Recently, celebrating 15 years, BRICS- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa countries held their 13th summit virtually. The Prime Minister of India chaired the annual summit and host described the group as “an influential voice of the emerging economies”.
THE THEME FOR BRICS 13th SUMMIT
‘BRICS@15: Intra-BRICS cooperation for continuity, consolidation and consensus’.
1. It is an acronym for 5 emerging economies of the world- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
2. The term BRICS coined in 2001 by economist Jim O’ Neill of Goldman Sachs in their Global economics paper to describe the four emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China.
3. The grouping was formalised in 2006, leaders of the BRIC countries met on the margins of a G-8 (now called G-7) summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.
4. In 2010, South Africa joined the association after which the group adopted the acronym BRICS.
5. It represents 42% of the world population, 24% of global GDP, 30% of the land area and 16% of International trade. It brings together five emerging economies.
6. Achievements- Establishment of the New Development Bank and Contingency Reserve Arrangement in 2014 during the sixth BRICS summit in Fortaleza, Brazil.
THREE PILLARS OF BRICS SUMMIT 2021
1. Political and Security: The focus is on issue of global and regional security. Reform of the multilateral system and counter terrorism cooperation are the priorities under this pillar.
2. Economic and Financial: The focus is on increasing of Intra-BRICS cooperation in sectors such as agriculture, infrastructure, trade, small and medium enterprises, energy and finance and banking.
By using Digital and Technology tools for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals in BRICS countries, the special focus on BRICS Economic Partnership Strategy 2020-2025, BRICS Agriculture Research platform, Cooperation on Disaster Resilience, Innovation Cooperation and Digital health and Traditional medicine.
3. Cultural and People to People: To enhance Intra-BRICS people to people contacts in cultural, youth, academic, business through regular exchanges.
KEY POINTS OF 13TH SUMMIT
1. The achievements of new initiatives under the India`s chairmanship this year (2021) are:- Agreement on cooperation in the field of remote sensing satellites, a virtual BRICS vaccine Research and Development, the first BRICS Digital Health summit, BRICS alliance on Green Tourism etc.
2. Highlighting the leading role of BRICS countries can play vital role in the post-Covid global recovery, Prime Minister called for enhanced BRICS cooperation under the motto of ‘Build-back Resiliently, Credibly, Innovatively and Sustainably.’
3. BRICS Counter Terrorism action plan: Priority to fighting terrorism- Border management, information/intelligence sharing, countering radicalization and online terrorist threats.
4. BRICS has taken a collective position on ‘Strengthening and Reforming Multilateral Systems’ for the first time.
5. New Delhi Declaration called for an “inclusive Intra-Afghan dialogue” for addressing the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.
6. COVID-19- The summit discussed the strategy to strengthen counter-pandemic cooperation and multilateral reform.
South Africa and India made a proposal at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for the waiver of the Trade –Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) mechanism to make sure for a expansion of the covid-19 vaccine production around the world.
SIGNIFICANCE OF BRICS FOR INDIA
1. It provides an opportunity for India to balance Russia-China axis.
2. It also provides a platform for India to take a strong stand against terrorism and bring about focused consultation on aspects relating to terrorism.
3. It plays an important role in the G-20, in shaping global economic policies and promoting financial stability.
4. BRICS countries have a combined GDP of USD 16.6 trillion. Therefore, such summits are significant for India.
4. As China forms the major roadblock for India in pursuing its membership for United Nation Security Council (UNSC) and Nuclear Supplier Group, BRICS provide an opportunity to actively engage with China and resolve the mutual disputes.
BRICS play an important stabilising role in global affairs. There is need to strengthen people to people exchanges for mutual learning and there should also be focus on four Cs for the fundamental principles of partnership: public health Cooperation, international Cooperation on vaccines, economic Cooperation, and political and security Cooperation.