The foreign ministers of the BRICS group of emerging economies are meeting in Cape Town from June 1 to 2 to prepare for the 15th BRICS summit in August, which will be hosted by South Africa. The meeting will be attended by representatives from other countries, such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Kazakhstan, who are interested in joining the bloc.
One of the main topics on the agenda is the possibility of creating a common currency for trade among BRICS members, which include Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The idea has been supported by China and Brazil, who see it as a way to reduce their dependence on the US dollar and enhance their economic cooperation.
Another issue that is likely to be discussed is the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which has escalated since Putin’s invasion of eastern Ukraine in 2022. China may also push its 12-point peace plan for Ukraine, which calls for dialogue, de-escalation and respect for sovereignty. The BRICS countries have refrained from imposing sanctions on Russia over its aggression, unlike the US and its allies.
The meeting will also address regional and international issues of mutual concern, such as climate change, terrorism, human rights and development. The BRICS countries aim to strengthen their voice and influence in global affairs, especially at a time when the US-China rivalry is creating divisions and uncertainties.
The BRICS group was formed in 2009 to promote cooperation among emerging markets and challenge the dominance of the West. It has established its own development bank and contingency reserve fund, and has expanded its membership to include South Africa in 2011. The group now represents about 40% of the world’s population and 30% of the global GDP.