BRICS steps up joint efforts to reform global governance (Lead)

March 5th, 2012 - 9:29 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 5 (IANS) With less than a month to go, India has stepped up preparations for the March 29 BRICS summit of the five emerging economies and stressed on the role the grouping can play in reforming the West-dominated global governance.

India Monday stressed that BRICS was not ranged against anyone but is “a responsible transnational grouping” that can play a critical role in reforming global governance.

“We are not a bloc, not an ideological group ranged against anyone,” Sudhir Vyas, secretary (economic affairs) in the external affairs ministry, said at the launch of the two-day conference by academics and experts from BRICS countries comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

It’s in the area of global governance that BRICS can make its presence felt, said Vyas, also India’s sherpa (the chief diplomatic pointsperson) for the BRICS summit.

Vyas’s comments came amid the oft-voiced worries in some influential sections in the West that the BRICS could turn into an adversarial grouping that could challenge the hegemony of the West in leading multilateral institutions.

Vyas exhorted scholars and experts from BRICS nations to strive for building the world’s default “go to” institutions and agendas to meet global challenges. “The way forward is not unhindered by challenges, but is simultaneously full of opportunities for enhancing our security, stability and growth,” he said.

Underlining the unique nature of BRICS, Vyas stressed that it was not a geographical grouping like the ASEAN, or commodity-based like the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) or security-based like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), but “a new growth pole in a multi-polar world”.

“It’s a trans-continental grouping with increasing geo-political significance,” he said. BRICS can engage with the international community in a serious manner as a responsible partner in the resolution of international crises, he stressed.

Around 60 scholars from the five BRICS countries are taking part in the 4th BRICS Academic Forum meeting being hosted by the Observer Research Foundation, a New Delhi-based public policy think tank.

The BRICS Academic Forum will unveil their recommendations that will be considered by the leaders of the five countries at the fourth BRICS summit here March 29.
The theme for the New Delhi summit is “BRICS Partnership for Stability, Security and Growth”.

Vyas also unveiled the BRICS logo which blended a symbolic representation of a peacock, with colours suggesting renewal and resurgence. He presented an award to Sonesh Jain, a student of IIT Roorkee, for designing the logo which was chosen by a jury as the best entry in an open competition.

Sunjoy Joshi, director, ORF, stressed that the BRICS has come to signify the shift in global power. “The trauma of 2008 (the global financial crisis) gave birth to a strong undercurrent, the search for a new narrative that could replace the Bretton Woods diktats of yesterday,” he said.

Joshi spoke about “the need for a new global financial architecture that would make the global economy less prone and more resilient to future crises a greater need for a more stable, predictable and diversified international monetary system.”

Aziz Pahad, a former South African deputy minister for foreign affairs, acknowledged that the BRICS must “focus on opportunities for contextual policymaking rather than following the West”.

“The BRICS must find ways to manage the fallout of the failure in financial governance and responding to crises such as the recent global financial crisis in a coordinated manner,” said Huang Huaguang, the head of the Chinese delegation.

The summit is also expected to focus on ways to ramp up greater intra-regional trade and look at ways to improve coordination on international issues in multilateral fora and developmental issues that include food security, energy security, public health, science and technology and urbanisation.

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