BRICS Diplomacy (10 September 2020)
BRICS Diplomacy (10 September 2020)
Why in News:
The foreign ministers of BRICS countries emphasised last week that any challenges to international peace and security and violent conflict in various parts of the world should be resolved through political and diplomatic engagement.
The meeting of the five emerging powers, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), was held through video conference. With Russia as the BRICS chair, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov led the participants, which included Indian external affairs minister S. Jaishankar and Chinese state councillor and foreign minister Wang Yi.
BRICS is an acronym for the grouping of the world’s leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
The chairmanship of the forum is rotated annually among the members, in accordance with the acronym B-R-I-C-S.
At the Fortaleza Summit (2014), in Brazil, important institutions were created: the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA). So far, the NDB has approved more than 8 billion-dollars in infrastructure and renewable energy financing projects in the BRICS countries. The CRA is operational and is an important financial stability mechanism for countries affected by crises in their balance of payments.
In addition to presidential meetings (summit and the informal meeting in the margins of the G20), BRICS organizes, through its rotating chairship, nearly 100 annual meetings, including about 15 ministerial meetings and dozens of gatherings with official seniors, technical events, as well as meetings on culture, education and sport areas.
Summary of the Debate
- Celebrating 75 years of United Nations.
- Resolute of the BRICS Countries on counter-terrorism.
- In the meeting, discussion held on the impact of the epidemiological situation on the cultural sphere in the BRICS countries and review of the possible implementation of joint cultural online-projects within BRICS.
- Suggestions Given by India:
- Digital Online Exhibition: To explore possibilities of hosting a Digital Online Exhibition on a Shared theme towards end of 2021 under the auspices of BRICS Alliance of Museums. Extending full cooperation and content sharing for website envisaged under the BRICS Alliance.
- BRICS Corner: Proposal of opening of BRICS Corner under the auspices of BRICS Alliance of Libraries and to be inaugurated during the India’s BRICS Presidency in 2021.It will disseminate information related to the history and culture of BRICS countries.
- BRICS Joint Exhibition: The National Gallery of Modern Arts, New Delhi will host the BRICS Joint Exhibition titled ‘Bonding Regions & Imagining Cultural Synergies’ under the auspices of the BRICS Alliance of Art Museums and Galleries. The exhibition is proposed to be organized in 2021 coinciding with the BRICS event that India would be hosting in 2021. The exhibition aims to present around 100 works of art from the five prestigious institutions under the BRICS Alliance.
BRICS and UNSC Reforms:
- As far as UNSC reforms are concerned, few years ago, suddenly a draft text was able to get pass the general assembly and then it stalled again.
- One of the reasons for UNSC reform was that Europe was overrepresented, because France and Britain were both on the UNSC and there was a talk that may be a single European seatwould be possible. But now Britain has left European Union, so Britain is no longer prepared to surrender its seat to a larger European position.
- Russia is now is not so eager to see a dilution of its own position because it has economically declined over the past decade.
- China has steadfastly said that Japan, one of the members of G4 group that India is part of, would be allowed into the security council over its dead body because of their long historical problems with each other.
- Brazil has problems because half of Latin America opposes it including Mexico, the second most powerful Latin American country.
- The biggest regional problems remain in Africa because while South Africa is there, Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal and so many other African countries have opposed them. There is no unity among Africans about what would be an African chair.
- The fact that there is even a draft text that has not been accepted by the General Assembly, it was a major step forward and there was a fair amount of resistance from China and few other countries.
- India has to become a player not only in its region but India need to be a voice which is heard in the world. The BRICS are an important stepping stone for India.
- India should not underestimate the importance of the issues relate to Climate, no matter that the global lockdown has for a moment resulted in GHG emission coming down. But this will be defining features and India need to position itself.
- Global system is changing, new issues are arising, new coalitions are being tested and formed and it’s important that not only that India be a member of as many of these coalitions as possible, but set rules or be part of the debate internally.
- It also requires that India domestically have to be very clear about and define what its interests are, so that it can align its multilateral policies.
- India is particular in a position to shape the global agenda at a time when there is a leadership vacuum around the world.
Important points made by the Guests
Manjeev Singh Puri, Former Ambassador
Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Foreign Affairs Editor, Hindustan Times
Harsh V. Pant, Head, Strategic Studies, ORF