Back to an old agenda of toppling the US from its perch as most exclusive political and economic power, maybe the theme of just concluding BRICS Summit in New Delhi, India. (BRICS represent Brazil, Russia, India, China & South Africa with 43% of population and 25% of Global GDP). Having become translucent during some of the recent political and economic crisis, they are backing to pressing visibility as well as priorities. What are these priorities?
--- Dethrone US$ Dollar as exclusive global reserve currency – that is most critically Beijing’s priority (despite holding so many US$ denominated Treasuries and other securities), as it perceives US political power linked to US economic might.
--- Establish significant BRICS higher management presence at global multilateral institutions. BRICS gained little during last year’s IMF leadership reshuffle, but they are trying again by pressing for a non-US candidate where the US has traditionally nominated the top post at the World Bank. Nigeria’s Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is one option along with Columbia’s former Finance Minister Jose Antonio Ocampo (like Professor Jeffrey Sachs, he also has links to Columbia University) challenging the official US candidate Jim Yong Kim. See Our Blog for Film - http://diplomaticallyincorrect.org/films/blog_post/why-new-world-bank-president/48211
--- The BRICS are seeking to develop an alternative or at least complement to the World Bank. There are several Development Banks based upon region or other considerations. (For Example the EBRD – European Bank for Reconstruction and Development – or the Islamic Development Bank). However, this institution will most likely, if actually established, seek to further trade and development detouring around the current multilateral giants, and most critically facilitate trade in currency other than US$ Dollar.
--- Joint Statement on Resolution of Syria crisis appears closer to Moscow and Beijing position rather than US, Arab League and “Friends of Syria” view, which also sees political transition in Damascus as essential. (This should makes us further question did Russia and China accept Annan plan or did they in effect redefine Kofi Annan’s mission in manner consistent with their position of rehabilitating Assad Regime). See our Blog for Video – “Dark Side of Syria Diplomacy” -http://diplomaticallyincorrect.org/films/blog_post/dark-side-of-syria-diplomacy/48238
The BRICS do appear to be making a resurgence after their transparent irrelevance during Libya crisis. However, the BRICS have several new challenges in substance and appearance to overcome. Is their agenda primarily based on mistrust of Washington but also Beijing’s preoccupation with keeping the US occupied with crisis beyond China’s asserted sphere of influence? Are BRICS becoming suspicious to smaller developing and non-aligned states, particularly the regional Arab League block, which is now undermined on Syria? Is China’s economic weight in parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America become more burden as it overwhelms local competitors with an aggressive mercantilist approach? Ironically, the greatest influence of BRICS and particularly China may be not so much on developing nations now as on the developed economies, particularly the Eurozone, which needs loans/investments to overcome budget and currency crisis. One impression of BRICS remains – they are still better at fighting yesterday’s adversary than addressing the new challenges. Of course, that is not exclusive to the BRICS as Washington also wastes resources and focus frequently on misappropriated priorities.
By Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey – Follow @MuhamedSacirbey
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