The Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) summit in Johannesburg revealed a significant expansion of the bloc by six new members, effective from January.
Iran, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates will join the group to enhance its global influence, as stated by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. Chinese President Xi Jinping praised this “historic enlargement,” envisioning a bright future for the Brics. Beijing, the economic heavyweight within the bloc, supported this expansion, the focal point of the 15th summit, which took place from Tuesday to Thursday.
Details regarding discussions, support, and selection criteria for the new members were not disclosed. Negotiations occurred in closed sessions during Wednesday’s plenary meeting and various bilateral talks. Around forty countries sought membership or expressed interest, underscoring emerging nations’ growing global impact. Collectively, the Brics constitute 25% of global wealth and represent 42% of the global population.
Iran lauded the move as a “strategic foreign policy success,” and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, deemed it an important moment for his nation, expressing readiness for inclusive collaboration. The United Arab Emirates and Egypt also welcomed the decision, with UAE’s President Mohammed ben Zayed endorsing the Brics leaders’ vision.
While the Brics is a diverse alliance, their shared objective is a more inclusive global equilibrium, particularly in countering the influence of the United States and the European Union. Recognizing the shift toward a multipolar world, UN Chief Antonio Guterres advocated modernizing outdated multilateral institutions to reflect current economic realities.