Brics needs common values, respect for human dignity

Brics nations - WIKIPEDIA

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The Association for Welfare, Community and Dialogue (Acid) welcomes the statement by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim that Malaysia is preparing to join the emerging economic group known as Brics.

Brics – an acronym for the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa group – was established to enhance economic, political and cultural cooperation among its member countries.

Officially formed in 2009 (initially without South Africa, which joined in 2010), Brics has become a significant platform for developing countries to advocate for their interests on the global stage.

While there are economic benefits to be derived from such cooperation, the crucial question is whether Brics can bring about an alternative global socioeconomic order that benefits the common good, instead of being dictated by the business interests of an elite few that subscribe to the neoliberal economic ideology promoted by the Washington consensus.

For the common good to take precedence, nations who are members of Brics must engage in civilisational dialogues that will harness the goodness in each culture and religious tradition that promotes the common good.

Having just an economic priority without the common values related to universal respect for human life and dignity and the particularistic concerns of diverse communities within each nation, Brics will not be able to project a real alternative to Western development models.

China and India have looked back at their civilisational past achievements to develop their economy. Such reflections should also be part of the dialogue within the Brics family.

Consensus on values emerging from such a dialogue could create a pathway to good governance, respect for human life and dignity, and the emancipation of the poor and marginalised.

READ MORE:  Turkey wants to join Brics

It is obvious the nations of Brics – made up of Confucian, Christian, Hindu and Islamic populations – can come up with common values in governance that will project a real alternative to the current Western-dominated political, economic and social order.

Therefore, we would like to urge Brics to embark on inter-civilisational dialogue and bring about values that would be the foundation and compass for its economic decisions and a real voice for all developing nations. – Malaysiakini

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