Over 40 nations have demonstrated an interest in becoming members of the BRICS economic alliance, according to Anil Sooklal, South Africa’s ambassador-at-large for the group and Asian relations.
During a press conference in Johannesburg, Sooklal revealed that 22 of these nations have officially lodged their applications, while approximately the same number have informally inquired about membership prospects.
In a recent conversation with RT, the ambassador emphasized BRICS’ commitment to inclusivity, open dialogue with the global community, and equitable global order. BRICS, which currently includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, represents over 40% of the global population and nearly 25% of the world’s GDP.
Sooklal also explained that BRICS aims to give emerging nations a voice and influence, independent of distinctions between the Global North and South. The bloc has been proactive in paving its own way toward this end, despite the United Nations’ delay in launching comprehensive reforms in the same direction.
However, he was clear in stating that BRICS’ goal is not to become a dominant economic powerhouse but rather to contribute significantly to global changes in an inclusive way.
Highlighting BRICS’ vision, Sooklal stated, “We don’t want a world where we have one or two global hegemons,” implying that such power dynamics can lead to global divisions. Previously, he had listed Argentina, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates among the nations interested in joining the bloc.
The annual BRICS summit, to be held in Johannesburg from August 22 to 24, will be hosted by South Africa this year. The nation’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has extended invitations to nearly 70 global leaders.