The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) ministers of foreign affairs and international relations meeting took place in Cape Town, South Africa on June 1. It is assumed that the agenda for the 15th BRICS summit will be finalized which is to be held in August in South Africa, which is the host country for this year. 

According to a Bloomberg report, because of the war crimes arrest warrant issued against the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, by the ICC (international criminal Court) South Africa was considering moving the venue to Mozambique or China.

The ministers collectively denounced terrorism of all kinds and strive to contend with all means of its support, including the support of financial networks, and through granting refuge. The ministers issued a joint statement stating that BRICS is committed to combating terrorism in all of its forms, including the cross-border movement of terrorists, their safe havens and their financing networks.

Indian external affairs minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar from the right Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, South Africa’s foreign minister, Naledi Pandore, Brazil’s foreign minister, Mauro Vieira and China’s vice foreign minister, Ma Zhaoxu attend a BRICS foreign ministers meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, June 1, 2023. (Photo: Reuters)

The ministers acknowledged the threat posed by terrorism, radicalisation and extremism which fuels terrorism. They also asserted that terrorism ought not to be associated with any civilisation, nationality, religion or ethnic group. 

A mention of India’s ongoing G20 presidency was made in the statement as well, reflecting the reassertion of the significance of the G20, in carrying out the role of the premier multilateral forum in the area of economic cooperation that constitutes both the developed and developing countries wherein major economies collaboratively seek solutions to the global issues and concerns. 

The opportunities to build a consistent pace of change by India, Brazil and South Africa chairing the G20 from 2023 to 2025 were discussed and support for Continuity and collaboration in their G20 presidencies was extended. 

EAM Jaishankar in his opening remarks stated that their gathering symbolizes that the world is multipolar, the need to rebalance and that new situations cannot be addressed by old ways. He asked the member countries to act as a symbol of change. He also urged the member nations to show sincere efforts in reforming global decision-making, including the UN security council.

External Affairs Minister Jaishankar, addressing his opening remarks at the BRICS foreign ministers meeting in Cape Town, South Africa. (Source: TOI)

He asserted that in light of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, conflicts in various regions of the world and the economic problems faced by the Global South, the drawbacks of the present international architecture become apparent. It is not representative of current aspirations, demographics, politics and economics.

South Africa is also hosting a friends of BRICS meeting on Friday which will be attended by foreign ministers from 15 countries of Africa and the Global South.  

In the international community, some see the BRICS as an alternative to the G7 group of nations. The annual summit of the G7 was held in the city of Hiroshima in Japan in May 2023 and was also attended by the leaders of India and Brazil. The G7 member countries are highly sceptical of China and Russia.

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