re posted from Africa and the World
BRICS Plus: A New Concept for Partnerships With Countries of the Global South
30 July 2018
BRICS-Plus ‘Global South’ New Paradigm for Worldwide Peace and Development
July 28, 2018
The three-day BRICS Summit closed last night with a presentation by host South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, had unprecedented involvement of heads of state and government of the nations currently chairing the most important regional organizations of the “Global South.” This came about as a follow-on to the 2017 BRICS Summit, at which host country China initiated the “BRICS-Plus” practice, of inviting five heads of state of guest nations, under the rubric of representing “Emerging Markets and Developing Nations.”
But this year, the guest nation innovation was expanded even further, to systematically engage all those countries which head standing organizations–called “Regional Economic Communities”–of the Global South and United Nations. They are not only from Africa, but throughout the countries south of the Tropic of Cancer–i.e., the “South”–and nearby. (The full list is below.)
The title of the 2018 BRICS Plus Initiative for Outreach, was “BRICS Plus: Securing Sustainable and Inclusive growth for the Prosperity of the Global South.” President Xi Jinping, in his remarks to the Outreach dialogue session at the summit, stressed that nations can jointly explore “new driving forces for development.” In this vein, Russian President Vladimir Putin, in the course of the dialogue, has discussed nuclear power with nations including Zambia, South Africa, Egypt, and others.
The BRICS “Outreach” statement said, “The rationale behind this BRICS Plus concept is to create a platform for greater interaction and partnerships amongst countries of the Global South to shape the agenda to effect changes in the global economy….” This portends historic policy shifts to come, in particular at the September meeting in China of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
Organizations and nation-chairmanships at the Johannesburg Summit:
– Africa –
African Union–Rwanda, 2018 Chair
NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development)–Senegal, Chair of its HSGIC (Government Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee)
IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development)–Ethiopia
ECCAS (Economic Community of Central African States)–Gabon
EAC (East African Community)–Uganda
ECOWAS (Economic Community of Wast Africa States)–Togo
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa–Zambia
– Americas –
CARICOM (Caribbean Community)–Jamaica, incoming Chair
MERCOSUR (Common Market of the South)–Argentina, member
– Asia –
OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation)–Turkey
Africa-Asia Strategic Partnership, Indonesia, Co-Chair, with South Africa
– Multinational –
G77 (Group of 77+China)–Egypt, Chair
G20 (Group of 20)–Argentina, Chair
President Xi Stresses Concept of the BRICS-Plus, and China’s Commitment to Africa
Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed the “BRICS-Plus” concept in his remarks to the Outreach Dialogue session at the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, whose participants included not only heads of state of the BRICS nations, but also those of nations currently leading the major economic groupings of the “Global South” (see separate slug). Xi again underlined what has been the leitmotif of his speeches at the summit. Firstly, expanding the concept of BRICS-Plus. “We should understand, support, stay forever with, and help each other, taking ‘BRICS Plus’ cooperation as an opportunity to build an open, inclusive, cooperative and win-win partnership and create a platform for deepening South-South cooperation,” Xi said.
Secondly, President Xi said that the BRICS and their partners should jointly explore “new driving forces for development,” exploiting the gains of the New Industrial Revolution to their advantage. Thirdly, they should work to create a positive external environment and preserve an open, multilateral trading system and increasing the role of the emerging economies in it. Fourthly, they should work to build a new system of international relations based on a more just and rational direction.
President Xi also reaffirmed China’s commitment to Africa’s development, reiterating that China is still a developing country as well. He further stated that, “China will stay as a developing country no matter how it develops, staunchly support the development of developing countries and be committed to building close partnerships and, even when it achieves the goal of a developed country, it will not forget the developing countries.” He welcomed the African leaders to the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in September.