BRICS Summits

2020 Moscow Summit: Documents

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2020 Moscow Summit: November 17, Russia (virtual)

The 2020 Moscow Summit, hosted by Russia, was the 12th annual BRICS Summit and was conducted virtually on November 17, due to the global constraints and health risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Traditionally, the summit would have seen leaders from the five BRICS countries—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—convene in person. However, acknowledging the necessity of prioritizing health and safety during a global health crisis, a decision was made to shift to a digital format.

This summit’s theme was “BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security, and Innovative Growth.” It was indicative of the collective aspiration of the member countries to not only address the immediate health and economic challenges presented by the pandemic but also to explore innovative approaches for sustained growth and stability in the post-COVID era.

Under the chairmanship of President Vladimir Putin of Russia, the summit brought together the other BRICS leaders: President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, President Xi Jinping of China, and President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa. In this exceptional format, the leaders focused on discussing and coordinating their respective national and collective efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic, promote global economic recovery, and ensure the stability of international trade and the global economy.

The dialogue at the summit underscored the importance of cooperation in the field of vaccines, treatment, diagnostics, and therapeutics against COVID-19. Russia, which had registered the first COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, prior to the summit, demonstrated a willingness to share this and other technologies and innovations in healthcare with BRICS partners.

Other crucial topics included reinforcing shared security, combatting terrorism, and improving the BRICS countries’ response mechanisms to emerging global threats. The summit emphasized the significance of multilateralism and the need for a more representative international governance architecture, underscoring the relevance and necessity to reform institutions like the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and the International Monetary Fund.

Following the summit discussions, the “Moscow Declaration” was adopted, articulating a unified stance on global economic issues and health challenges due to the pandemic, a testament to the ability of BRICS nations to come together in solidarity and purpose, despite the trials of uncertain times.

In terms of symbolism and practical outcomes, the 2020 Moscow virtual Summit provided a platform for BRICS nations to demonstrate their resilience and their adaptability. It underscored the potential and readiness of these influential countries to collaborate effectively in the face of global crises, setting the stage for ongoing cooperation on a wide spectrum of areas affecting the international community.

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