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Is BRICS Falling Apart Because of Its New Members?

In this post:

  • BRICS expanded in 2024 by inviting six new countries, but only four accepted as Argentina declined and Saudi Arabia delayed its decision.
  • New and old BRICS members clash over India’s aim for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council, with new members Egypt and Ethiopia opposing it.
  • Despite expectations, new members did not uniformly support India, Brazil, and South Africa’s candidature for permanent UNSC membership.

In 2009, BRICS emerged as a tight-knit alliance of five nations. Fast forward to 2023, and we see a bloc now welcoming new faces into the fold. Last year, BRICS sent out invites to six countries—Saudi Arabia, Argentina, the UAE, Egypt, Iran, and Ethiopia.

While Argentina took a pass and Saudi Arabia’s on a rain check, four others have jumped onboard in 2024.

New Faces Cause New Friction

With the fresh mix of countries, BRICS isn’t just about the original five anymore. Each member brings its own viewpoint, stirring the pot of geopolitical views.

At the heart of the discord is India’s push for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council (UNSC)—a move that hasn’t sat well with some of the newbies.

Brazil and South Africa are backing India’s bid, but the new members, especially Egypt and Ethiopia, are not cheering from the sidelines—they want a shot at that seat too.

Also Read: What Has the Brics Been up to Lately?

A source spilled the beans, revealing that old BRICS members expected newbies to back India’s UNSC aspirations. But it seems the newcomers have their eyes on their own prize. An anonymous insider said:

“When new members were admitted to the BRICS grouping last year, a formula was introduced suggesting that all new members should agree to the aspirations of India, Brazil, and South Africa for becoming permanent members of the UNSC.

But some of the new members, such as Egypt and Ethiopia, are now protesting against it as they themselves are aspirants for UNSC membership, the source added.

Problems Arise Over UN Ambitions

The plot thickened in August 2023 when BRICS expanded to include Egypt, Iran, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Ethiopia. They were formally welcomed in January 2024.

Last year’s BRICS members hashed out that supporting India, Brazil, and South Africa’s candidature for permanent UNSC membership would be a key joining condition. But it seems some new members missed that memo.

Related: What Has the Brics Been up to Lately?

“Now it turns out that the letter that was officially sent to them on the terms, conditions and guidelines for their accession to BRICS did not explicitly call for support for India, Brazil and South Africa. New members like Egypt and Ethiopia are saying that they are also legitimate aspirants to be UNSC members and could not agree to just support three countries.”

BRICS Official

The Johannesburg declaration in 2023 backed this stance, advocating for a “comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, to make it more democratic and representative,” emphasizing the need for greater representation of developing countries.

BRICS Summons Unity Amidst Diverse Goals

With the upcoming BRICS summit in Kazan, Russia, in October 2024, the challenge is real. The summit aims to hash out a common stance on UNSC reforms and membership expansion, with India eager to cement its place as a permanent member.

Meanwhile, at the 15th International Economic Forum in Kazan, Ali Baqeri Kani, the Iranian deputy foreign minister, underscored BRICS’s role as a crucial player in global affairs.

Will the alliance strengthen its unity, or will the new dynamics lead to a break up?


Cryptopolitan reporting by Jai Hamid.

DisclaimerThe information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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