Cape Town – The foreign ministers of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (Brics) have gathered in Cape Town for a two-day meeting.
The ministers are discussing various issues, including local currency trading and a peace plan for the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
The meeting will set the stage for the upcoming 15th Brics Summit in August, where leaders from the member countries will convene.
According to Adda247 Current Affairs, one important topic of discussion is local currency trading, as countries like India, Russia, and China are increasingly settling trade in their respective currencies instead of the US dollar.
This shift is seen as a response to the United States’ use of financial instruments as weapons, which has negatively impacted Russia, the report said.
The meeting aims to encourage further adoption of local currency trading and reduce dependency on the US dollar.
The possibility of establishing a common currency within the Brics framework will also be discussed. However, challenges exist due to the diverse economic profiles and growth rates of the Brics economies, as well as ongoing border tensions between India and China.
Questions remain regarding the backing of such a common currency, whether it would be based on gold or other benchmarks. Technical concerns related to local currency trading and the rupee-ruble system may also arise.
#ARRIVAL: India’s Foreign Minister @DrSJaishankar arrival for the #BRICS Ministers Meeting in SA ?? for the Mid-Term Foreign Ministers hosted by @DIRCO_ZA
Minister Dr Naledi Pandor.
@DrSJaishankar @anil_sooklal @hci_pretoria@BRICSza@bricscouncil_in @BRICSResearch pic.twitter.com/yYiQuXkAKd
— Tali Munzhedzi M.A (@Tali_Munzhedzi) June 1, 2023
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine will be on the agenda, with China potentially presenting its 12-point peace plan.
The theme of the Summit is “Brics and Africa: Partnership for mutually accelerated growth, sustainable development and inclusive multilateralism”, so the foreign ministers will be focusing on inclusive multilateralism, IOL reported.
The meeting will also include virtual participation from the foreign ministers of the “Friends of Brics”, indicating an increasing interest from Global South countries in joining the bloc.
This interest has been fueled, in part, by the escalating tensions between the West and Russia/China following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February last year, Dail Maverick reported on Thursday.
The foreign ministers of Iran, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Comoros, Gabon, Argentina, Bangladesh and Egypt are all due to address the meeting by video, the report said.
“Who to admit as new members will be one of the main agenda items at the foreign ministers’ meeting and the summit. But the foreign ministers are also likely to discuss what to do about (Russian Presdient Vladimir) Putin,” the report said.
— Wandile Msomi (@Wandilemsomix) May 31, 2023
The ICC issued an arrest warrant against Putin in March, meaning South Africa, due to host the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (Brics) bloc summit in August, would have to detain him on arrival.
The warrant against Putin stemmed from accusations that Russia unlawfully deported Ukrainian children.
As a member of the court in The Hague, South Africa is obliged to comply with the warrant.
Daily Maverick said legal sources believe the ICC has already issued this request to Pretoria.
President Cyril Ramaphosa recently appointed an inter-ministerial committee (IMC) to consider legal options regarding the ICC’s arrest warrant for Putin who is likely to attend the Brics summit in August.
International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor this week sparked controversy by issuing an order granting diplomatic immunities and privileges to foreign officials attending the Brics foreign ministers meeting and summit.
This led to speculation that the government has already decided to allow Putin into the country and is providing immunity from arrest by the ICC.
However, officials, including the Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, clarified that granting immunities is a routine practice for international meetings and does not override any warrants issued by international tribunals, including the ICC.
Compiled by Betha Madhomu