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BRICS Leaders Support the Expansion of the Bloc

  • High-level representatives of Brazil, China, South Africa, India, and Russia, Aug. 23, 2023.

    High-level representatives of Brazil, China, South Africa, India, and Russia, Aug. 23, 2023. | Photo: X/ @DD_Geopolitics

Published 23 August 2023

"With new members joining the organisation, BRICS will be much stronger,” South African President Ramaphosa said.

On Wednesday, the open part of the plenary session of the leaders of the BRICS member countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) was held at the summit of the five countries on the second day of its work.


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The session addressed the issues of substantial reform of global governance and international organisations. The leaders of the five countries discussed the realisation of the BRICS potential to deepen mutually beneficial partnership with Africa.

All BRICS heads of state noted the importance of developing the education system both within each country and across the grouping. They recognised the need to embrace new technologies, including AI, and called for strengthening ties within the bloc, both at the structural and people-to-people levels.

New Development Bank (NDB) President Dilma Rousseff and South African BRICS Business Council chairperson Busi Mabuza also attended the plenary session. The BRICS leaders outlined each country's positions on the issues raised in their speeches.

"Many countries are interested in joining the BRICS bloc, which is a testimony to our growing role in the world," said Brazilian President Lula da Silva.

"We will hold a special meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, and this will be another opportunity for us to take a step towards addressing existing challenges and ensuring the well-being of the people. We continue to create a multipolar, fair and inclusive world," he added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasised cooperation in education, sharing knowledge and experience.

"We welcome the strengthening of interaction between the five nations in the field of global innovation, looking forward to intensifying cooperation in the framework of support and development of the BRICS global network of research infrastructures initiative, which could be taken up by a special trust fund. For its part, Russia is ready to share its accumulated experience and best practices, including in the field of digital transformation and application of artificial intelligence," he said.

Putin noted the readiness to actively participate in the implementation of the agreements reached on the creation of a joint working group on nuclear medicine.

"We are interested in putting into practice the BRICS alliance's activities on cooperation in secondary vocational education as soon as possible and we fully support the proposal of our South African colleagues to organise a separate ministerial meeting on women's affairs, whose role in the political, economic and social life of our countries should undoubtedly expand. Next year, Russia will take over the BRICS Chairmanship. We are planning about 200 political, economic and social events to be hosted by over a dozen Russian cities," he said.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has proposed to the BRICS countries to deepen cooperation in the space sector.

"We are already working on a group of space satellites of BRICS countries. A step forward would be to discuss the creation of a BRICS space research consortium that would enable research and meteorological observations for the benefit of the world," he said. 

“My second suggestion is the cooperation in the areas of education, skill-development and technology. In order to make BRICS a future-ready organisation, we must make our societies future-ready. Technology can play an important role in this regard,” he stated.

On the admission of new members to the bloc, Modi had this to say: "India fully supports the expansion of BRICS membership. In 2016, during India's presidency, we defined BRICS as a responsive and inclusive group. Seven years later, we can say that BRICS will overcome any obstacles, revitalise economies, drive innovation, create opportunities and shape a shared future."

"China would like to suggest BRICS nations to increase cooperation in digital education and build a platform on online education. We should advocate justice and equity and improve global governance. If the international community wants to seize development opportunities and deal with common challenges, international rules must be respected together. They are based on the principles of the UN Charter," Chinese President Xi Jinping said on education.

On one of the key issues of the current summit - the admission of new members to BRICS - President Xi said the following:

"I am happy to see great enthusiasm from developing countries for cooperation with BRICS. There have been many applications to join the alliance, and we should use BRICS cooperation to accelerate the expansion process so that as many countries as possible can join the BRICS family and work together to push global governance in a more just and reasonable direction."

Concluding the speeche of the BRICS leaders, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, pointed to the cooperation and solidarity of the bloc's members on many issues on the global and intra-bloc agenda. He emphasised the uptake and adoption of advanced technologies and the need for training in the countries of the association.

"Artificial intelligence is a new frontier we need to focus on, but we also should have governance of artificial intelligence, it should be reliable and secure. And another important aspect is people-to-people contacts that we should underpin our unity and the BRICS around. And that they should be respect for the modernisation path that countries have opted for”.

Ramaphosa also supported the expansion of BRICS, emphasising: "With new members joining the organisation, BRICS will be much stronger.”

The second day of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) summit in Johannesburg (Gauteng, South Africa) held closed and open sessions of the leaders of the member countries. The BRICS leaders are expected to approve the key document of the summit, the Johannesburg Declaration, at the end of the day.

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