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BRICS Agenda Expanding, Social Issues Gain More Attention

© Sputnik / Natalia Seliverstova / Go to the photo bankThe Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Smolenskaya-Sennaya Square in Moscow.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Smolenskaya-Sennaya Square in Moscow. - Sputnik International
The BRICS agenda is expanding, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told Sputnik on Monday.

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GOA (Sputnik) – The BRICS agenda is expanding, as social and humanitarian issues get increased attention in the group's documents, Russia's BRICS Sherpa and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told Sputnik on Monday.

"Comparing the Goa documents [Goa declaration and action plan on its implementation] to the previous ones, one may see that the group's agenda is gradually widening. This declaration has much more social issues than ever before," Ryabkov said.

The focus shifts from economy to humanitarian and social issues as some of the BRICS members are facing economic difficulties and are not able to fully overcome downturn consequences on their own, according to Ryabkov.

"This tendency will continue during the Chinese presidency in BRICS [in 2017],"  Ryabkov said.

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The Russian sherpa also noted that the BRICS format was not becoming outdated, and was actually considered as a successful example of cooperation on wide range of topics by other groups, such as the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) that includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

"There is no feeling that we [BRICS] move forward just because of the previously made impetus. When the Goa summit was over, one could see how satisfied the leaders were with the discussion they had," Ryabkov said.

The eighth annual BRICS event took place in India’s Goa on October 15 – 16, and was attended by leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, who discussed a plan for cooperation in the near future as well as a wide range of political, economic and security issues. The next BRICS summit will take place in China in 2017.

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