Brics nations offer the world a taste of genuine economic partnership (article in The Daily Telegraph, 3 August 2015)

The seventh BRICS Summit just held in Ufa, Russia, marked a major milestone in partnership. Leaders discussed issues of common interest internationally, as well as key priorities to further strengthen and broaden intra-BRICS cooperation. They decided to enhance BRICS strategic partnership on the basis of principles of openness, solidarity, equality and mutual understanding, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation.

Two major economic and financial projects agreed at the previous summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserves Arrangement, came to fruition after a year of work by experts and talks between our governments.

Among other things, the new bank will fund infrastructure in the developing world, as well as for sustainable development projects. The leaders stated that the global recovery was continuing, albeit that growth remained fragile with considerable divergences across countries. If anything, the past year’s economic developments only contributed to the sense of urgency in implementing these undertakings.

BRICS co-operation reflected an objective need for co-ordination between new emerging centres of economic growth in a fast-changing global environment. As always, it is left to national governments to carry out sober analysis and make decisions to bridge the gap between global governance, that often lags behind, and the situation “on the ground”.  Our efforts complement our commitment to our G20 partners, and we will be working closely with the upcoming presidency of China in that forum.

As the Ufa Declarations reaffirms, we are strongly committed to working closely in G20, which is viewed as the premier forum of international financial and economic co-operation. What is of concern, however, is the lack of action on further reform of the Bretton-Woods institutions, despite the decisions made five years ago to adapt them.

Given the experience of Europe, Africa, Latin America and other regions, we have been steadily enhancing our co-operation. The leaders adopted the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnerships as a key summit outcome, intended to coordinate our collaborations in various fields. These include finance, economy and innovation, science and technology, fiscal and social policies, statistics, agriculture, health, emergencies management, education and culture.

This reflects the comprehensive nature of the ongoing change in the world.

The above gives a broad overview of what BRICS`s cooperation constitutes.

 In response to outside speculations regarding BRICS, we wish to clarify that our forum is not aimed against any parties, but rather stands for win-win cooperation through joint action. It is part of overall networked diplomacy of each of our nations. Our cooperation is based on the principles of the United Nations, including sovereign equality. Nobody dictates to anybody or imposes their will, and decision-making is based on the principle of consensus. That is why we truly believe that our partnership, representing 43pc of the world population and almost 30pc of global GDP, provides a sustainable model of international cooperation. We strongly support the central role of the United Nations in world affairs and the rule of international law.

Another important area of co-operation is in addressing new challenges to our security, such as terrorism, drug trafficking, new infectious diseases, climate change and many others. They are transnational and can only be effectively dealt with through genuine international efforts at global and regional levels. While co-operating between ourselves, we are open to engagement with other partners on issues of mutual concern. In Ufa, such outreach was extended to the members of Eurasian Economic Union and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. It may be recalled this was also pursued in 2013, first with African Union members and last year with South American Nations.

We are convinced that our cooperation serves a broader interest of international community by enhancing the global common space in pursuit of peace, security, stability, development and cooperation for all nations.

 

 

 

Roberto Jaguaribe, Ambassador of Brazil to the UK

Liu Xiaoming, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the UK

Ranjan Mathai, Indian High Commissioner to the UK

Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the UK

Obed Mlaba, South African High Commissioner to the UK