Iran, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates are on track to join the group of emerging nations, a coalition seeking to increase its influence on the global stage. The accession of these countries is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2024, South African President Ramaphosa announced during a joint press conference with the leaders of the five current countries in the bloc.
This step marks a new chapter for the BRICS, as this alliance is known. The decision to expand membership had been anticipated by the South African authorities, who had revealed that member countries had agreed to the expansion. A document was established detailing the guidelines and procedures for the incorporation of new members into the group.
The decision to incorporate these new countries was celebrated by leaders such as Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who considered that this inclusion represented a turning point for his nation. For its part, Iran saw its accession as a strategic success for its foreign policy, seeking to break its isolation and strengthen its economy, which was affected by Western sanctions. Iran has already been strengthening relations with eastern organizations and countries, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), where Russia and China are founding members.
The expansion of the BRICS was the result of negotiations that took place behind closed doors during the summit, and it was necessary to reach a unanimous agreement between the founding members. While China favored expansion, India had reservations due to its distrust of China’s ambitions, and Brazil feared a dilution of its influence.
In the midst of a complex geopolitical context and at a time of division due to the conflict in Ukraine, the BRICS reaffirmed their non-aligned position. The United States expressed its intention to maintain strong relations with Brazil, India, and South Africa, stating that it did not see the BRICS as future geopolitical rivals. In this process of evolution and expansion, the BRICS are beginning a new chapter in their history with the inclusion of nations that seek to strengthen their position in the international arena.