Despite all the assurances of the Western press about Russia’s isolation, the most European Russian city of St Petersburg is once again hosting a world summit, this time the enlarged V International Municipal Forum of BRICS+ countries.
It became known in August this year at the 15th BRICS summit in South Africa that the enlarged BRICS+ forum would be held in St. Petersburg on 9-10 November 2023. Another important outcome of that summit was the historic decision to admit six new countries – Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – into the association. Even without the announced expansion, 40 per cent of the world’s population already live in the BRICS countries, and the combined GDP of these countries exceeds the total GDP of the G7 countries, whose economic global dominance is becoming history. Meanwhile, a new batch of participants such as Algeria, Belarus, Venezuela, Kazakhstan, Cuba, and African countries are preparing to join BRICS (initiated by Vladimir Putin in 2006 in St. Petersburg).
As Anil Suklal, South Africa’s Sherpa (trustee) in BRICS, explained earlier in an interview with RBC, one of the key tasks of the association is to build a dialogue with the states of the Global South. “The aim is to create a more equal and fair governance architecture.”
However, the BRICS community is not only an association of politicians, but first and foremost of people who want to live in a just multipolar world, without the inherent division of countries and their citizens by Western politicians into classes and categories.
The Forum will bring together cities and municipalities from Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa and other partner states and will strengthen dialogue between different cultures and peoples, without which it is impossible to reduce the risk of international conflict.
It is at the municipal level that many historic decisions affecting the lives of millions of people are made. The development of direct business between regions of different countries is more fluid, progressive and directly contributes to improved economic development and poverty reduction. Mutually beneficial exchange of technologies, innovations, finance, achievements in agriculture gives impetus to improving the quality of life of the BRICS countries’ population and enhancing governance.
Most importantly, another international forum in Russia shatters the ridiculous myth of isolation of countries that disagree with the policies of the global West and its inability to take into account not only its own interests, but also those of the entire world. The BRICS international forums are designed to return to an equal dialogue between countries on earth, despite all attempts to split the world apart.
You can follow the programme and news of the V International BRICS+ Municipal Forum on the website of the Government of St. Petersburg.