National security advisers of the BRICS nations gathered in Johannesburg recently. But participants were not limited to the security leadership of the five nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — that make up the acronym.

It included security experts from Iran, Burundi, Egypt, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, United Arab Emirates and Belarus. With every BRICS meeting since 2021, the stress on the need to contribute to an equitable global architecture is becoming glaringly apparent in both the expansion of the grouping and the discussions surrounding issues of the “Global South.”

Global South is a terminology that has found a resurgence since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It is in common parlance in China, India and even Russia’s discussions with partners. However, it is still not a widely accepted terminology in the Western world and scholars skeptical of that description go with the so-called Global South. Some have issues with what the term really means; others have concerns of acknowledging the term and the costs associated with it — validating anti-Western sentiments, particularly hitting at West’s Achilles heel of history.