BRICS efforts to combat climate change and it

BRICS countries view climate change as a pressing
global issue and “for sustaining high levels of economic growth in BRICS”
(BRICS Report, 2012:167). These countries have “to play a key role in global
efforts to combat climate change and it should be in their own interest”
(Lawson, Heacock and Stupnytska, 2007:111). In their Third Summit, they declared
their commitment “to work towards a comprehensive, balanced and binding outcome
to strengthen the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol”. (BRICS, 2011). BRICS countries’ also
condemned the US pulling out of the Paris accord and its environment ministers
have reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of the Paris Climate
deal despite the US withdrawal. America pulling out of the Paris accord could
lead help BRICS countries to play a stronger role in climate diplomacy.


The 2013 Human Development Report holds that ‘the
rising South has to assume more responsibility on the global stage, in line
with its increasing economic power and political clout, including by
contributing more resources to multilateral organizations’ (Culp, 2016:1527).
The increased capability of the BRICS nations has been a significant
development in the international community and is giving an impetus to
transform the system. The obstacles of today’s time cannot simply be met by the
G-7 countries and require a more united effort, including new stakeholders.

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Human Rights and Sovereignty

The issue of human rights came into focus after the
harrowing destruction of war, and the loss of countless lives in it.  The United Nations Charter, “reaffirmed faith
in fundamental human rights, and dignity and worth of the human person” and
committed all member states to promote “universal respect for, and observance
of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to
race, sex, language, or religion,” (United Nations,1945). The Universal
Declaration of Human Rights (1948) laid the foundation for the modern day human
rights.  By mid-1990s, the international
human rights norm had diffused widely due to the rapid increase of liberal
democratic states.

In particular, responsibility to protect (R2P) and
“liberal intervention” became methods through which the West ensured the
adherence to human rights. After the Cold War, notions of “R2P gave the
international community legal rights and obligations to intervene in the
affairs of sovereign states” (Ikenberry, 2015:61). It is described as the
responsibility of each State to protect their citizens from genocide, war
crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing, and must take action to
help other nations whose governments can’t or won’t protect their peoples, in
accordance to the UN Charter (United Nations, 2005).

Sovereignty is
generally described as having ultimate authority over a territory, with the
absolute right to govern but countries interpret sovereignty differently due to
their historical