Breaking News: Groups Propose New Development Model for BRICS New Development Bank

This week as the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) met in Ufa, Russia to launch the New Development Bank, over 40 civil society organizations and social movements from around the world sent an open letter, urging the BRICS to break with the failed development models of the past and ensure that the NDB is truly something new. The letter lays out 4 Principles for a New Development Model: 1) Promote development for all; 2) Be transparent and democratic; 3) Set strong standards and make sure they’re followed; 4) Promote sustainable development.

Read the letter here:


The BRICS New Development Bank

In 2014, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, known as the BRICS, announced the creation of the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingency Reserve Arrangement (CRA). BRICS governments have promoted the NDB as an alternative to the World Bank and the CRA as an alternative to the International Monetary Fund, both of which have traditionally been controlled by the United States, Europe and Japan. The stated focus of the NDB is to finance infrastructure and sustainable development in emerging market and developing countries.

With an authorized initial capital of $100 billion, the NDB will be a determinant player in global finance. Many in civil society are closely watching the development of the NDB to see whether it will promote a different type of development that contributes to the social and environmental welfare of communities and countries in the Global South, or whether it will perpetuate a model that has failed to bring real development. The international agreement establishing the NDB states that the bank must be transparent in its activities and that rules will be drafted on access to information. As of yet, the NDB has not formulated any social or environmental safeguards, transparency requirements, or accountability mechanisms.

The NDB will be based in Shanghai, with a regional office in South Africa. Governance will be shared among BRICS members: the first Chairperson of the Board of Governors will be from Russia, the Chairperson of the Board of Directors from Brazil, and India will have the first Presidency. Bank on Human Rights is working with members and allies in BRICS countries to track the development of the NDB. Will national parliaments and civil society have the opportunity to participate in an open and transparent discussion of how their countries will engage with the NDB, what type of development their financing will support, and how?