Oct 28: The Russian National Committee on BRICS Research hosted the 12th BRICS Academic Forum on October 22-24, under the theme “BRICS New Vision for a Better World”.
The Academic Forum is a major platform for interaction between experts representing academic communities from BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). The Forum aims to encourage academic exchange, strengthen the dialogue between government and academia, as well as provide policy advice. This mechanism of regular consultations of academics was launched in December 2008, when the first meeting of the BRICS countries’ experts was held in Moscow at Russia’s initiative. The establishment of the BRICS Think Tanks Council in accordance with the Delhi Declaration in 2012 has formalized interaction among national coordinators on this track.
This year’s event was attended by more than 200 delegates from Russia, Brazil, India, China, and South Africa, including leading experts representing national coordination centers of expertise, representatives of scientific, educational, and public organizations, as well as delegates from the relevant ministries and departments, business and the media. The agenda of the Forum touched upon the most pressing development issues, including stability and security, economic growth, promotion of investment cooperation, digitalization, sustainable development issues, energy and infrastructure, food and environmental security, education, and health. As a result of the Forum, recommendations for the long-term development of the BRICS association were presented.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in his video greeting to participants of the event stated the following:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the cross-border nature of the majority of challenges in the current globalized world and has shown that they can only be dealt with jointly on the basis of universally recognized international law and the central guiding role of the UN.
Regrettably, not all countries share this commonplace truth. We can see that a number of US-led Western countries are unwilling to develop mutually respectful dialogue with the other members of international community. Quite to the contrary, they are doing their utmost to restrain the development of new global centres and to punish those who pursue independent foreign policies. As an alternative to international law, they are advocating a West-centric concept of a “rules-based world order.” These rules, as we are well aware, are being coordinated behind the scenes by a small group of countries and then forced on the rest of the world.
We are alarmed by increasingly protectionist policies and growing trade differences, which sometimes take the form of full-scale trade wars. The wide use of illegal unilateral sanctions, which have long become an instrument of unfair competition, offers little room for optimism as well. Taken together, this is increasing the confrontation potential and is eroding mutual trust still further.
These destructive trends must be countered with a broad interstate dialogue and a constructive and universally acceptable global and regional agenda. Cooperation within the framework of BRICS, including at the level of the expert community, is a positive example showing that fruitful joint work by the international community is well within our reach.
In this year of the 75th anniversary of the UN, it is especially important for the five BRICS countries to speak up as one in support of the UN-centric architecture and for the development of a fairer and more democratic multipolar world order based on the principles of the UN Charter and the cultural and civilizational diversity of the world.”