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BRICS to welcome six new members, as a ‘milestone’

BEIJING: The BRICS countries welcomed six new members from three different continents on Thursday, marking a historical milestone that underscored the solidarity of BRICS and developing countries and their determination to work together for a better future, officials and experts said.
They stated that the expansion of the BRICS, as a new starting point for multilateral cooperation, will play a positive role in more equitable and just global governance.
The BRICS countries have decided to invite six countries – Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – to become new members of the grouping, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday. It will be the first expansion since 2010 and the new candidates will be admitted as members on January 1, 2024, according to media reports.
With the expansion of the BRICS topping the agenda of the three-day 15th BRICS summit in Johannesburg, BRICS countries have reached a consensus on guiding principles, standards, criteria and procedures of the grouping’s expansion process, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa told a briefing on Thursday.
The expansion will also inject fresh vitality into the BRICS cooperation mechanism, and further strengthen the forces for world peace and development, Xi said, noting that as long as the BRICS countries pull together, a lot can be achieved in BRICS cooperation, and a promising future awaits the BRICS countries.
The summit also adopted the Johannesburg II Declaration, reaffirming the countries’ commitment to the BRICS spirit of mutual respect and understanding, sovereign equality, solidarity, democracy, openness, inclusiveness, strengthened collaboration and consensus. A consensus was reached on partnership for inclusive multilateralism, fostering an environment of peace and development, partnership for mutually accelerated growth, partnership for sustainable development, deepening people-to-people exchanges and institutional development.
The expansion of the BRICS not only demonstrated the vigorous trend of the BRICS mechanism, far exceeding the expectations of some Western countries like the US, but also served as a powerful response to Western-led hegemony, experts said, noting that more developing countries hoping to join the grouping showed the expectations of strengthening their voices and autonomy in global issues, advocating for a more equitable, just, diverse and multi-polar international order.
“We are really very happy that this process is accelerating, so I want to thank China and all the BRICS countries for their support,” Argentine Ambassador to China Sabino Vaca Narvaja told the Global Times on Thursday.
“Together, we are going to represent the voice of emerging countries, which have historically been neglected in international organizations,” Narvaja said.
“The strengthening of the BRICS is essential for the development of the countries of the Global South. I believe that this space represents countries that have the same problems and the same needs, which is why it will be easier to work together to strengthen our development,” the Argentine envoy said.- APP

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