The 15th Plenary Session of BRICS commenced in Johannesburg on Wednesday (August 23), with participating members advocating for the reinforcement of multilateralism to foster global development and security, along with enhancing harmonious coexistence among the member nations.
Some of the members also talked about the Russia-Ukraine conflict and said that BRICS nations should work towards resolving the issue.
Delivering the opening remarks, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa called on member countries to further the interests of the global south and press the industrialised countries to support climate actions.
“BRICS nations need to advance the interests of the global south and call for industrialised countries to honour their commitments to support climate actions by developing economic progress…”
Talking about the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, Ramaphosa said that BRICS countries will continue to be supportive of bringing this conflict to an end through dialogue, mediation and negotiation”.”
Indian PM Modi calls for BRICS expansion
Then, Indian Prime Minister Narendra backed the idea of BRICS expansion, prompting other leaders to clap in response. He later also called on all BRICS members to support the inclusion of the African Union into the G20 grouping.
He also proposed BRICS cooperation in the space exploration consortium that will focus on space research and weather monitoring, and further suggesting cooperation in education, technology and skill mapping.
Xi wants BRICS to expand cooperation in security
Speaking next, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that BRICS countries should practice true multilateralism, stick to solidarity and oppose division.
“International rules must be written and upheld jointly by all countries based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter rather than dictated by those with strongest muscles or the loudest of voice…BRICS countries should practice true multilateralism, stick to solidarity and oppose division…”
“Human history will not end with a particular civilisation or system. BRICS countries need to champion the spirit of inclusiveness and advocate peaceful coexistence and harmony between civilisations. We should respect all modernisation paths that each country chooses on its own and oppose ideological rivalry, systemic confrontation and clash of civilisations.”
The Chinese leader further said that BRICS should expand cooperation in other fields such as security to uphold peace and tranquility
“The Cold War mentality is still haunting our world and the geo-political situation is getting tense. BRICS countries should keep to the direction of peaceful development and consolidate the BRICS strategic partnership.”
“We need to make good use of the BRICS Foreign ministers’ meeting, a meeting of high representatives on national security & other mechanism; support each other on our core interests and enhance coordination on major international and regional issues. We need to tender good offices on hotspot issues pushing for political settlement and lowering the temperature…”
Putin blames West for Ukraine war
Addressing the event virtually, Russian President Vladimir Putin talked about the Ukraine conflict wherein he blamed the West’s “hegemony mindset” as the key reason for starting the war.
“We are against any hegemony, the notion of exceptionalism promoted by some nations, and the policy of neocolonialism derived from that claim,” the Russian leader said.
The BRICS group, which includes Brazil, China, India, Russia, and South Africa, firmly believes in “the formation of a multipolar world order, truly just and based on international law,” Putin stated.
“Our actions in Ukraine have but one motive: to put an end to this war that the West and its satellites in Ukraine started against the people living in Donbas,” the president said.
He also conveyed Moscow’s gratitude to BRICS members, which he said are working to resolve the situation “in a fair way through peaceful means.”