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India Welcomes New Member States in BRICS Meeting in Russia

Russia hosted the BRICS ministerial meeting on 10 June 2024 in Nizhny Novgorod. This was the first meeting held after the expansion of BRICS to include Egypt, Iran, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia. The representatives of the said nations attended a BRICS meeting for the first time. Named after the founding countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, BRICS is an intergovernmental organisation founded in 2009 to open up investment opportunities. At the latest meeting, the participating ministers pledged to work towards strengthening the threefold strategic framework as envisioned by BRICS: politics and security, cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and economy and finance.

The Indian delegation was led by senior diplomat Dammu Ravi. India expressed its warm welcome to the new members at the meeting. According to Mr. Randhir Jaiswal, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs of India, “A significant meeting in the format of expanded BRICS family. India wholeheartedly welcomes the new membership.”

The participating ministers reaffirmed their commitment to uphold multilateralism and international law according to the Purposes and Principles in the Charter of the United Nations (UN). They expressed their support for a reform of the UN and its Security Council to make the body more democratic, effective, representative, and efficient.

The ministers acknowledged the importance of the economic forum of the G20 and welcomed the inclusion of the African Union in its fold at the G20 New Delhi summit. They reaffirmed that the G20 summits in India, Brazil and South Africa in 2023-2025 provided a welcome opportunity to address inequalities, shortcomings, and imbalances in the world economy.

Expressing grave concern over several ongoing geopolitical disputes, the ministers urged for an urgent amicable solution through diplomacy, dialogue, and consultations in a well-coordinated manner. They pledged support to a peaceful settlement of crises.

The ministers condemned acts of terrorism. Terming terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable, the ministers reaffirmed their support for counter-terrorism mechanisms to combat cross-border terrorism, terrorism financing, and safe havens. Upholding zero tolerance for terrorism, the ministers stressed the importance of putting terrorists to trial per international law. They also highlighted the urgent need to devise mechanisms to counter the increasing use of technology and digital infrastructure, including social media, to perpetrate terrorist activities.

The participating nations were requested to fully implement the UNFCCC, or the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and its Paris Agreement.

The ministers opposed any unilateral protectionist measure that disrupt the global production and supply chain and distort competition. Instead, they supported an open, fair, inclusive, transparent, equitable, rules-based, and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system. Furthermore, this system should have the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as its core, with S&DT (special and differential treatment) for developing countries and Least Developed Countries as the foundational core of the WTO. The ministers also emphasised the increasing use of local currencies in trade and transactions among the BRICS countries.

On 1 January 2024, Russia took the chairmanship of BRICS. Russia plans to organise approximately 240 events during its year-long presidency, including a BRICS summit in Kazan in October 2024.