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2015 BRICS Ufa Summit
Compliance Report

October 12, 2016

This compliance report assesses the compliance of the BRICS members over the period of 10 July 2015 to 19 September 2016. It assesses nine priority commitments of the 130 made at the Ufa Summit hosted by Russia in July 2015. This report was prepared by the BRICS Research Group led by the Center for International Institutions Research of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) and the Global Governance Program at Trinity College in the University of Toronto.

Download the full report here.

We welcome feedback on this report! If you have any comment about our assessment, or if you know of any actions taken by a BRICS member between 10 July 2015 to 19 September 2016 that might affect that assessment, please contact us at

Introduction and Summary

The 2015 BRICS Ufa Compliance Report, prepared by the BRICS Research Group (the University of Toronto and the Center for International Institutions Research of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), analyses compliance performance by BRICS countries with a selection of priority commitments drawn from the total of 130 commitments made by the leaders at the Ufa Summit on 8-9 July 2015. The report covers actions on nine commitments taken by the BRICS countries during the period from 10 July 2015 to 19 September 2016. This timeframe allows for an assessment of compliance during the period from the Ufa Summit to the Goa Summit, which will be hosted by India on 15-16 October 2016.

The role of the BRICS in the global governance system is steadily increasing, as the countries have transformed a purely economic concept of the BRIC into a new global governance institution. Also, in spite of the recent economic slowdown, the BRICS countries collectively constitute almost a third of the global gross domestic product and are likely to outperform the G7 for the next several years.

However, to stay relevant in the global economy and retain its influence, the BRICS needs to further augment cooperation. In line with this idea, the five members have been broadening and deepening their coordination and collaboration in different areas and in different formats. Since the establishment of the format, the countries have held almost 110 meetings at different levels. Apart from the summits, these include the meetings of the foreign, finance, trade, agriculture and health ministers, as well as representatives of statistical offices, competition authorities and heads of development banks. These meetings resulted in the adoption of more than 40 documents and establishment of a growing number of working groups, contact groups and other mechanisms of coordination. The dynamics of BRICS cooperation has been positive, and the speed of its institutionalization has been high. Most importantly, the leaders have agreed on 361 concrete decisions across the various areas of their agenda. At the summits between 2009 and 2015, BRICS leaders adopted 361 commitments and delegated 32 mandates to intra-BRICS institutions.[1] BRICS decisions refer to 12 broad policy areas, such as economy, finance, climate change and education. The Ufa Summit produced by far the largest number of commitments, most of which focused on reforming the International Monetary Fund, strengthening international cooperation and coordinating macroeconomic policy and finance.

BRICS cooperation has been further deepened and expanded during the Russian presidency. According to the Concept of the Russian Federation's Presidency in BRICS in 2015, cooperation expanded to include such new areas as parliamentary affairs, culture, and information and communications technologies. Strengthening intra-BRICS cooperation and engagement with other international institutions is a priority. Enhancing "the efficiency of BRICS by improving the reporting process for previous commitments assumed by member countries" is emphasized.[2]Given that collective commitments made at the BRICS summits reflect the members' shared goals, an increase in the number of commitments and compliance performance could indicate a strengthened capability for collective action.


[1] A commitment is defined as a discrete, specific, publicly expressed, collectively agreed statement of intent; a promise by summit members that they will undertake future action to move toward, meet or adjust to an identified target. More details are contained in the Compliance Coding Manual (available at
[2] Concept of the Russian Federation's Presidency in BRICS in 2015-2016, Official Website of the Russia's Presidency in BRICS.

