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BRICS think tank symposium upholds multilateralism

Author  :  ZHAO SANLE     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2019-07-15

Experts shed light on global governance and multilateralism at the 2019 BRICS Think Tank International Symposium at Beijing International Studies University in late June.

Emerging economies have developed rapidly in the past few decades, and the center of world economic development has moved from developed to developing countries, said H.H.S. Viswanathan, a distinguished fellow at the Observer Research Foundation in India. However, today’s international governance system does not reflect this, and many international rules and systems are still made by a few developed countries.

Viswanathan proposed that global governance must be fair and just, and the international order should not be decided by a few developed countries. The BRICS countries represent the interests and demands of the people of developing countries and need to work together to increase the representation and voice of developing countries under multilateral frameworks.

Some countries are now trying to go beyond the international mechanism and act alone, Viswanathan continued. In the face of the rise of unilateralism, it is not enough to maintain the multilateralism that has followed the Second World War. The BRICS nations need to improve on the old multilateralism, bringing equal rights to both developing and developed countries in order to lift the world into the era of “Multilateralism 2.0,” thus achieving better global governance.

Davhana Reckson Thakhathi, a professor of public administration at the University of Fort Hare in South Africa, called for the BRICS countries to work together to play a greater role in facilitating the world’s sustainable development in the face of such global challenges as climate change and food shortages. At the same time, the BRICS countries need to exert greater influence in the international system, participate more in international affairs, and promote the establishment of an inclusive and open international society.

Cláudio Puty, an associate professor of economics at the Federal University of Pará in Brazil, said that Latin American countries, including Brazil, have experienced a series of political crises recently, witnessing overall weak economic development and momentum.

Brazil’s efficient development is inseparable from an international mechanism based on common development and a just international order, Puty said. Brazil is willing to work with other BRICS countries to establish an international order that is more just and reasonable and enables all countries to develop strongly.

The United States and other Western countries are now trying to hold control of the international system and are therefore reluctant to reform the global governance system, said Boris Shmelev, director of the Department for Political Studies at the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The United States will still be an important part of the international system, but it should abandon the logic of hegemony.

The development of the international community needs to take into account both developed and developing countries. A sound international governance system should promote equal cooperation among nations, Shmelev said.

The BRICS countries have become a vital part of the current international system and will play an increasingly important role in the future, Shmelev continued. China and Russia have common aspirations for the global governance system and have great potential for cooperation in many fields. They can increase cooperation through the BRICS platform.

Shmelev said that it takes time to construct a fair and reasonable global governance system. At present, the BRICS countries are gradually implementing a series of programs to enhance their voice and promote the development of the international order in a more just and rational direction.

China has made tremendous achievements in the past decade and the Chinese model can provide important reference for other developing countries, Shmelev said.

For further cooperation, Thakhathi suggested that the BRICS countries need to reach a consensus on their core concepts, original intentions and future vision to better promote the reform and development of the global governance system. In addition, by analyzing each other’s advantages and disadvantages, the BRICS countries can enhance mutual understanding, support each other and develop together.

Editor: Yu Hui

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