Leaders of the BRICS nations are in South Africa for its three-day summit.
The BRICS nations- Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa are seeking to assert their voice as a counterweight to Western dominance in global affairs.
The BRICS formed in 2009 is looking to expand its membership following interest from over forty countries including South Arabia, Bangladesh, and Argentina.
Security has been bolstered across the city where South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa will host China’s President Xi Jinping, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and some 50 other leaders.
Russian President Vladimir Putin who is a target of an international arrest warrant over alleged war crimes in Ukraine will not attend in person.
He will be represented at the summit by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Representing 40 percent of the world’s population across three continents, with economies at different levels of growth, the BRICS share a common desire for a global order they see as better reflecting their interests and rising clout.
The theme of its 15th summit is “BRICS and Africa” and comes as the continent emerges as a renewed diplomatic battleground with the United States, Russia, and China jostling for economic and diplomatic influence.
On the eve of the summit, Ramaphosa said his country would “not be drawn into a contest between global powers” and strongly reaffirmed South Africa’s long-standing policy of non-alignment.
“We will urge the international community to refocus on development issues, promote a greater role by the BRICS cooperation mechanism in global governance, and make the voice of BRICS stronger,” China’s Xi said in an editorial published in South African media on Monday.