BRICS Nations to 'Instill New Life' in UNSC Reforms, Decry Unilateral Sanctions
13:47 02.06.2023 (Updated: 14:47 02.06.2023)
© AFP 2023 RODGER BOSCHMa ZHaoxu, deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of China (L), Mauro Viera, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brazil (2nd L), Naledi Pandor, South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation (C), Sergei Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia (2nd R), and Subrahmanyam Jaishanker, Minister of Foreign Affairs of India, arrive for a family photo at the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Foreign Ministers Meeting on June 01, 2023, in Cape Town.
© AFP 2023 RODGER BOSCH
The proposed expansion of the BRICS and the spillover effects of the Ukraine crisis on the economies of the low and middle-income nations were the key areas of discussion at the BRICS Foreign Ministers' meeting in Cape Town, which was hosted under the South African presidency.
The Foreign Ministers of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) nations have committed to “instil a new life” in the discussions on the UN Security Council (UNSC) reform, a joint statement at the conclusion of the meeting in Cape Town said on Friday.
The Cape of Good Hope joint statement underlined the “need for a comprehensive reform” of the UN and its organs, including its Security Council, in order to make it “more representative, effective and efficient”.
It called for increasing the “representation of the developing countries” in the UN system so that it can “adequately respond to global challenges”.
The five countries also reiterated their commitment to strengthening multilateralism and upholding the international law with a focus on principles in the UN Charter as an “indispensable cornerstone”.
The BRICS states advocated for the “central role” of the UN in the “international system”.
“They reiterated their commitment to enhancing and improving global governance by promoting a more agile, effective, efficient, representative and accountable international and multilateral system,” as per the statement.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar and Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang were hosted for the BRICS meeting by the South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor in Cape Town on Thursday.
South Africa holds the rotating presidency of the BRICS grouping this year and will host the leaders’ meeting in August.
Additionally, a total of 15 countries from Africa and the Global South were invited to a meeting of ‘BRICS Friends’, which is also called ‘Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism’.
BRICS Slam ‘Unilateral Coercive Measures’
The BRICS joint statement criticized the “unilateral coercive measures”, including sanctions, boycotts, embargoes and blockades, by certain countries and said that such measures were producing “negative effects” on the developing world.
They said that these unilateral measures were “incompatible” with the principles of the UN Charter.
They said that the world economy, which was recovering from fallout of the Covid pandemic, was being further affected by such measures.
The G-7 sanctions against Russia in the wake of Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine have severely impacted food, energy and fertilizer supply chains around the world, with low and middle-income nations finding themselves in the firing line due to spiralling commodity prices.
BRICS Back the Use of Local Currencies in Trade Settlements
The BRICS joint statement underscored the “importance of encouraging” the use of local currencies in trade settlements and international transactions, amid the ongoing trend by many developing nations in the Global South to move away from the US dollar.
Further, the ministers emphasized the need for “financial inclusion” in BRICS and Global South so that people could fully participate in the “formal economy”.
The five countries also expressed support for a “free, open, transparent, fair, predictable, inclusive, equitable, non-discriminatory and rules-based multilateral trading system” with the World Trade Organization (WTO) lying at its “core”, as per the statement.
They condemned “unilateral protectionist measures under the pretext of environmental concern”, such as the EU's “discriminatory carbon border adjustment mechanisms, taxes and other measures”.