BRICS 3.0 — What now?
by KRISTOFFER HELL 14th September 2023
On the final day of the BRICS meeting in Johannesburg (22–24 August 2023), South African leader Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the current member countries will open the doors to BRICS for six new countries in 2024: Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
BRICS was born in 2009 as BRIC, an association of Brazil, Russia, India, and China, with a focus on facilitating investments among themselves—conceptualised in this article as BRICS 1.0.
With the inclusion of South Africa into the organsiation in 2010, the name changed to BRICS—henceforth thought of as BRICS 2.0.
The bloc’s cooperation today is said to rest on three pillars:
- Politics & Security
- Finance & Economy
- Culture & People-to-People Contacts
Why did BRICS choose to include these six countries out of a pool of 38 that have applied or expressed interest in joining the world’s only multipolar economic cooperation organisation?
The map below indicates that the purpose of BRICS 3.0—with eleven members from 1 January 2024—could be a desire to defuse the explosive conflicts in international politics that the US-led West has escalated for decades, and in the same breath, to establish the political and physical infrastructure for a new multipolar world order.
Together, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates dominate the Persian Gulf and the maritime traffic in and out of it.
Egypt and Ethiopia together control the maritime traffic between the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean.
© Kristoffer Hell 2023
South Africa controls the maritime traffic around the southern tip of Africa, the Cape of Good Hope.
Under the leadership of the United States, in league with Israel, the West has for half a century, incited against Shia-majority Iran. This will probably become more difficult from 2024 onwards, when the country is no longer an isolated pariah in world politics but a member of the world’s largest international organization for multipolar cooperation.
Unfortunately, the conflict-laden and New York-based United Nations seems increasingly unable to play a constructive role in world politics.
Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia has also been one of the American pawns in the game against Tehran—a game that seems to have been thwarted by the agreement that China helped establish between the two neighbours in 2023, the ground prepared by Moscow.
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