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2011 Sanya BRICS Summit Compliance Report

March 27, 2012

This compliance report assesses the compliance of the BRICS members over the period of 15 April 2011 to 12 March 2012. It assesses five priority commitments of the 38 made at the Sanya Summit hosted by China in April 2011.

Download the full report here.


Introduction and Summary

The 2011 Sanya BRICS Summit Compliance Report, prepared by the BRICS Research Group (the University of Toronto and the International Organizations Research Institute of the National Research University Higher School of Economics (IORI HSE), is the first report on the BRICS compliance performance since its inception at the leaders' level in 2008.

The report analyzes compliance performance by BRICS countries with a selection of 5 priority commitments out of a total of 38 commitments made by the leaders at the Sanya summit on 14 April 2011. The report covers the compliance-relevant actions taken by the BRICS countries during the period from 15 April 2011 to 12 March 2012. This timeframe allows for an assessment of compliance for the period between the 2011 Sanya Summit and the 2012 New Delhi Summit, hosted by India on 29 March 2012.

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Methodology and Scoring System

This report draws on the methodology developed by the G8 Research Group, which has been monitoring G8 compliance annually since 1996 and semi-annually since 2002. The same methodology has been adopted for monitoring G20 performance since 2008. The use of this time tested methodology builds cross-institutional, cross-member and cross-issue consistency and thus allows compatibility and comparability of the compliance performance by the G8, G20 and BRICS, providing foundation for evidence based assessment of these institutions effectiveness.

The methodology uses a scale from -1 to +1, where +1 indicates full compliance with the stated commitment, -1 indicates a failure to comply or action taken that is directly opposite to the stated goal of the commitment, and 0 indicates partial compliance or work in progress, such as initiatives that have been launched but are not yet near completion and whose final results can therefore not be assessed. Each member assessed receives a score of -1, 0 or +1 for each commitment. For convenience, the scientific scores reported in the tables in this summary have been converted to percentages, where -1 equals 0% and +1 equals 100%.

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Commitment Breakdown

The BRICS made a total of 38 commitments at the Sanya Summit (the full list is available at HSE IORI's BRICS website). These commitments, as identified by the BRICS Research Group, are drawn from the official BRICS Sanya Leaders Meeting Declaration. They cover 16 issue areas ranging from climate change to terrorism.

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Selection of Commitments

Although BRICS countries made a total of 38 commitments at the Sanya Summit, the BRICS Research Group has undertaken to assess compliance of all members for 5 priority commitments (see Table 1). For each compliance cycle (that is, the period between summits), the research team selects commitments that reflect the breadth of the BRICS agenda and also reflect the priority of the summit's host, while balancing the selection to allow for comparison with past and future summits.3 The selection also replicates the breakdown of issue areas and the proportion of commitments in each issue area. Primary criteria for selecting a priority commitment for assessment are the comprehensiveness and relevance to the summit, the BRICS and the world, as well as individual and collective pledges. Selected commitments must also meet secondary criteria of performance such as measurability and ability to commit within a year. Tertiary criteria include significance as identified by scientific teams and relevant stakeholders in the host country.

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The Final Compliance Scores

The assessment is based on publicly available information relating to compliance-relevant action taken from 15 April 2011 to 12 March 2012. The final compliance scores by commitment are contained in Table 2.

For the period from 15 April 2011 to 12 March 2012, BRICS countries achieved an average final compliance score of +0.48, which translates to 74% on the percentage scale.

As this is the first BRICS compliance report produced there is no data which would allow assess the compliance performance dynamics over the period from the first summit in 2009. However, analysis reveals that the number of concrete commitments made by the BRICS leaders at the summits has been constantly growing. 15 commitments were registered in 2009 Joint Statement of BRIC Leaders with 5 of them in the area of energy, and 3 commitments on overcoming the food crisis and establishing medium and long-term conditions for agriculture development were formulated in the Joint Statement on Global Food Security. At the summit in Brasilia BRICS leaders made 31 commitments. The agenda considerably expanded: 9 commitments were made in the area of energy, 6 related to finance, 4 fell under development assistance, 2 focused on trade and the same amount -on macroeconomic cooperation. In 2011 the number of commitments agreed by the BRICS leaders amounted to 38. The balance of commitments by priorities changed. Most of them (6) addressed the issues of environmental protection and economic adaptation to climate change. Coordination has strengthened on sustainable and balanced growth (5 commitments), trade expansion (5 commitments), development assistance (4 commitments), interaction in social and economic spheres (4 commitments), including social protection, decent jobs, addressing the problems of youth and public health.

