As BRICS invites Saudi Arabia, UAE among six new members, PM Modi advocates further expansion of the group

Leaders of the BRICS group, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, announced on Thursday the invitation of six additional countries to join their ranks even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi favoured the inclusion of more countries into the fold.

BRICS leaders are inviting more members into the fold. Photo courtesy: PIB

Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, Argentina, and the United Arab Emirates have been invited to join the bloc, aiming to enhance the influence of a coalition that is committed to advocating for the interests of the "Global South."

This expansion initiative of BRICS is part of their effort to amplify their presence and effectiveness on the global stage.

The initial phase of this expansion is set to take effect from January 1, 2024.

The ongoing 2023 BRICS Summit at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg provided a platform for these discussions, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India among the attendees.

The enthusiasm for joining BRICS has been substantial, with over 40 countries expressing interest and 22 formally applying for membership.

These aspiring members hail from diverse backgrounds and are united by a shared aspiration to address the perceived global disparities and imbalances.

The grouping’s commitment to reshaping the global order has struck a chord with these nations, as they seek a fairer international playing field.

Announcing the expansion, South Africa's president Cyril Ramaphosa said, “This summit reaffirmed the importance of BRICS, people-to-people exchanges & enhancing friendship & cooperation...We adopted the Johannesburg two declarations which reflect key BRICS messages on matters of global economic, financial & political importance. It demonstrates the shared values & common interests that underlie our mutually beneficial cooperation as the five BRICS countries...”

The expansion of the bloc will allow it to forge into a viable counterweight to the West, with Beijing and Moscow pushing for it the most.

PM Modi congratulated Ramaphosa for the successful summit and said India has always fully supported the expansion of BRICS membership.

He said: "India has always supported the expansion of BRICS. India has always believed that adding new members will strengthen BRICS as an organisation and it will give our shared efforts a new impetus. This will also strengthen the belief of many countries in the multipolar world order. I am glad that in this 3-day meeting, a lot of positive results have come out.”

He further added, "Expansion and modernisation of BRICS is an indication that institutions of the world must get accustomed to changing times. This is an initiative that can be an example of reforms in other global institutions that were established in the 20th century.”

PM Modi's statement alluded to the persistent request of certain developing nations to reform and enlarge the UN Security Council. This entails adding more seats for both permanent and non-permanent members to address the representation imbalance.

C to I News Desk
C to I News Desk – CtoI

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