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Cablegate: Mfa and Russian Embassy Preview September 25 Bric

VZCZCXRO0394
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #3703/01 2681044
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 241044Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0102
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0438
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 9114
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 4641
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2066

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 003703

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/24/2033
TAGS: PREL ECON SENV ENRG CH RU BR IN
SUBJECT: MFA AND RUSSIAN EMBASSY PREVIEW SEPTEMBER 25 BRIC
FOREIGN MINISTERS MEETING AT UNGA

Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Aubrey Carlson.
Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

Summary
-------

1. (C) At least three Foreign Ministers from Brazil, Russia,
India and China (the "BRIC" nations) will meet September 25
on the margins of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), according
to a Chinese MFA official. Items for discussion will include
international development cooperation and the Millennium
Development Goals, climate change, food and energy security
and international financial architecture, according to both
an MFA official and a Russian Embassy officer in Beijing.
The MFA official noted, however, that discussions may stray
"far away" from the agreed agenda to issues of "personal
interest." The Russian EmbOff said the meeting will avoid
"sensational" topics and instead focus on noncontroversial
economic issues. The Chinese MFA official reported, however,
that one BRIC member had expressed a desire to discuss
political issues "within the framework of the UNGA." Despite
insistences that BRIC is an informal grouping whose
participants have not voiced any ideas about
institutionalizing the forum, the group is gathering momentum
as discussions continue. BRIC finance ministers will hold
talks on the margins of a November 2008 G-20 meeting in
Brazil, and heads of state may attend a 2009 BRIC Summit in
New Delhi. End Summary.

Agenda for September 25 FM meeting
----------------------------------

2. (C) MFA Department of International Organizations and
Conferences Department Economic Affairs Division Deputy
Director Guo Xuejun told PolOff on September 22 that the BRIC
nations will meet September 25 on the margins of the UN
General Assembly (UNGA). Guo conceded that perhaps not all
of the BRIC FMs will be "available" for the meeting, but said
at least three FMs will attend. Topics for discussion will
include international development assistance, international
financial architecture, the Millennium Development Goals, and
food and energy security. Guo noted that the FMs will also
discuss climate change and pointed out that the "current
global financial turbulence" has added urgency to discussions
on international financial architecture. Russian Embassy
officer Ivan Zhelokhovtsev separately described the identical
agenda on September 10.

Main Aim is Dialogue
--------------------

3. (C) Zhelokhovtsev stressed to PolOff that the BRIC forum
does not aim to "work out a line of action"; rather, the aim
is to engage in "regular dialogue" as developing countries.
The upcoming meeting will mark the second consecutive year
that the BRIC FMs have gathered for discussions on the
margins of the UNGA. In addition, the four nations' FMs held
the first stand-alone BRIC meeting in July 2008 in
Yekaterinburg, Russia. Nevertheless, said Zhelokhovtsev, the
ongoing BRIC dialogue is "very informal" and aims not "to
come up with a structure," but rather to discuss "ideas."

"Nothing Sensational"
---------------------

4. (C) Zhelokhovtsev said "nothing sensational" will come up
in the discussions. He cautioned, however, that "Brazil and
India are eager to discuss UN Security Council reform and
increased international participation at anytime." After
recounting the economic issues on the agenda, MFA's Guo noted
that "one BRIC member" has proposed to "talk about political
issues within the framework of the UNGA." Guo said that,
although the four BRIC nations have agreed upon the agenda,
the discussion could move "far away" from the original points.

BRIC at Year One Mark
---------------------

5. (C) Though the term "BRIC" emerged as far back as 2001 in
a Goldman Sachs study on emerging economies, the four nations
only held the first BRIC forum discussions in fall 2007 in
New York. While the participating nations have no plans to
formalize BRIC in the near future, Zhelokhovtsev said, "it
may be necessary for BRIC to have regular meetings." In
fact, he said, BRIC officials will engage in dialogue on two

BEIJING 00003703 002 OF 002


occasions in the upcoming months. First, in November, BRIC
finance ministers will hold talks on the margins of the G-20
finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Sao
Paulo, Brazil. Then, in the first half of 2009, a
stand-alone BRIC meeting in New Delhi may host the four
nations' heads of state. Hinting at the continuing
uncertainties that surround the group's future, he added that
these upcoming meetings do not necessarily mean that BRIC
meetings will regularly occur in the future.
RANDT

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