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Methodology and Scoring System

This report traces BRICS compliance with selected commitments made at the 2015 Ufa Summit. It draws on the methodology developed by the G8 Research Group, which has been monitoring G8 compliance since 1996. Since 2008 the same methodology has been adopted for monitoring G20 performance. The use of this time-tested methodology provides for cross-institutional, cross-member and cross-issue consistency and thus allows compatibility and comparability of the compliance performance by different summit institutions and establishes a foundation for evidence-based assessment of the effectiveness of these institutions.[3] 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 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%, 0 equals 50% and +1 equals 100%.[4]


[3]Informal summitry institutions are defined as international institutions with limited membership, relatively low bureaucracy and reliance on open, flexible and voluntary approaches. Regular meetings of the heads of states and governments who engage on a wide range of international, regional and domestic politics stand at the pinnacle of such international arrangements, which involve many actors operating according to established procedures on two levels: domestic and international. Commitments contained in the collectively agreed documents are not legally-binding but their implementation is stimulated by peer pressure. Among such bodies engaged in global and regional governance are G7/G8, G20, BRICS, APEC and others.
[4]The formula to convert a score into a percentage is P=50×(S+1), where P is the percentage and S is the score.

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Breakdown of Commitments

The number of concrete commitments made by the BRICS leaders at their summits has increased steadily. There were 15 commitments in the 2009 Joint Statement of BRIC Leaders, with five in the area of energy and three related to overcoming the food crisis and establishing favourable conditions for agriculture development. At the 2010 summit, BRIC leaders made 31 commitments. As the agenda expanded decisions were made in new areas: nine commitments on energy, three on finance, five on development cooperation, three on trade, and two on global financial architecture reform and the institutionalization of intra-BRICS cooperation. There were 38 commitments made at the 2011 Sanya Summit: six on environmental protection and adaptation to climate change, and five each on macroeconomic issues, trade and international cooperation. For the first time the BRICS leaders made commitments on public health, human rights, accountability and combating terrorism. The 2012 Delhi Summit issued 32 commitments with a focus on trade (nine commitments), regional security (four commitments) and development assistance (three commitments), but none on financial regulation. The 2013 Durban Summit again produced no commitments on finance and was dominated by the South African presidency's priorities of development, regional security and international institutional reform.

At the Fortaleza Summit in 2014, the BRICS leaders agreed on 68 commitments, the highest number to that time. They covered all the priorities addressed by the previous presidencies. Moreover, the leaders reiterated their commitments on financial regulation, food and agriculture, science, information and communication, and cooperation in culture. They also made commitments in the new areas of environmental protection and anti-corruption.

The commitments of the BRICS, as a group of major emerging economies, fall mainly into the areas relevant for the five countries (see Table 1). In particular, members' priorities for stimulating domestic economic recovery are reflected in the large share of trade and development commitments. Decisions on international cooperation and the reform of international institutions, which remain at the core of the BRICS agenda, also constitute a substantial share at about 10% of the total. At the same time, each presidency strives to incorporate its own priorities in the agenda and can thus substantially influence the breakdown of commitments. For instance, decisions made during the Russian presidency in 2009 focused mainly on energy and agriculture. In 2010 Brasilia retained energy as a top priority and also added development issues to the agenda. The 2011 summit in China shifted toward climate change. The 2012 Indian and 2013 South African presidencies considered regional security as a priority, with the Durban Summit also addressing development issues including infrastructure development and regional integration.

Brazil's 2014 presidency retained the BRICS focus on trade, international cooperation, development and finance, while for the first time paying increased attention to socioeconomic issues. Russia's 2015 presidency enhanced cooperation with other international institutions and agreed on specific measures in the areas of food and agriculture, ICT and crime and corruption.

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Selection of Commitments

Of the total of 130 commitments made at the 2015 Ufa Summit, the BRICS Research Group has selected nine priority commitments for its compliance assessment (see Table 2). For each compliance cycle (that is, the period between summits), the research team selects commitments that reflect the breadth of the BRICS agenda and the priorities of the summit's host, while balancing the selection to allow for comparison with past and future summits.[5]The selection also takes into account the breakdown of issue areas and the proportion of commitments in each one. The primary criteria for selecting a priority commitment for assessment are the comprehensiveness and relevance to the summit, the BRICS and the world. Selected commitments must meet secondary criteria such as measurability and ability to comply within a year. The tertiary criteria include significance, as identified by relevant stakeholders in the host country and scientific teams.


