BRICS : 10 Important Questions

From left, Brazil’s President Michel Temer, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pose for a group photo during the BRICS Summit at the Xiamen International Conference and Exhibition Center in Xiamen, southeastern China’s Fujian Province.( DailyGKZone )

1) What is BRICS?

BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Originally the first four were grouped as “BRIC” (or “the BRICs”), before the induction of South Africa in 2010. The BRICS members are all leading developing or newly industrialized countries, but they are distinguished by their large, sometimes fast-growing economies and significant influence on regional affairs; all five are G-20 members. Since 2009, the BRICS nations have met annually at formal summits. China will host the 9th BRICS summit in Xiamen on September 3rd, 4th and 5th, 2017. The term does not include countries such as South Korea, Mexico and Turkey for which other acronyms and group associations were later created.

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 Nine BRICS Summits held from 2009 to 2017.

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?

Brics 2017: Summit declaration names Pak-based Lashkar, Jaish as terror concerns

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 Ninth BRICS Summit scheduled ?

Sr. No. Date(s) Host country Host leader Location
1st 16 June 2009  Russia Dmitry Medvedev Yekaterinburg (Sevastianov’s House)
2nd 15 April 2010  Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Brasília
3rd 14 April 2011  China Hu Jintao Sanya (Sheraton Sanya Resort)
4th 29 March 2012  India Manmohan Singh New Delhi (Taj Mahal Hotel)
5th 26–27 March 2013  South Africa Jacob Zuma Durban (Durban ICC)
6th 14–17 July 2014  Brazil Dilma Rousseff Fortaleza (Centro de Eventos do Ceará)[46]
Brasília
7th 8–9 July 2015  Russia Vladimir Putin Ufa (Congress Hall)[49]
8th 15–16 October 2016  India Narendra Modi Benaulim (Taj Exotica)
9th 3–5 September 2017  China Xi Jinping Xiamen (Xiamen International Conference Center)