BRICS is the acronym coined for an association of five emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It was created for coordinating the actions of the abovementioned countries in order to collectively increase the rate of economic growth.
The BRICS summits of heads of state and heads of government have been held since 2009. In the framework of the summits the most important issues of common action and the existing problems are discussed. Each summit concludes with the adoption of a leaders’ declaration. Besides the summits, around 100 events, including 15 ministerial meetings, are organized every year in the BRICS framework. There are BRICS civil society, parliamentary and youth forums as well as a separate media summit. The agenda of these events covers numerous issues of financial, scientific and technological, cultural and political character.
The BRICS forum does not have any official legal documents that regulate its activities, charters or a secretariat. It is chaired by a country that hosts the summit and coordinates all ongoing activities. The presidency rotates annually in accordance with the position of the name of each country in the acronym: Russia held the chair in 2020 after Brazil, while India has assumed the presidency for this year and will hand it over to China in 2022, followed by South Africa in 2023.
In 2015 the BRICS leaders decided to establish a BRICS Working Group on Anti-Corruption Cooperation (WGAC) with the participation of representatives of the national diplomatic services and law enforcement bodies.
The major WGAC tasks are:
- to hold joint educational programmes on countering corruption for public officials;
- to organize workshops and conferences on anti-corruption issues;
- to coordinate the exchange of experience of national law enforcement bodies in the investigation of corruption crimes;
- to use anti-corruption instruments more extensively, in particular through strengthening cooperation in asset recovery.
The WGAC meetings are held three times a year in parallel with other international anti-corruption forums. In the course of such meetings the participating countries exchange their experience and best practices in the area of fight against corruption and make collective decisions on the key activities of the group. For instance, the WGAC decided at its meeting in Tokyo (Japan) on January 21, 2019 to launch an international youth contest of social anti-corruption advertising United against Corruption! in the BRICS countries.