2024, from the very first day, brought a new geo-political and geo-economic reality. The organization of the five BRICS has morphed into BRICS+, due to a decision made last year. That is, besides the founders, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, Iran and Egypt have officially become full members of the organization. I suppose that being equal actors with the founders, when the issue of a common free trade space is raised, the newcomers will not share the fate Romania had in the EU where, in spite of being a full member, it is treated as a servant by Austria and, actually, through its insulting silence, by the entire so-called democratic and egalitarian European community.
BRICS+ will surely garner unusual international attention, largely because of its relevance to the growing importance of the Global South in today’s world affairs. More than twenty countries have formally expressed their readiness to join BRICS, which likely prompted the G7 to strengthen its relations with the Global South, by organizing a Kabuki theater scene called the Hiroshima Summit of 2023. An absurd play, where former genocidal empires declared themselves nurturers of the former colonies, which they looted and slaughtered as they pleased for hundreds of years. It would be fair to say that after genocide, bullet-enforced slavery and criminal theft on a continental scale, the G7 countries have nowadays found themselves taking notice of the Global South. And just like in Caragiale “come, fight away”, the old empires are aiming to maintain their malignant influences on the former colonies by exporting from gender equality to propagandistic lies with their famous democracy, as if Russia, China, India, Egypt or Saudi Arabia could not read and write. This arrogance of redneck aristocracy, which those in the G7 are brandishing when giving lessons to the surrounding world, seems to be coming to a pathetic end.
The economic growth potential of the Global South and its influence on increasing international security are contributing to its developing global importance. The United States and the European Union have proposed their version of infrastructure and development initiatives, following China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which, as democratic imperators dream, would ideally free up more resources for countries in the Global South to achieve their sustainable development goals. The story of sustainable development is of course a simple trickery, because since their liberation, the former colonies have been permanently looted through new mechanisms by the G7 and its international abettors.
It should be said that the two projects, the G7 commitment and the BRICS commitment to the Global South, differ significantly. The G7 only occasionally invites the countries of the Global South for partial and dogma-filled dialogues. With a high-pitched discourse, a Macron, a Brit who was getting drunk when the ordinary citizens of Charles’ kingdom were being hacked by the vaccinated police of the pandemic, a Scholz from whom you expect to sell your junk to a local fair, and who knows what American who brings with him only nuclear weapons and soldiers, all go on official visits and pontificate. The G7 commitment to the Global South looks more like a wagon drawn by a mule than a democratic, realistic project, mainly respectful of others.
At the same time BRICS have now recruited six full-fledged influential members from the Middle East, North Africa and South America. This expansion also shows the ability of the five founding members of the BRICS to reach consensus. In addition, BRICS foreign ministers are developing partnership models to further meet the requirements of engagement from other actors in the Global South.
The vision of BRICS is to impose a much stronger voice on behalf of the developing countries in world affairs, as South African President Cyril Ramaphosa mentioned when he recalled the Bandung Conference of 1955. As the next three G20 presidents are members of BRICS, the voice of the Global South will be integrated into the G20 agenda. In addition, the BRICS leaders expressed their appreciation for the proposal of the African leaders’ peace mission for a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Ukraine. Both demonstrate that BRICS prioritizes the agenda of the Global South and demands international influence and respect, which the G7 appears to entirely disregard, with a contempt specific to morally, politically and economically declining powers.
If in 2023, the fifteenth BRICS summit will be remembered as a summit of complaints against the West over its responsibility for crises and wars and its inability to control the very consequences of these events, 2024 can bring fundamental news regarding the American game. Europe, with or without the EU, is stuck in the war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine. There’s vain howling on all the icy streets of European cities frozen solid by the heating shortage that the war is illegal – just remember that the war in Irak, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia were all illegal. Let us recall that the war in Iraq was started using a lie, for which neither the American nor the British leader of that moment have been indicted. Recall that the 9/11 shock attack was organised and financed by various Saudi citizens (not to be understood that the Saudi Kingdom had any involvement in that crime, for it did not) and yet Afghanistan paid the price of American madness. Millions of innocent people were killed in so-called punishing wars against countries that were considered barbaric, or underdeveloped. Millions of families have been destroyed by the illegalities that the G7 members perpetrated and yet no one in the Global West has paid for those crimes against humanity.
That is why 2024 will not be the year of great geostrategic revolutions. But it will be the year of the fundamental consolidation of BRICS+. What some Western observers call BRICS+ a negative coalition of states that cannot agree on a common position, but they can create a consensus on what they oppose, it becomes truth when we see that in the development projects they avoid the imperial arrogance promoted by the G7 states. Moreover, it is becoming clear that the sanctions mania, imposed by the American hegemon, a mania that greatly harmed especially the countries that could not withstand American influence, has reached its maximum impact. BRICS+ will provide an enormous and long-lasting outlet for those hit without democratic mercy or Western type insult. This is why 2024 will be a year of stabilizing BRICS and finding common formulas to reduce Western arrogance. The old ”values” that required belonging to a certain order are no longer valid because the reliability of the traditional partners has changed. Narratives about false forms of international order have become fragile and are losing their binding effect. ”Common values” through which a country – member of the club of the most advanced democracies in the world – is compelled to sell at low prices and without profit only to ”chumps” in values (so-called democratic and necessarily defended with military budgets that offer themselves to the American hegemonic militarist complex) seem to create serious anxieties in the Global South.
Through BRICS+ new emerging possibilities are captured by forecasting and anticipating new action options, clearly indicating the urgent need to reorder international relations so as to overcome the self-imposed decision-making arrogance of the West. Refusing to be drawn into a race of competing global powers is a general perception in the Global South. Western countries need to understand that BRICS+ will continue as a free heterogeneous group, but with aspirational global dimensions, seeking to expand its practical capabilities to other countries around the globe, in particular a broader projection of the New Development Bank.
The accusation that the West is arrogant towards the needs of the Global South is real and produces a new narrative model. The West, narrow-minded and full of airs, is unable to answer, offering empty “partnerships based on values” and a multilateralism “based on rules” when BRICS’ interest is focused precisely on changing these rules in global finance, trade and other procedures for setting international standards.
Although BRICS+ has not developed a model of global governance, and the democracy and human rights situations of some of the newly invited members are more than weak, the G7 must be aware that the formation of BRICS+ is more than just a political maneuver. All members of BRICS+ and the future group of partner countries have their own agendas, and the BRICS forum is one of the platforms through which member countries are trying to promote their vision of the future, especially for their participation in better conditions in the global economy.
The BRICS+ countries seized their geopolitical moment and called for a united position of emerging and developing countries against a world order and Western international policy that no longer meet their future needs. However, apart from Russia’s interest in presenting itself as a dominant member of the international community, we must note that the anti-Western narrative is not dominant among the BRICS+ states. On the contrary, we see an anti-BRICS hysteria in the Global West, namely a clear opposition to the legitimate wishes of the Global South, doubled by subtle military and security threats. It is not the Global South that wants confrontation, it seems the West wants it. The Global South calls for a new form of open and inclusive multilateral cooperation, respecting the internal realities of the member states. This is certainly a challenge for the West in the uncertain times ahead. The ball is in the court of the Western opulent palaces, built with the labor, money and resources stolen from the Global South.