10 questions that will answer all your queries about BRICS

10 questions that will answer all your queries about BRICS

1) What is BRICS?

BRICS refer to Brazil, Russia, In¬dia, China and South Africa.  Globally, they are the five fastest growing emerging economies. In 2001, Jim O’Neill of the American bank, Goldman Sachs coined the phrase ‘BRIC’, in a report ‘Building Better Global Economic’. South Africa was later on added in 2010.

It was in September 2006 that ‘BRIC’ as an international forum was formalized with the first meeting of the foreign ministers of Brazil, Russia, India and China in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

 

2) When was the first BRICS Summit held? 

The first BRIC Heads of State Summit was held in June 2009 at Yekaterinburg, Russia. BRICS leaders issued a Joint Statement on Global Food Security.

 

3) How many BRICS Summits have been held?

There have been seven BRICS Summits held from 2009 to 2015. 

 

4) What is the development agenda for BRICS? 

The canvas of the BRICS agenda is quite broad. Though it began with regular and intensive consultations on the global economic slowdown of 2008-09, the agenda has gradu¬ally incorporated other concerns such as climate change and sustainable development, food and energy security, health, the global trading order, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), reforms in international economic and financial institutions, and international and regional political developments.

 

5) Why is it important for civil society to engage with the BRICS?

The BRICS annual summits have produced joint declarations covering major global development issues, from peace to global food security and UN reforms. Thus, it is important for civil society to come together and bring the voices from the ground and influence the BRICS agenda.

 

6) What are the key “asks” from civil society for the BRICS Summit? 

One of the key asks from the BRICS Summit is for a participatory space that is inclusive and democratic. Civil society organizations and peoples’ movements from BRICS countries should be able to maintain our independence and right to dissent.

 

7) What was a recent announcement related to the BRICS?

At the 7th BRICS Summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, BRICS leaders announced the world’s newest multilateral development bank – the New Development Bank (NDB), with US $100 billion as initial capital to fund infrastructure and sustainable development projects both in their own countries as well as elsewhere. India will contribute US $ 18 billion to the Bank.

 

8) Who is the President of the BRICS Bank?

The first President of the BRICS Bank is K V Kamath from India.

 

9) Are there any formal mechanisms for civil society to input into BRICS Summits? 

Civic BRICS is the innovative political process, for the first time to be implemented within BRICS Summit in 2015, by the Russian Federation Presidency. The Civic BRICS aims to ensure a constructive dialogue between the representatives of the civil society not only of the BRICS Member States, but as well the guest countries with the decision-makers on the most important social issues - healthcare, education, culture, development, urban problems, finance, conflicts settlement. It draws inspiration from the Civil 20 mechanism for policy dialogue between political leaders of the G20 countries and the CSOs and other stakeholders. The G20 civil society deliberations date back to Toronto summit in June 2010. However, as a structured process Civil 20 was first established during the Russian G20 presidency in 2013.

 

10) Where and when is the next BRICS Summit scheduled?

The Eighth BRICS Summit is scheduled to be held in India (tentatively) in June 2016.

 

This was some basic information about BRICS, you can now listen to the VOICE of BRICS here.

 

 

Written by: Alpaxee Kashyap, Oxfam India

 


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