India welcomes the new expanded format of BRICS
The BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs/International Relations convened on June 10-11, 2024, in Nizhny Novgorod, Russian Federation. This significant gathering marked the first major assignment for India's foreign policy under the historic third consecutive term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 
This assembly is also the first since BRICS expanded in 2023 to include new members Egypt, Iran, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Ethiopia, alongside the original members: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Russia assumed the BRICS chairmanship on January 1, 2024.
India has described the meeting in the expanded format as "significant" and has welcomed the new membership.
"Secy (ER) Dammu Ravi led the Indian delegation at the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting hosted by the Russian Federation on 10 June in Nizhny Novgorod. A significant meeting in the format of expanded BRICS family. India whole heartedly welcomes the new membership," MEA Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal posted on X, formerly Twitter.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov opened the BRICS Ministerial meeting with a minute of silence to honour the late former President of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. Lavrov extended condolences to the people of Iran and the families affected by their loss.
Representing India at the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was Dammu Ravi, Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
The meeting saw participation from South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor, Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mauro Vieira, UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, and other distinguished guests. Heads of delegations also posed for a traditional family photo ahead of the meeting, symbolizing unity and cooperation within BRICS.
'Emergence of new Global Decision-making Centres'
In his opening remarks, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov welcomed the delegates to Nizhny Novgorod, a city with over 800 years of history. He emphasised that the meeting would leave a significant mark on both the city and BRICS itself, highlighting the expanded composition of the association as a testament to the formation of a multipolar world order. He remarked on the emergence of new global decision-making centres from the Global South and East, advocating for a more just world based on sovereign equality and civilizational diversity.
The BRICS Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the BRICS Strategic Partnership framework under the pillars of politics and security, economy and finance, and cultural and people-to-people exchanges. They underscored the BRICS spirit of mutual respect, equality, solidarity, openness, inclusiveness, and consensus.
The Ministers welcomed the active participation of new BRICS members, assuring continued support for their seamless integration into BRICS cooperation mechanisms. They reiterated their commitment to multilateralism, upholding international law, and the central role of the United Nations in maintaining international peace, security, and sustainable development.
Addressing global governance, the Ministers advocated for a more agile, effective, and representative international system, with greater participation of developing and least developed countries, especially in Africa. They supported comprehensive reforms of the United Nations, including its Security Council, to better reflect contemporary global realities and the aspirations of emerging and developing countries.
The Ministers expressed their support for the G20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation, emphasizing inclusiveness and the integration of the Global South's voice. They endorsed the priorities of Brazil's G20 Presidency, which include fighting hunger, poverty, and inequality; sustainable development; and global governance reform. They also supported the inclusion of the African Union as a G20 member at the New Delhi Summit.
Key Issues of Discussion at BRICS Ministerial 
Climate change was a crucial agenda item. The Ministers reiterated the importance of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, calling for developed countries to enhance climate finance, technology transfer, and capacity building for developing countries. They opposed the use of restrictive measures in global trade as a pretext for combating climate change and emphasized the need for ambitious climate finance goals before 2025.
The Ministers stressed the importance of biodiversity conservation, pollution combat, and advancing circular economies through international cooperation and capacity building. They highlighted the need for food security, rural development, and cooperation in agriculture.
On the issue of global health, the Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to universal health coverage, equitable access to essential medicines and vaccines, and global pandemic preparedness. They supported BRICS cooperation in countering TB and AMR, and enhancing capacities to prevent communicable and non-communicable diseases.
The Ministers condemned unilateral protectionist measures and emphasized the importance of a fair, rules-based multilateral trading system with the WTO at its core. They supported the necessary reforms to strengthen the WTO's resilience and efficiency.
The Ministers expressed concern over conflicts in various parts of the world, emphasizing the need for peaceful resolutions through diplomacy and inclusive dialogue. They reaffirmed the importance of international humanitarian law and humanitarian aid based on principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and independence.
The meeting concluded with a commitment to enhancing BRICS cooperation in diverse fields and supporting Russia's BRICS Chairmanship in 2024 under the theme “Strengthening Multilateralism for Just Global Development and Security.” The Ministers looked forward to the next BRICS Foreign Ministers' meeting on the margins of UNGA79, hosted by Brazil in 2025.
India's active participation in the BRICS Foreign Ministers' Meeting reflects its dedication to multilateral cooperation and its strategic role in shaping a more equitable and inclusive global order.