however, humanity is taking important steps toward forming a plural geopolitics whose protagonists are the emerging countries that challenge Western power.
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The turning point towards a new form of integration, which will generate a new world political balance, occurred in 2009 when Brazil, Russia, India, and China held the first BRIC summit.
After the incorporation of South Africa to this group in 2010, the BRICS has generated such real prospects that other nations with productive capacity and diversified economies have expressed interest in joining. Among them are Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Argentina, the United Arab Emirates, and Mexico.
In the article "Can the BRICS Trump the IMF and the World Bank?," Palestinian-American journalist Ramzy Baroud noted that "one of the biggest opportunities and challenges" the BRICS now faces is expanding its membership while maintaining its current growth.
Recent financial reports revealed that the BRICS have the world's largest gross domestic product (GDP) and that economic bloc contributes 31.5 percent of global GDP, while the Group of Seven (G7) stuck at 30 .7 percent.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) are known for providing financial support to developing countries under conditions that, under the pretext of defending human rights or democracy, seek to favor the privatization of public goods and the opening of domestic markets for Western foreign investors.
Due to these politically-driven conditionalities, the struggle for alternatives to the IMF-WB mechanisms becomes a political task. The Global South requires international institutions that are not interested in indirectly manipulating or controlling national economies.
That is the call for the BRICS to evolve towards integration schemes that go beyond the exclusively economic realm, although the basis of the fight against the U.S.-controlled institutions is the formation of an alternative economy.
Recently, the BRICS placed a capital of US$50 billion for the launch of their New Development Bank (NDB), which will be chaired by former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff.
This happened at a time when presidents Xi Jinping (China) and Lula da Silva (Brazil) showed a shared interest in influencing the peaceful solution of the Ukrainian conflict.
Under these circumstances, to argue that the BRICS are a group with purely economic interests is to ignore much of the its history.
"The timing of the BRICS expansion, the stern political discourse of its members, potential members and allies, the repeated visits by top Russian and Chinese diplomats to Africa and other regions of the Global South, etc... indicate that the BRICS have become the new geopolitical, economic and diplomatic platform for the countries of the South," said Baroud.
Meanwhile, the Western powers, whose economies are struggling to stay afloat, are closely and suspiciously watching the changes taking place in the Global South at the hands of the BRICS.