by Martina Fuchs
GENEVA, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- Ahead of the 15th BRICS Summit scheduled from Tuesday to Thursday in South Africa, Rebeca Grynspan, secretary-general of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), called for a more inclusive multilateral system, saying that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an example for cooperation on sustainable development.
"We need the voice of the South in revitalizing the sustainable development goals as the only real commitment for solidarity and collective action at the global level," Grynspan, a former vice president of Costa Rica and the first woman and Central American to serve as UNCTAD's secretary-general, said in an interview via video link with Xinhua.
It's crucial that these important countries with a voice in the Global South come together and send messages that can be galvanizing for so many countries looking to join BRICS, she added.
A growing number of countries including Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Argentina and Indonesia have expressed their interest in joining BRICS.
"All the BRICS countries are also in the G20. We want to make multilateralism more vibrant, more inclusive, and to help build a more multilateral world even in a moment of more multipolarity," Grynspan said.
"The appeal is to strengthen the voice of the Global South. It's important to have another platform that represents the perspective of the developing world and the need for development and more opportunities," she said.
BRICS groups Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The five BRICS countries now contribute about a quarter of the global GDP.
Grynspan said the China-proposed BRI has been very impactful, especially in infrastructure.
"I would like countries to see this cooperation within a holistic strategy. This long-term vision is something that we can learn from the Chinese experience. It has been so important," she added.
Headquartered in Geneva, UNCTAD was established in 1964 as an intergovernmental organization to promote the interests of developing states in world trade. ■