U.S. expert views BRICS as testbed for new kind of global governance

Updated 2017-08-27 17:00:41 Xinhua

The BRICS bloc grouping Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa serves as "a testbed" for a "sharing governance" of global affairs, a leading U.S. expert said.

"BRICS makes that kind of contribution to the world governance by providing diversity," said Robert Lawrence Kuhn, chairman of the Kuhn Foundation, in a recent interview with Xinhua.

"I think it would be a mistake, given the nature of humanity, to have only one organization like the United Nations... " he said, adding that a diversity of structures seems to be what makes the most sense over time in global governance since there is no perfection.

"It engages them (BRICS nations) to be a sort of hubs for broader global interaction," Kuhn said, "So Brazil is in South America. South Africa is obviously in southern Africa. These become sort of vehicles to engage more of the world, so that's all positive."

The longtime China observer noted that a greater participation of the five major emerging economies with "very different characteristics" also strengthens momentum for a multipolar world, which is crucial for promoting international stability.

"I am all for the key countries that whether judged economically or through other mechanisms to have greater participation in (global) organizations," Kuhn said.

The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB), which is intended to focus on infrastructure and sustainable development projects, stands as a good example showing "what a new kind of world governance would look like," he said.

"Everybody has equal voting power. So that's a good sign," he added, referring to the NDB'S distinctive feature -- absolutely just distribution of votes between members, different from the quota system of other international financial institutions based on the role of a certain member.

Although with the overwhelmingly larger economy in BRICS, China "does not use that power in an aggressive way to take control" of the NDB, he noted, "I think that's a good signal. And China's doing it because it wants this greater participation in international affairs."

All BRICS countries should have "a greater say" in the international financial activity in the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), he said.

In the World Bank, the BRICS countries, home to 42.6 percent of the global population and nearly half of the world's foreign exchange reserves, have a total of only 13 percent of voting rights, while the United States alone holds 15 percent.

The IMF agreed in 2010 to give emerging economies greater vote in decision-making, but the reform has been blocked by the United States, despite the fact that more than 140 countries have approved it.

"These should be adjusted... that's just not aligned with today's world in the same way," he said.

Since the first foreign ministers' meeting in 2006, BRICS countries have seen 10 years of rapid expansion in trade and economy. They currently account for nearly a quarter of the world economy and contributed more than half of global economic growth in 2016.

The 9th annual summit of the bloc, scheduled for Sept. 3-5 in Xiamen City of southeast China's Fujian Province, is expected to produce a declaration that lays out both the progress BRICS has made so far and its vision of future cooperation.

A "BRICS Plus" mode is expected to expand the bloc's partnership especially with developing countries, providing opportunities for other economies and injecting impetus into economic globalization. This will help make it a leading platform for South-South cooperation.

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