BRICS Delivers on the Commitments made in Johannesburg

13 November2019
BRICS Delivers on the Commitments made in Johannesburg

On the eve of the eleventh BRICS summit, which will take place on 13-14 November 2019 in Brasilia, RANEPA researchers present the results of their study dedicated to the compliance with Johannesburg commitments and carried out in partnership with the University of Toronto.

Despite some member states’ internal problems and rising external challenges, the final compliance score for the priority commitments reached 85%, it is higher than the average compliance for all summits  which equals 75%. The study covered actions between 27 July 2018 and 1 October 2019. The highest compliance scores (100%) were achieved for the commitments on health (vaccines research), international taxation (BEPS implementation), energy (diversification of supply sources) and macroeconomic policy (global value chains). All these commitments belong to the core of the institute’s agenda and members’ performance on them is consistently high reaching full or almost full compliance. The highest score of 100% for the commitments on international taxation and health has been maintained for several summits.

They are followed by the commitments on jobs (Fourth Industrial Revolution) and financial regulation (market integration) with 90% compliance score. For the financial sector, this level of performance is a significant success. Labour and employment is not yet a part of the core BRICS agenda, only 4 decisions were made so far. However, cooperation of labor ministers has been developing since 2015, and we can expect a breakthrough in cooperation for this area during the Russian presidency in 2020. In the meantime, the high level of compliance signals that this sphere of cooperation is important for all members and they are ready to upgrade it. The compliance level of 80% was registered for the commitments on trade (developing multilateral trading system) and crime and corruption (extradition and asset recovery). All BRICS members support the international trade system reform, develop and present reform proposals, and consistently advocate the interests of developing countries.  For the commitments on development (infrastructure in Africa) BRICS members showed compliance of 70%.

For several years in a row the lowest final compliance score was registered for the commitment on regional security (40%). This trend is defined mostly by the lack of actions from Brazil and South Africa (both demonstrated negative compliance) which do not consider the Syria problem as a threat to national security. However, both countries call on the international community to resolve the conflict peacefully and are ready to actively cooperate with the country after peace is reached. Also this commitment does not imply interior actions by the member countries but aims at local government’s capacity building to ensure the security. These factors limit available instruments.

To sum up, compliance assessment for the commitments made at the Johannesburg summit in 2018 showed that, in general, the South African chairmanship can be considered relatively successful, 73 concrete decisions were made, the BRICS compliance is higher than the average for the institute. The trend of a higher compliance level in the fields of energy and international taxation was continued, the success of the previous summits for the commitments on health was consolidated. The commitment on regional security remained problematic, as for the previous summits compliance was low.

  Issue Areas Brazil Russia India China



1 Trade: Multilateral trading system 0 +1 0 +1 +1 +0.60 80%
2 Jobs: Fourth Industrial Revolution +1 0 +1 +1 +1 +0.80 90%
3 Crime and Corruption: Extradition and asset recovery 0 0 +1 +1 +1 +0.60 80%
4 Development: Infrastructure in Africa 0 0 +1 +1 0 +0.40 70%
5 Health: Vaccines +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1.00 100%
6 Tax: Base Erosion and Profit Shifting +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1.00 100%
7 Financial Regulation: Market Integration +1 +1 +1 +1 0 +0.80 90%
8 Energy: Supply Source Diversification +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1.00 100%
9 Macroeconomic Policy: Global Value Chains +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1.00 100%
10 Regional Security: Syria −1 +1 0 0 −1 −0.20 40%
  Average +0.50 +0.70 +0.80 +0.90 +0.60 + 0.70 85%
  75% 85% 90% 95% 80%


1.The RANEPA Center for International Institutions Research in cooperation with the University of Toronto annually prepares two BRICS compliance reports: interim and final.Detailed information on the methodology used for the assessment and full results of the study, as well as annual compliance reports for the previous summits, can be found on the website of the Center for International Institutions Research, RANEPA.

2. The methodology uses a scale from −1 to +1, where +1 indicates full compliance with the stated commitment, −1 indicates a failure to comply or action taken that is directly opposite to the stated goal of the commitment, and 0 indicates partial compliance or work in progress, such as initiatives that have been launched but are not yet near completion and whose final results can therefore not be assessed. Each member receives a score of −1, 0 or +1 for each commitment. For convenience, the scientific scores reported in the tables in this summary have been converted to percentages, where −1 equals 0% and +1 equals 100The formula to convert a score into a percentage is P=50×(S+1), where P is the percentage and S is the score. The final report analyses compliance performance by BRICS countries with 10 priority commitments selected from the total of 73 commitments made by the leaders at the Johannesburg Summit on 25-27 July 2018.



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