University of Toronto
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BRICS Information Centre

2019 Brasilia Summit
Interim Compliance Report

Alissa Xinhe Wang, Angela Hou, Brittaney Warren and the University of Toronto BRICS Research Group,
Irina Popova, Andey Shelepov, Andrei Sakharov and Alexander Ignatov
and the Center for International Institutions Research
of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration,
14 September 2020

This interim compliance report assesses the compliance of the BRICS members over the period of 15 November 2019 to 1 June 2020. It assesses 10 priority commitments of the 49 commitments made by the leaders at the Brasilia Summit on 13–14 November 2019. The final report for the full period between the Brasilia Summit and the 2020 summit will be releleased on the eve of the 2020 summit, to be hosted virtually by Russia on 17 November 2020.

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 15 November 2019 to 1 June 2020 that might affect that assessment, please contact us at

Introduction and Summary

The 2019 BRICS Brasilia Interim Compliance Report, prepared by the BRICS Research Group (based at Trinity College in 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 10 priority commitments drawn from the total 49 commitments made by the leaders at the Brasilia Summit on 13–14 November 2019.

The interim report covers actions taken by the BRICS countries to implement the selected 10 commitments during the period from 15 November 2019 to 1 June 2020. A final report that assesses the full period between the 2019 and 2020 summits will be produced in time for the St. Petersburg Summit (when the dates become known), and thus will include actions taken after 1 June 2020. There is often a significant difference between the interim and final scores given the longer timeframe; moreover, the disruption of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic will likely also have an impact on compliance in 2020.

Methodology and Scoring System

This report draws on the methodology developed by the G7 Research Group, which has been monitoring G7 compliance since 1996 and adopted for monitoring G20 performance since 2008.[1] 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.[2]

The methodology uses a scale from −1 to +1, where +1 (100%) indicates full compliance with the stated commitment, −1 (0%) indicates a failure to comply or action taken that is directly opposite to the stated goal of the commitment, and 0 (50%) 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.[3] Each member receives a score of −1, 0 or +1 for each commitment.

Breakdown of Commitments

At Brasilia in 2019, the BRICS leaders focused on facilitating sustainable growth in digital era. The theme of the summit was "Economic Growth for an Innovative Future." The topics discussed included strengthening cooperation in science, technology and innovation; enhancing cooperation on digital economy; invigorating cooperation on the fight against transnational crime, especially against organized crime, money laundering, and drug trafficking; and encouraging the rapprochement between the New Development Bank and the BRICS Business Council.

In the economic sphere, the leaders made several commitments for economic cooperation, with a focus on information and communications technologies, open trade, the digital economy, and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. Several commitments were made on reforming international financial institutions (IFIs), including the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The leaders agreed to cooperate in areas such as IMF quota review, climate change, international currency, anti-corruption, biodiversity and international taxation.

Selection of Commitments

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.[4] The selection also takes into account the breakdown of issue areas and the proportion of commitments in each one (see Table 1. 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. Of the 49 commitments made at the 2019 Brasilia Summit, the BRICS Research Group has selected 10 priority commitments for its compliance assessment (see Table 2).

Compliance Scores

Compliance for the 2019 Brasilia Summit interim report is 56% (+0.12) (see Table 3). This is a lower average than the interim compliance of 76% with the commitments made at the 2018 Johannesburg Summit, which increased to 85% by the eve of the Brasilia Summit. Indeed, it is the lowest interim or final compliance score since 2011.

By country, China has the highest overall compliance average of 70%, followed by Russia at 65%, India at 60%, South Africa at 50% and Brazil at 35%.
By issue, compliance varied widely with the highest score of 90% for the commitment on reforming the WTO, followed by 80% on implementing the Paris Agreement. Three commitments achieved negative compliance scores (i.e., under 50%): on currency co-operation at 40%, on Syria at 20% and on IFI reform at 10%.


[1] The Compliance Coding Manual is available at

[2] 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.

[3] The formula to convert a score into a percentage is P=50×(S+1), where P is the percentage and S is the score.

[ 4] Guidelines for choosing priority commitments, as well as other applicable considerations, are available in the Compliance Coding Manual.

