(MENAFN- Daily News Egypt) A few days ago, Africa hosted a meeting of BRICS foreign ministers in Cape Town, the legislative capital of South Africa, to discuss the agenda of the upcoming leaders' summit next August. Through this meeting, it seemed clear that the BRICS alliance will witness important developments that will certainly be decided by this upcoming summit. This is where the alliance seeks to expand by including new countries for the purpose of forming a multipolar world away from the domination of the West and breaking the dominance of the dollar. Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, confirmed when presiding over the meeting that“this year's BRICS summit will be held in Johannesburg,” noting that the theme of the summit is“BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutual Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development, and Multilateralism.”
BRICS is a unique grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Negotiations for the formation of this alliance began in 2006 and its first summit was held in 2009 in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Since then, the successive summits of this alliance have been accustomed to taking rapid successive developments. This is what makes us expect important decisions to be taken at the next summit that will actually lay the foundations for the multipolar world. This is where the main interest of the BRICS countries at the present time is focused on the global economic and financial aspects by proposing the introduction of a new international currency that limits the dominance of the dollar.
The importance and uniqueness of the BRICS group lie in the strategic goals that these countries seek to achieve. This is where the BRICS bloc has been working since its formation to formulate a new multipolar international order and to promote the principle of sovereignty and independence of states. The BRICS Union is also working to create an international balance in the economic process and to obtain a role in the global management of the global economy alongside the G20, with the aim of introducing reforms to international and financial institutions, especially the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. This is to prevent the exploitation of international organizations to interfere in countries' internal affairs on behalf of a country or a group of countries, as is happening now.
These strategic goals have made the BRICS group a target for all developing countries and emerging economies. This is where 19 countries expressed interest in joining the“BRICS” group, among these countries are Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Argentina, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Indonesia. It can be said that many developing countries view the BRICS group as a lifeline from the desperate attempts of Western countries, led by the United States of America, to control developing economies.
Indeed, the BRICS group constitutes a new hope to protect the interests of third-world countries and to stand as a deterrent force in the face of the major powers. What also encourages these countries to join the BRICS is that this group does not seek to exclude the rest of the international groupings or to impose an alternative world order for absolute hegemony, as many writings in the West promote. This is simply due to the fact that all BRICS economies are now linked to the Western economy in general and the American economy in particular through the movement of financial flows and trade exchanges. Accordingly, joining BRICS does not mean creating an alternative system, but rather aims to give a voice to the emerging economies and form a group pressure on the major countries in order not to let them control the fate of the world alone, whether through the economic or the political decision.
But despite the legitimacy of the goals of the BRICS group, which seeks to find a real global balance to protect the interests of developing countries, it faces great hostility from the West in general and the United States of America in particular. This hostility is clearly reflected in the increasing Western and American economic research, which seeks to focus on the obstacles only that would undermine this group and raise fear of joining it and ignore the achievements made by the group despite the challenges in a way that contradicts the principle of impartiality and objectivity of scientific research. Examples of these obstacles that these studies focus on are the strategic and political challenges, the most important of which are border problems and regional conflicts between the bloc countries, and the geographical divergence of these countries that
Analysts at Bank of America, which is one of the Big Four banking institutions of the United States, also repeat the same claims as they stress that the BRICS currency is unlikely to replace the US dollar as the global reserve currency because it would require cooperation among member states that have Limited trade with each other, with the exception of China, which often has tense relations with some of the BRICS countries.
In fact, these claims deliberately ignore the real tangible achievements of this bloc on the one hand, and the desire of this alliance to integrate with the existing global system on the other hand, which encouraged many countries to join it. An example of these achievements is certainly the establishment of the New Development Bank, which is a real complementary opportunity, not a substitute for existing financial institutions, in both the public and private sectors. What confirms this is the fact that, although the Bank was founded by the BRICS group, it is open to all members of the United Nations. This is where the terms of the bank agreement maintain a minimum shareholding of 55% for founding members and a maximum of 30% for developed countries. It is also worth mentioning that the alliance had other tangible successes on the economic level, such as achieving integration between the Eurasian Union and Latin American markets.
Despite the obstacles that Western research focuses on, BRICS has proven to be a rising force in international relations. We can also say that the basic obstacles assumed by Western studies may in themselves be strengths that have increased the effectiveness of this gathering. This is because the nature of the countries forming the bloc that possess considerable economic and military capabilities, in addition to the richness of these countries in resources and energies, contributed to the creation of diversity and multiplicity in energy and manufacturing sources, and led to integration in several fields despite the geographical divergence. In addition to this, there is another important factor, which is that there is a major common goal among these countries towards transforming into a new global economy and laying the foundations for a multipolar international system, which is the goal that led to an increase in the pace of technical and economic cooperation between the BRICS countries.
Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the only obstacle facing this group is the hostility of the United States towards it and its constant endeavor to ignite border conflicts between the countries of this group, which is a phenomenon of the twenty-first century.
Dr Marwa El- Shinawy: Academic and writer