The world holds its breath as final preparations are made for the 15th BRICS summit in South Africa. This year, bloc expansion seems to be at the forefront of the agenda, with over 40 nations expressing interest in joining.
How will the summit change the global geopolitical landscape? Veteran international affairs observer Pepe Escobar explains as follows.
Johannesburg is gearing up for the 15th BRICS Summit, which will kick off on Tuesday and run through Thursday, with this year’s theme entitled BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development, and Inclusive Multilateralism.
Multilateralism is perhaps the most significant word to describe the gathering nations’ intentions, with the BRICS’ combined economic might already outweighing that of the G7.
And, when accounting for the human, geographic, economic and resource potential of countries that have expressed interest in joining, pose a serious challenge to the US-led international order.
The great potential for creating a fair and democratic architecture of international relations lies in structures like BRICS.
Pointing to the bloc name’s similarity to the English word bricks, Naryshkin indicated that BRICS is a subtle nod to the USA and its allies that the so-called rules based international order is on its way out.
These are indeed the building blocks in the foundation of a truly free and equal world. In the near future, new bricks or poles will be added.
The structure of multi-polarity will continue to grow and strengthen, protecting the rights of nations to sovereignty and identity will promoting real economic development. No beast on Earth will succeed in dismantling this structure.
In terms of a game-changing geopolitical moment, this is it, Pepe Escobar told Sputnik, when asked about the special significance of this year’s BRICS summit.
Much more than previous summits, much more than the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, much more than all previous BRICS summits.
And the fact that it takes place in Africa, which, as we all know now, is at the center of everything once again, especially because of, let’s put it concisely, the African revolt against French neocolonialism, only adds to the gathering’s significance.
There’s also the fact that the organizing committee invited 67 heads of state of powerful representatives from all over Africa and many other places in the Global South to be part of discussions involving the collaboration between BRICS and Africa.
And also with ‘BRICS+, Escobar added, referring to the exciting prospect of new members joining the bloc for the first time since South Africa itself did so in 2010.
One thing we already know for sure coming from [leaders’ representatives] is that they already decided on a mechanism for the absorption of new members.
Of course, this is a very complex endeavor because it involves, at the last count, over 30 nations, 23 that that have already expressed their formal desire to be part of BRICS+, the observer noted.
Along with bloc expansion, Escobar expects the summit to include a focus on inter-bloc trade using local currencies – the so-called R5 of the renminbi (yuan), ruble, real, rupee and rand, plus the currency of any new members that may join.
In the lead-up to the summit, both BRICS-friendly and BRICS-hostile observers commented on the prospects of the South Africa summit leading to the emergence of a possible common BRICS currency to ease international trade or even challenge the hegemony of the US dollar.
Speculation on the matter has since been quashed, with the idea put off, at least for now.
A BRICS+/SCO super bloc would not only complement China’s ambitious Belt and Road infrastructure plans, but also the Russian vision of the Greater Eurasia Partnership.
The BRICS’ bank could play an absolutely essential role going forward, the observer believes, especially in terms of financing projects in Africa, Iran, or even Syria to assist in that country’s reconstruction in the wake of the CIA-led dirty war.
So the possibilities are endless, you know, in terms of mechanisms of finance that escape the IMF and the World Bank, Escobar emphasized.
If you have them all interacting closer and closer, then they will be able to address the challenges, but in an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual respect and respect for each other’s sovereignty, which is the absolute opposite of the ‘rules-based international order.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2023.