Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the BRICS Ministerial Meeting on the sidelines of the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly, New York, September 20, 2023

I am pleased to welcome you to the traditional BRICS meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly High-Level Week. This is a good opportunity to compare notes on the key items on the agenda. I am confident that our joint work will take place in the atmosphere of strategic partnership inherent in BRICS.

At the outset, I would like to thank our South African friends for their productive chairmanship in the past period. The BRICS Summit in Johannesburg and the Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs and International Relations in Cape Town were a great success. Documents have been drafted that provide a solid framework for the future development of our association. I am primarily referring to the six new full members that joined our ranks: Argentina, Egypt, Iran, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia. All these countries support the fundamental goals and values of BRICS, including the spirit of solidarity, equality, mutual respect, openness, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation based on consensus. I have no doubt that our new partners and colleagues will contribute to the association’s development.

This was a long overdue and much awaited step that confirmed that the collective voice of BRICS in defence of the global South and global majority is highly relevant in modern international relations. More and more Asian, African and Latin American states are consolidating their economic positions and demonstrating that they are willing and ready to defend their sovereign national interests and influence global processes. We are witnessing the emergence of a more equitable, polycentric world order. The process is accelerating and becoming irreversible, while the unipolar world is becoming a thing of the past.

I am confident that in the current circumstances, the role of the BRICS in addressing global challenges will only grow – all the more so since our association remains an example of true equal and non-discriminatory multipolarity for the international community.

Our country is taking over the BRICS chairmanship next year. As is traditional, Russia is chairing this meeting on the sidelines of the General Assembly. In the near future, we will distribute the programme of our chairmanship, which takes into account that BRICS will have 11 members. I think Brazil would know that eleven is the number of players on a football team. Maybe we should think about setting up a BRICS team.

We hope that, as always, we will have your support in our work, and we will definitely achieve important results.

By Andrei Balitskil