[5] Guidelines for choosing priority commitments, as well as other applicable considerations, are available in the G8 Commitment/Compliance Coding and Reference Manual.

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Compliance Scores

The overall compliance by commitment has been high, with all scores except the one for regional security distributed from 0 to +1. The highest level of compliance (+1 or 100%) was registered for two commitments in the areas of Macroeconomic Policy and Finance. BRICS compliance performance on macroeconomic policy and finance confirms the group's commitment to advance economic growth. BRICS average scores for compliance with the commitments on Information and Communications Technology and on Food and Agriculture both reached +0.80 (90%). They were followed by the commitments on Education and Health each with +0.40 (70%) and the commitment on Human Rights +0.20 (60%). These scores indicate the BRICS's adherence to inclusive growth.

The score for the commitment on Regional Security was the lowest at −0.40 (30%). Regional Security has always been a priority on the BRICS agenda. However, most of the countries have not taken actions to support Iraq in addressing all three areas of security, socio-economic and humanitarian challenges. At the same time BRICS members lived up to their promise to consistently strengthen cooperation in preventing and countering terrorism with compliance performance of +0.80 (90%).

Thus, for the period from 10 July 2015 to 19 September 2016, the BRICS countries achieved an average final compliance score of +0.56, which translates into 78%. The final compliance scores by commitment are contained in Table 3.

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Compliance Trends

This is the fifth BRICS compliance report produced by the BRICS Research Group (see Table 4). The 2012 Delhi Summit, at +0.28 or 64%, was a dip between the 2011 Sanya and 2013 Durban summits both at +0.48 or 74%. The 2014 Fortaleza Summit achieved a score of +0.40 (70%), close to the average for all five summits assessed (+0.43 or 72%). The average score for compliance with the Ufa Summit commitments is the highest so far.

Although the time span is too short to draw strong conclusions on trends, preliminary patterns can be identified with the caveat that assessed commitments in the same issue areas are not identical from one summit to the next.

Given this constraint, the analysis reveals that the BRICS countries complied well with the development, terrorism and macroeconomic policies commitments at the core of their agenda (with the same average of +0.60 or 80% over all five summits). Performance on regional security issues is uneven, with an overall average of 0 (50%).

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Table 1: Distribution of BRICS Commitments across Issue Areas, 2009-2015

Issue area Yekaterinburg
Total Share,
International cooperation 1 2 5 3 6 8 30 55 15.24
Trade   3 5 9 4 4 5 30 8.31
Development 1 5 1 3 10 4 4 28 7.76
IFI reform 1 2 1 2 9 8 3 26 7.20
Regional security 1   1 4 8 6 6 26 7.20
Macroeconomic policy   1 5 1 5 7 6 25 6.93
Food and agriculture 3   1 1   1 17 23 6.37
ICT     2     1 17 20 5.54
Socioeconomic 1 1 3 2   7 5 19 5.26
Energy 5 9 1 2       17 4.71
Finance   3 1     6 6 16 4.43
Crime and corruption           4 10 14 3.88
Climate change   1 6 3 1 1 1 13 3.60
Science and education 1 1 1     2 5 10 2.77
Human rights     1   1 2 5 9 2.49
Health     1 1   1 6 9 2.49
Terrorism     1 1 2 2 1 7 1.94
Culture   1       3 1 5 1.39
Natural disasters 1 1 1         3 0.83
Environment           1 1 2 0.55
Accountability     1         1 0.28
Sport   1           1 0.28
Nonproliferation         1     1 0.28
Tourism             1 1 0.28
Total 15 31 38 32 47 68 130 361 100

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Table 2: 2015 BRICS Ufa Summit Priority Commitments

