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The BRICS Chair
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Emerging Giants.

The BRICS Chair is a rotating presidency held by the member states of the BRICS, which aims to promote economic cooperation, mutual understanding, and collective action among its member nations. The Chair plays a crucial role in facilitating dialogue, decision-making, and implementation of joint initiatives, making it a vital component of the BRICS framework.

BRICS Chair evolution and functions.

The changes over time

The BRICS Chair has been around since the formation of BRICS itself, which goes back to 2009. As of today, 2024,  the BRICS Chair has been in existence for 16 years. Since then, the BRICS countries have taken turns hosting the annual BRICS summit, with the chairmanship rotating among the member states.

The BRICS member countries take turns hosting the Chair position on a rotational basis, following alphabetical order. This means each member country gets a chance to lead the BRICS agenda for one year. Here’s a list of the countries that have hosted the BRICS Chair so far (keeping in mind that BRICS has expanded to include more members since its inception):

  • 2025: BRICS Chair – Brazil
  • 2024: BRICS Chair – Russia
  • 2023: BRICS Chair – South Africa
  • 2022: BRICS Chair – China
  • 2021: BRICS Chair – India
  • 2020: BRICS Chair -Russia
  • 2019: BRICS Chair – Brazil
  • 2018: BRICS Chair – South Africa
  • 2017: BRICS Chair – China
  • 2016: BRICS Chair – India
  • 2015: BRICS Chair – Russia
  • 2014: BRICS Chair – Brazil
  • 2013: BRICS Chair – South Africa
  • 2012: BRICS Chair – India
  • 2011: BRICS Chair – China
  • 2010: BRICS Chair – Brazil
  • 2009: BRICS Chair – Russia

The BRICS Chair function has undergone significant evolution since its inception in 2009. Initially, the Chair was held by the host country of the annual BRICS Summit, with the role being informal and rotating among the member states. However, over the years, the Chair function has transformed into a more institutionalized and formalized leadership role.

Early Years (2009-2013)

In the early years, the Chair function was held by the host country of the BRICS Summit, with the role being informal and rotating among the member states. The Chair was responsible for organizing the summit, facilitating discussions, and issuing a joint statement. The Chair’s role was largely ceremonial, with limited institutionalized powers.

Institutionalization (2014-2018)

In 2014, the BRICS Chair function underwent significant changes. The Chair was given more responsibilities, including:

  • Hosting the BRICS Summit
  • Chairing the BRICS Council
  • Overseeing the BRICS Business Forum
  • Issuing a joint statement and communiqué

Enhanced Role (2019-Present)

In recent years, the BRICS Chair function has continued to evolve, with a greater emphasis on leadership and coordination. The Chair is now responsible for:

  • Setting the agenda for the BRICS Summit
  • Facilitating dialogue and negotiations among member states
  • Overseeing the implementation of BRICS initiatives and projects
  • Representing BRICS at international forums and events

The enhanced role of the Chair has strengthened BRICS’ institutional capacity, enabling the organization to respond more effectively to global challenges and opportunities.

Visit BRICS Chairmanship index for more information

The BRICS consortium, now encompassing ten members, is a significant force in global affairs. Within this loose alliance, the concept of the BRICS Chair plays a pivotal role in steering the organization’s course. Let’s delve into the details of this position.


The BRICS Chair acts as a primus inter pares (first among equals) for a one-year term. The position rotates annually following the alphabetical order of the member states (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, United Arab Emirates). The Chair’s primary responsibilities include:

  • Setting the Agenda: The Chair identifies key themes and priorities for the BRICS cooperation during their year. This theme shapes discussions, working groups, and collaborative projects undertaken throughout the year. South Africa, for instance, adopted the theme “BRICS in Africa: Building a Better Future Together” in 2023.
  • Leading Meetings: The Chair presides over BRICS summits, ministerial meetings, and other official gatherings. This involves ensuring smooth discussions, fostering consensus decision-making, and keeping the meetings focused on the agenda.
  • Representing BRICS: The Chair serves as the official spokesperson for BRICS on the international stage. They represent the collective voice of the member states at international forums and engage with other world leaders to promote BRICS’ interests and perspectives.

How it Works:

The BRICS Chair is not a permanent position with a dedicated office or staff. Instead, the host country leverages its existing diplomatic machinery to fulfill the Chair’s duties. Here’s a breakdown of the supporting structure:

  • BRICS Sherpas and Sous-Sherpas: These are senior diplomats from each member state who play a crucial role in negotiating the agenda, ironing out differences, and ensuring smooth communication between member countries.
  • BRICS Secretariat: Unlike other intergovernmental organizations, BRICS does not have a permanent secretariat. However, the Chair country might establish a temporary secretariat to manage logistical arrangements and support the Chair’s activities during their term.

Importance of the BRICS Chair:

The BRICS Chair plays a vital role for several reasons:

  • Provides Direction: The Chair’s leadership keeps BRICS focused and goal-oriented. By setting the agenda and priorities, they ensure that the member states are collaborating on issues of shared interest.
  • Promotes Cohesion: The Chair fosters dialogue and understanding between member states, even if they have differing views on certain issues. This is crucial for maintaining a united front and achieving common objectives.
  • Enhances BRICS’ Profile: The Chair acts as the public face of BRICS, representing the organization on the global stage. This international visibility strengthens BRICS’ position and influence in world affairs.

The BRICS Chair is a crucial mechanism for guiding the organization’s trajectory. By providing leadership, setting priorities, and promoting collaboration, the Chair ensures that BRICS continues to be a significant player in the evolving global landscape.

The evolution of the BRICS Chair function reflects the organization’s growth and maturity. From an informal, rotating role to a more institutionalized and formalized leadership position, the Chair has become a key driver of BRICS’ agenda and decision-making processes. As BRICS continues to evolve, the Chair function is likely to play an increasingly important role in shaping the organization’s future and promoting cooperation among its member states.

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