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Table 1: Distribution of BRICS Commitments across Issue Areas, 2009-2019

Issue Area 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Energy 5 9 1 2         6 2 2
Finance   3 1     6 6 5 9 5 1
Climate change   1 6 3 1 1 1 1 3   3
Macroeconomic policy   1 5 1 5 7 6 4 4 3 1
Trade   3 5 9 4 4 5 2 6 4 3
International cooperation 1 2 5 3 6 8 30 7 21 18 8
Socioeconomic 1 1 3 2   7 5 2   2  
Development 1 5 1 3 10 4 4 2 11 6 2
Natural disasters 1 1 1                
Food and agriculture 3   1 1   1 17   5 3  
ICT     2     1 17 3 12 3 2
Science and education 1 1 1     2 5        
Health     1 1   1 6 2 6 1  
Human rights     1   1 2 5   2   1
Accountability     1                
Regional security 1   1 4 8 6 6 4 12 7 4
Terrorism     1 1 2 2 1 4 7 3 1
Culture   1       3 1 2 3    
Sport   1                  
IFI reform 1 2 1 2 9 8 3 2 5 2 2
Non-proliferation         1     1 2   1
Crime and corruption           4 10 3 8 6 10
Environment           1 1 1 3 3 3
Tourism             1     1  
International taxation                   4 5
Total 15 31 38 32 47 68 130 45 125 73 49

Note: ICT = information and communications technology; IFI = international financial institutions.

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Table 2: 2019 BRICS Brasilia Summit Priority Commitments

  Issue Area Commitment
1 Reform of the World Trade Organization Our countries will work with all WTO [World Trade Organization] Members to advance a process for necessary reform that is balanced, open, transparent and that promotes inclusivity and development
2 Reform of International Financial Institutions We also support protecting the voice and representation of the poorest members
3 Environment: Global biodiversity framework We are committed to contributing to and supporting the development of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework
4 Crime and Corruption: Asset Recovery We will maintain our ongoing efforts on anti-corruption law enforcement cooperation and returning of assets, including on civil and administrative proceedings
5 Digital Economy: Partnerships [We will continue to]… expand and intensify partnerships already in progress including taking necessary steps for early setting up of the Digital BRICS Task Force (DBTF)
6 International Taxation: Digital Economy We remain committed to addressing the tax challenges of the digitalization of the economy
7 Macroeconomic Policy: Enterprise Financing We will explore in appropriate fora ways to promote and facilitate investments in … MSMEs [micro, small and medium-sized enterprises] … which will help to promote economic growth, trade and job creation.
8 Financial Regulation: Currency Cooperation We will continue to communicate on other possible areas of currency cooperation, consistent with each central bank's mandate
9 Climate change: Paris Agreement We reiterate our commitment to the implementation of the Paris Agreement adopted under the principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.
10 Regional Security: Syria We also reaffirm our commitment to advancing a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned, UN-facilitated political process in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254

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Table 3: 2019 BRICS Brasilia Summit Interim Compliance Scores

  Issue Areas Brazil Russia India China South
1 Reform of the World Trade Organization 0 +1 +1 +1 +1 +0.80 90%
2 Reform of International Financial Institutions −1 0 −1 −1 −1 −0.80 10%
3 Environment: Biodiversity Framework 0 0 +1 +1 0 +0.40 70%
4 Crime and Corruption: Asset Recovery 0 0 +1 +1 0 +0.40 70%
5 Digital Economy: Partnerships 0 0 0 0 0 0 50%
6 International Taxation: Digital Economy 0 0 +1 0 0 +0.20 60%
7 Macroeconomic Policy: Enterprise Financing 0 0 0 +1 +1 +0.40 70%
8 Financial Regulation: Currency Cooperation −1 +1 0 0 −1 −0.20 40%
9 Climate Change: Paris Agreement 0 +1 0 +1 +1 +0.60 80%
10 Regional Security: Syria −1 0 −1 0 −1 −0.60 20%
  Average −0.30 +0.30 +0.20 +0.40 0 +0.12 56%
35% 65% 60% 70% 50%

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Research Team

Dr. Marina Larionova, Co-director, BRICS Research Group
Professor John Kirton, Co-director, BRICS Research Group
Brittaney Warren, Researcher, BRICS Research Group

University of Toronto Research Team

Alissa Xinhe Wang, Chair of Summit Studies, BRICS Research Group
Angela Min Yi Hou, Editor-in-Chief, BRICS Research Group
Omar Abdellatif
Sheeriza Azeez
Tony (Tianyi) Chen
Abby Chu
Lucia Dhafana-Mabika
Joy Fan
Jiayi Guo
Syed Haider
Amira Higazy
Zarlasht Jamal
Wenny (Yiyao) Jin
Wing Ka
Areej Malik
Shamshir Malik
Sarah Nasir
Natasha Pirzada
Kelley Predergast
Evangeline Procopoudis
Daniel Scarpitti
Nicole Shi
Japish Singh
Samantha Tozzi
Ingril Wong
Chen Ou Yang
Lecheng Charlie Zeng

RANEPA Research Team

Irina Popova, Moscow Team Leader
Alexander Ignatov
Andrei Sakharov
Andrey Shelepov


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