In keeping with the prevailing theme that guided the BRICS alliance during the previous year, Russia has declared that the elimination of the US Dollar will be its foremost objective in 2024. In fact, the nation is poised to assume the group’s chairmanship this year. Following that, the present state of the global economic order’s finances was identified as the most urgent area for cooperation.
Russia’s bold move to ditch the USD
The inaugural meeting of BRICS Sherpas and Sous-Sherpas, organized by Russia as the group’s chairman, took place in Moscow. Representatives from Egypt, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and Egypt are participating for the first time.
In the meeting, Russia announced the harmonic participation of debutants in the shared effort to be one of the BRICS’ priorities in 2024. Now, these plans are being implemented. Traditionally, the Sherpas meet to reconcile opinions on major international problems, address critical concerns of collaboration, and plan for upcoming events.
As recorded, Sergey Ryabkov, Russia’s Sherpa for BRICS and Deputy Foreign Minister, opened the conference by stating that the alliance’s expansion will benefit all member states. In addition, the action helps to construct a more equitable multipolar world order.
He also stated that the inclusion of new countries will increase developing market states’ roles in global decision-making.
In addition, the Russian BRICS Sherpa discussed the aims of the Russian BRICS presidency for this year. According to him, the focus will be on strengthening BRICS economic connections.
In line with the decision of the BRICS leaders in Johannesburg, we will explore ways to make greater use of national and local currencies and payment instruments in our cross-border transactions in order to reduce the negative side effects of the current global economic system.Sergey Ryabkov, Russia’s Sherpa for BRICS
For his part, China’s BRICS Sherpa Ma Zhaoxu stated that the People’s Republic of China considers the use of national currencies in cross-border transactions essential.
We should strengthen our practical cooperation, support the active work, and promote the development of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB).Ma Zhaoxu
BRICS priorities recalibrated
According to Ma Zhaoxu, the authorities are also considering establishing a BRICS center to collaborate on the development of artificial intelligence technology. This area of work for the BRICS countries is becoming increasingly important within the group.
Iran’s BRICS Sherpa, Mehdi Safari, voiced agreement with his Chinese counterpart. He also stated that Tehran hopes to accelerate the transition to settlements in national currencies during Russia’s presidency of the alliance.
Another key topic is member-country cooperation in the health sector. Abhishek Singh, India’s Foreign Ministry envoy, and the country’s Sherpa in the alliance, proposed establishing a BRICS single depository of medicines. He also stated that India expects to make headway on the BRICS online database archive project by 2024.
Such an archive will be a great opportunity to access authentic BRICS documents.Abhishek Singh
During the meeting, Egyptian Deputy Foreign Minister Ragui El-Etreby stated that the country is ready to participate in all aspects of the growth of connections in trade, information and communication technology, maritime transport, and logistics. In addition, Egypt welcomes Russia’s cooperation as BRICS chair in combating food and energy insecurity.
We are well aware that smooth integration and full inclusion of new members in the work of BRICS is a major step. But we are confident that under your able leadership we will be able to successfully address each of these challenges.Ragui El-Etreby
Speaking at the meeting, Ahmed Al Badawi of the UAE Foreign Ministry stated that the UAE wishes to share its digital economy expertise with its colleagues. According to him, such interaction will aid in the BRICS’ digital transformation ambitions.
According to South Africa’s Sherpa Anil Sooklal, most industrialized countries and states in the global North have expressed a growing interest in the organization.
We think it shows a confidence in what the association is doing, the principles we profess and the goals we have set for ourselves. It shows that we are moving in the right direction.Anil Sooklal
Ana Maria Bierrenbach, Brazil’s BRICS sous-sherpa, discussed the bloc’s successes in cooperation last year during the South African presidency: “In 2023, more than 200 events were hosted. “We have made significant progress in science, technology, and health as a result of these meetings,” Birrenbach stated that one of the important decisions made last year was the addition of new members.
Ethiopia’s Sherpa to BRICS, Mamo Mihretu, has voiced his country’s support for Russia’s group leadership, stating:
The Russian chairmanship will increase the influence of our association. We are grateful to have been briefed on a number of projects. This will allow for greater integration of the new member states of the group. We are convinced that the expansion of membership will open a new page in our multilateral partnership.Mamo Mihretu