BRICS nations meet in South Africa next week to curb Western dominance
Leaders of BRICS countries will meet in South Africa next week for their annual summit to discuss how to turn the powerful bloc into a geopolitical force that can challenge Western dominance.
The 15th summit of BRICS heads of state will be held in the capital Johannesburg from August 22 to 24, with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Brazil's Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in attendance.
The BRICS group of fast-developing economies — Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa — is often seen as an alternative development partners to the Western economic and political hegemony.
According to South Africa, some 40 nations have shown interest in joining, either formally or informally, including Saudi Arabia, Argentina and Egypt.
The summit, entitled "BRICS and Africa", will also emphasize on how the bloc can build ties with a continent increasingly becoming a scene for competition between world powers.
Spread over the globe and with economies that operate in vastly different ways, the main thing uniting the BRICS is scepticism about a US-led “world order” they see as serving the interests of the US and its rich-country allies who promote international norms they enforce but don't always respect.
Last week in a veiled swipe at Western dominance, South Africa's Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor said in a statement that BRICS nations wanted to show "global leadership in addressing the needs ... of the majority of the world, namely ... development and inclusion of the Global South in multilateral systems."
China says that the bloc seeks to "reform global governance systems (to) increase the representation ... of developing countries and emerging markets."
The New Development Bank (NDB) launched by the BRICS bloc also aims to de-dollarize finance and increase local currency fundraising and lending, amid Western sanctions against founding shareholder Russia.
The five-nation bloc accounts for 42 percent of the global population and about 26 percent of the world’s economy, according to the South Africa-based Institute for Security Studies.
Iran is among dozens of countries that seek membership in BRICS and has submitted a formal application to join the body.
Russia and China have welcomed Iran’s application and the group’s expansion to include international powerhouses.