The New Way Forward for BRICS Bank —— Groups call for openness and commitment to

    摘要:The big question is whether the institution wants to be a new bank to an old development model or a bank for a new development model.

As government officials from Brazil, Russia, India, Chinaand South Africa wrapped up proceedings in Shanghai for the first AnnualMeeting of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB), development and environmentalgroups from BRICS countries called for greater transparency and engagement withcivil society as a cornerstone for sustainable development. The NDB’s AnnualMeeting July 20-21 included meetings of the Board of Governors and Directors aswell as a High-level Seminar under the theme of “A New Way Forward.”

Inside and outside the meetings, civil society groups stressed the need for the New Development Bank to set the parameters for the sectors and types ofinvestments it will make in order to ensure that those investments supportsustainable development. “The big question is whether the institution wants to be a new bank to an old development model or a bank for a new development model,” said Adhemar S. Mineiro, Economist and Advisor to the ExecutiveSecretariat of REBRIP, Rede Brasileira pela Integração dos Povos. “This is the existential question to bedefined by the BRICS countries, its creators.”

Groups raised concerns that the NDB has already approved investments ineach of its member countries, including an investment in Russia approved thisweek, yet it is not clear what controls exist to anticipate and deal withsocial and environmental impacts. “While NDB staff state that a social andenvironmental policy exists, it has not been disclosed, nor was civil societyconsulted in its development,” explained Vladimir Chuprov, Head of GreenpeaceRussia Energy Program. “By avoiding dialog with civil society, NDB risksgetting into social conflicts. Many international banks have met such conflictscaused by absence of dialog and social and environmental standards. NDB has achance not to repeat others’ mistakes.”

The need for greater transparency was a critical demand raised by thoseattending the meeting as well as many civil society groups unable to attend.Groups criticized the lack of accessibility of the Annual Meeting, citing aregistration window of under a week, lack of notice, and denials ofregistration. “Meaningful participation and listening to stakeholders,especially to directly affected communities, is a prerequisite for effectivedevelopment,” said Caio Borges, attorney at Conectas Human Rights in Brazil.“As a public institution that operates with public funds, the NDB needs to beopen to the voices of civil society and to abide by the highest standards ofsocial accountability.”