Priority Area Commitment
Macroeconomics: Competition Policy We will continue our joint efforts aimed at improving competition policy and enforcement.
Finance: Tax Transparency [The BRICS countries reaffirm their commitment] to strengthen mechanisms for ensuring tax transparency and to exchange information for taxation purposes
Information and Communications Technology We commit ourselves to focus on expanding universal access to all forms of digital communication and to improve awareness of people in this regard.
Regional Security: Iraq We remain strongly committed to support the Republic of Iraq in achieving stability, peace, democracy, national reconciliation and unity, which is in the interest of regional and global peace and security
Education Through the accelerating progress in the educational field, the BRICS countries commit to attain the Post-2015 Development Agenda objectives and targets related to education and education-related Sustainable Development Goals to ensure equitable, inclusive and quality education and lifelong learning.
Terrorism: International Cooperation We are determined to consistently strengthen our cooperation in preventing and countering international terrorism
Food and Agriculture: Agriculture cooperation and Food for Vulnerable Populations [We reiterate our commitment to further develop agricultural cooperation, in particular,] provision of food for the most vulnerable communities
Human Rights: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights We reiterate our commitment to ensure sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights for all
Health: Ebola We confirm our commitment to do what is necessary individually and collectively to support these efforts [international response to Ebola virus disease] addressing emergency and longer-term systematic issues and gaps in preparedness and response on national, regional and global level.

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Table 3: 2015 BRICS Ufa Summit Compliance Scores

  Brazil Russia India China South Africa Average
Macroeconomics: Competition Policy +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1.00 100%
Finance: Tax Transparency +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1.00 100%
Information and Communications Technology +1 +1 +1 0 +1 +0.80 90%
Regional Security: Iraq −1 0 0 0 −1 −0.40 30%
Education 0 +1 0 0 +1 +0.40 70%
Terrorism: International Cooperation 0 +1 +1 +1 +1 +0.80 90%
Food and Agriculture: Agriculture Cooperation and Food for Vulnerable Populations +1 +1 0 +1 +1 +0.80 90%
Human Rights: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights −1 0 +1 +1 0 +0.20 60%
Health: Ebola 0 +1 −1 +1 +1 +0.40 70%
Average +0.22 +0.78 +0.44 +0.67 +0.67 +0.56 78%
61% 89% 72% 83% 83%

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Table 4: BRICS Compliance Scores, 2011-2015

  Sanya 2011 Delhi 2012 Durban 2013 Fortaleza 2014 Ufa 2015 Average
Trade +0.40 0 +1.00 −1.00   +0.10 55%
Development +0.60 +0.40 +0.60 +0.80  +0.40 +0.56 78%
Macroeconomic policies     +0.20   +1.00 +0.60 80%
Financial regulation +0.40     +0.20 +1.00 +0.53 77%
Climate change +0.80 +0.20       +0.50 75%
International financial institution reform +0.20 +0.20       +0.20 60%
Energy   +0.60       +0.60 80%
Regional security     +0.20 +0.20 −0.40 0 50%
Terrorism     +0.40 +0.60 +0.80  +0.60 80%
Environment       +1.00   +1.00 100%
Human rights       +0.60  +0.20 +0.40 70%
Crime and corruption       +0.80   +0.80 90%
Information and communications technology         +0.80 +0.80 90%
Food and agriculture         +0.80 +0.80 90%
Average +0.48 +0.28 +0.48 +0.40 +0.56 +0.44 72%
74% 64% 74% 70% 78%

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Research Team

Dr. Marina Larionova, Co-director, BRICS Research Group
Professor John Kirton, Co-director, BRICS Research Group
Caroline Bracht, Co-director, Research, BRICS Research Group
Alissa Xinhe Wang, Chair, Summit Studies, BRICS Research Group
Mark Rakhmangulov, Moscow team leader

Moscow Analysts
Ksenia Efimova
Anna Elpatova
Ilya Glaz
Ildar Khalilyulin
Angelina Khudoleeva
Kirill Krivosheev
Levon Levonyan
Elizaveta Nekrasova
Elina Nizamova
Olesia Nikulina
Irina Popova
Mark Rakhmangulov
Andrei Sakharov
Irina Sedova
Andrey Shelepov
Maria Strelnikova
Sofia Streltsova
Evgeny Tsarik

Toronto Analysts
Filipe Carvalho
Roberts Rios Pereyra
Carolijn van Noort

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