The average number of commitments in this period totaled 28, which is significantly lower than the G20 average for almost the same period between 2008 and 2011 (124). Commitments "density", i.e. the ratio of the number of commitments to the number of characters in the summit documents is also lower for BRICS (17) than for the G20 (22). However, there is a tendency towards its increase, which can be considered as an evidence of BRICS gradual institutionalization, improvement in the quality of dialogue and the ability to coordinate decisions on the expanding number of issues.

The average score for the BRICS countries compliance with 2011 G20 Seoul summit commitments was lower than that for the Sanya commitments. However at +0.42 (71%) it was a sharp increase compared to the +0.07 (54%) performance for Toronto, +0.03 (52%) for Pittsburgh and +0.04 (52%) for London. This upward compliance trend for BRICS in G20 leads to assume that similar trend may have been observed on the BRICS summits commitments. Future research will allow verify the assumption.

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Compliance by Member

For country-specific compliance with the Sanya Summit's priority commitments, India, which is chairing BRICS in 2012, holds first place with a score of +1 (100%). It is followed by Brazil and China at +0.6 (80%).Then Russia at +0.2 (60%). The lowest scoring member is South Africa, which joined BRICs at the Sanya summit, with a score of 0 (50%). This trend confirms the tendency characteristic of the summitry and is observed in the G8 and G20. The top compliance performers are usually the country chairing the summit and the forthcoming chair in the group.

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Compliance by Commitment

Overall compliance by commitment has been high, with all scores distributed from 0 to +1.

The highest scoring commitment is that on Cancun Agreements at +0.8 (90%). The lowest score was on the commitment International Financial System Reform at +0.2 (60%). For more information on scoring by commitment, see Table 2.

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Future Research and Reports

The information contained in this report provides BRICS countries and other stakeholders with an indication of their compliance in the period between the Sanya and New Delhi summits. This report has been produced as an invitation for others to provide additional or more complete information on compliance. Feedback should be sent to brics@utoronto.ca and iori@hse.ru.

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Table 1: 2011 BRICS Sanya Summit Selected Priority Commitments for Compliance Assessment

Priority Area Commitments Selected and Assessed for Compliance (n = 5)
International Financial System Reform [13] Recognizing that the international financial crisis has exposed the inadequacies and deficiencies of the existing international monetary and financial system, we support the reform and improvement of the international monetary system, with a broad-based international reserve currency system providing stability and certainty.
Finance: Commodity Markets [14] We support the international community in strengthening cooperation to ensure stability and strong development of physical market by reducing distortion and further regulate financial market.
Climate Change: Cancun Agreements [17] We support the Cancun Agreements.
Development: NEPAD [28] We support infrastructure development in Africa and its industrialization within framework of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).
Trade: Trade Cooperation [30] [We have agreed to continue further expanding and deepening] trade [cooperation among our countries].

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Table 2: 2011 BRICS Sanya Summit Compliance Scores

  Commitment
Brazil
Russia
India
China
South Africa
Average Score
Average Percentage
1 International Financial System Reform [13]
0
0
+1
+1
-1
+0.2
60%
2 Finance: Commodity Markets [14]
+1
0
+1
0
0
+0.4
70%
3 Climate Change: Cancun Agreements [17]
+1
+1
+1
0
+1
+0.8
90%
4 Development: NEPAD [28]
+1
0
+1
+1
0
+0.6
80%
5 Trade: Trade Cooperation [30]
0
0
+1
+1
0
+0.4
70%
  Average score
+0.6
+0.2
+1
+0.6
0
0.48
   
80%
60%
100%
80%
50%
74%

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Research Team

Moscow
Professor Marina Larionova, Co-director, BRICS Research Group; Head, HSE International Organizations Research Institute
Tatyana Lanshina
Vitaly Nagornov
Svetlana Nikitina
Mark Rakhmangulov
Elizaveta Safonkina
Andrey Shelepov

Toronto
Professor John Kirton, Co-director, BRICS Research Group; Co-director, G20 Research Group
Caroline Bracht
Krystel Montpetit
Kevin Moraes
Elvira Omarbagaeva

See also the International Organizations Research Institute at the National Research University Higher School of Economics

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