GIGA Insights | 23/08/2023

BRICS Summit 2023: Union of the Global South

Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa are meeting with other countries of the Global South for the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg from 22 to 24 August 2023.

  • While in the past the annual summits were about economic cooperation and climate protection, the BRICS are repositioning themselves as of this year: The grouping of states now wants to present itself as a counterweight to the G7 and represent the interests of the Global South to the West. More than 40 countries want to join the alliance; some of them, such as Argentina, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, have already submitted an official application for membership.

    Prof. Dr. Amrita Narlikar, President of the GIGA and an expert on multilateralism, sees in the meeting also a failure of Western diplomacy. Even democratic emerging countries have lost confidence in the West, she says. Narlikar argues in various media articles to take seriously the concerns of BRICS and the countries of the Global South interested in joining the alliance.

    Dr. Miriam Prys-Hansen who also works on BRICS at the GIGA knows that very different nations want to cooperate here: “As diverse as the BRICS are, as different are the demands and ideas of the accession candidates, and despite all their differences, the symbolic power of a union of the Global South stands above all.”

    Precisely because the countries of the Global South are so heterogeneous, the individual states must represent their own interests on the world stage. “That’s where the BRICS are another forum that can also be of importance,” says political scientist Dr. Johannes Plagemann in an interview with Deutschlandfunk. Plagemann does not expect an expansion of the BRICS directly at this meeting, as there is no agreement yet on which states could join and under which conditions.

    For current assessments and analyses of the BRICS summit by our team of experts, please see the following media articles.


    Text: Lisa Sänger


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