The Multilateralist

Are the BRICs a political alliance?

After the abstention  of the BRIC countries on the question of Libya intervention, it’s worth revisiting the question of whether the ad hoc grouping–which has periodically tried to craft a  united front on economic policy–is morphing into something more substantial. One leading Chinese scholar says no, at least not yet: Asked about possible political role ...

After the abstention  of the BRIC countries on the question of Libya intervention, it’s worth revisiting the question of whether the ad hoc grouping–which has periodically tried to craft a  united front on economic policy–is morphing into something more substantial. One leading Chinese scholar says no, at least not yet:

Asked about possible political role for the organisation in the light of its members China, Russia, India and Brazil abstaining from the UN Security Council, (UNSC) resolution to impose no fly zone over Libya, BRICS countries are currently members of UNSC they have not yet established any coordination mechanism.

“By abstaining from the vote, the BRIC have shown that the international community is divided on this issue,” Qu said ruling out BRIC emerging as a political grouping.

“BRICS is mainly a consultative group on how to manage global economic governance. In the UNSC vote on Libya there were no consultations among BRIC countries but voted on their own national interests and conditions,” he said.

“They made similar choices which showed that they share the same types of concerns on international peace and development issues,” he said.

But there’s a BRIC summit coming up in April that bears watching. It will be the first summit that includes South Africa, which has been formally asked to join the grouping (making it BRICS rather than BRIC). Particularly if Libya is still bubbling, it’s hard to imagine that there wouldn’t be some declarations on foreign and security policy. 

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