Sunday, July 12, 2015

From the BRICS Summit - The 2015 Ufa Declaration

The BRICS Summt has concluded and as usual a formal declaration has been issued which you can read in full by clicking here. Below we list a few key points in the declaration as the BRICS move slowly and steadily forward. The 2016 Summit is to be held in India. The western media coverage of the BRICS Summit has been somewhat sparse, but we have covered it quite a bit here.

Here is a bullet point list of a few key points in the document with brief quotes where needed. First is the opening introductory paragraph from the Declaration:

"We, the leaders of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People's Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa, met on 9 July 2015, in Ufa, Russia, at the Seventh BRICS Summit, which was held under the theme"BRICS Partnership – a Powerful Factor of Global Development". We discussed issues of common interest in respect of the international agenda as well as key priorities in respect of further strengthening and broadening our intra-BRICS cooperation. We emphasized the importance to strengthen BRICS solidarity and cooperation, and decided to further enhance our strategic partnership on the basis of principles of openness, solidarity, equality and mutual understanding, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation. We agreed to step up coordinated efforts in responding to emerging challenges, ensuring peace and security, promoting development in a sustainable way, addressing poverty eradication, inequality and unemployment for the benefit of our peoples and the international community. We confirmed our intention to further enhance the collective role of our countries in international affairs."

- the document welcomes the official startup of both the new BRICS Development Bank (NDB) and the new contingent reserves arrangement fund (CRA). The NDB won't really get going until 2016. The CRA is effective now.

- the document recognizes the 70th anniversary of the UN and re affirms the BRICS "strong commitment to the United Nations". Supports more influence at the UN for India, Brazil and South Africa including adding them to the Security Council.

- it affirms a strong commitment to the G20 and notes China's upcoming Presidency of the G20. No mention of the G7 where Russia has been excluded.

-the document expresses disappointment once again at the failure of the 2010 IMF reforms to be passed and gives another new "deadline" of September 2015. So far all the deadlines issued on this issue have proven to be meaningless. Here is a direct quote from the document:

"We remain deeply disappointed with the prolonged failure by the United States to ratify the IMF 2010 reform package, which continues to undermine the credibility, legitimacy and effectiveness of the IMF. This prevents the increase in the institution's quota resources and the revision of quotas and voting power in favour of developing countries and emerging markets as agreed by an overwhelming majority of members, including the United States in 2010. We expect the United States to ratify the 2010 reforms by mid-September 2015 as agreed in the IMF. In the meantime, we are prepared to work on interim steps provided they deliver equivalent results to the levels agreed as a part of the 14th General Quota Review. We reaffirm our commitment to maintaining a strong, well-resourced and quota-based IMF and, in this regard, urge other Members to continue the reform process through the 15th General Quota Review without delay."

-it calls on BRICS nations to continue to expand the use of BRICS nation currencies in trade agreements. Here is the quote on that:

"We acknowledge the potential for expanding the use of our national currencies in transactions between the BRICS countries. We ask the relevant authorities of the BRICS countries to continue discussion on the feasibility of a wider use of national currencies in mutual trade."

- the document affirms that the  BRICS nations fully support efforts for "the development of international standards of international taxation".

- the document includes several condemnations of terrorism and calls for global efforts to stem terrorism.

- it notes the upcoming UN Summit in September 2015 to review the progress of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and fully supports those goals.

- it announces that the BRICS will develop a new BRICS web site. Here is that quote:

"We welcome the signing of the MoU on the Creation of the Joint BRICS Website among our Foreign Ministries. It will serve as a platform for informing people of our countries and the wider international community about BRICS principles, goals and practices. We will explore the possibility of developing the BRICS Website as a virtual secretariat."

My added comments:

This is a long document with 77 individual items listed. While the above are some of the key items on the list, the document covers a broad spectrum of issues including education, health, economic cooperation and much more. It also addresses many issues around the world in various countries and regions like Syria and the Middle East.

Those who are predicting that the BRICS nations will be leading a revolt against the current western based global institutions (the UN, the IMF, and the World Bank) will once again be disappointed. There is no hint of any such revolt in this document. Instead there is massive confirmation of support for the UN and many of the programs in place there.

While there is disappointment again at the failure to pass IMF reforms, there is no indication at all that the BRICS are planning to either leave or "take it over" as I have seen talked about on the internet. The BRICS had earlier given the IMF an "ultimatum" that the reforms had to be passed by the end of 2014 and nothing happened after that. Therefore, we can assume that no matter what happens to the 2010 reforms, the BRICS plan to stay fully engaged at the IMF. There is no indication of any kind that they have plans to try and "take over the IMF".

There is no indication of any kind that China plans to back the Yuan with gold any time soon. The new BRICS bank won't even really get started until 2016 and most of the economic initiatives talked about won't start up until at least 2016. 

What you do see in this summit and this document is just continuation of a slow and steady effort to increase the power and prestige globally of the BRICS nations. The BRICS couldn't possibly be clearer in their support for the UN. They also seem to be willing to give the IMF an endless deadline for change there. They affirm full support for the G20.

There is no support in this document for the idea that the BRICS are about to have some kind of dramatic confrontation with the West. Just the opposite actually.

No comments:

Post a Comment