BRICS leaders adopted the Johannesburg II Declaration which reflects key messages on global economic, financial and political importance

XV BRICS Summit Open Plenary Session at the Sandton Convention Centre. 23/08/2023. Picture: Jairus Mmutle / GCIS

XV BRICS Summit Open Plenary Session at the Sandton Convention Centre. 23/08/2023. Picture: Jairus Mmutle / GCIS

Published Aug 24, 2023


Johannesburg – President Cyril Ramaphosa has described the 15th BRICS Summit as successful.

The summit concluding in Sandton, north of Joburg, is the first summit to be hosted in person since the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent global travel restrictions.

Ramaphosa said leading up to the summit, there was a wide-ranging BRICS business programme aimed at attracting investment, promoting collaboration, and showcasing opportunities within South Africa, Africa, and BRICS countries.

He said they welcomed the clear vision of Dilma Rousseff as the President of the New Development Bank on the role that the bank should play in supporting infrastructure and sustainable development in Africa and the Global South.

Ramaphosa said they celebrated the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the BRICS Business Council and welcomed the self-review by the council and the subsequent recommendations made to leaders.

He said they also welcomed the work of the BRICS Women’s Business Alliance in their first in-person engagement with leaders. They also welcomed the participation of youth representatives at the summit.

Ramaphosa said they addressed their expectations for the BRICS economic partnership to generate tangible benefits for their communities and deliver viable solutions for common challenges faced by the global south.

He said they shared their vision of BRICS as a champion of the needs and concerns of the peoples of the Global South. These include the need for beneficial economic growth, sustainable development, and reform of multilateral systems.

"We reiterate our commitment to inclusive multilateralism and upholding international law, including the purposes and principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter.

"We are concerned about ongoing conflicts in many parts of the world. We stress our commitment to the peaceful resolution of differences and disputes through dialogue and inclusive consultation," Ramaphosa said.

He said the summit noted that an unbalanced recovery from the hardships of the Covid-19 pandemic is exacerbating inequality across the world.

"We encourage multilateral financial institutions and international organisations to play a constructive role in building global consensus on economic policies. We have noted that there is global momentum for the use of local currencies, alternative financial arrangements, and alternative payment systems.

"As BRICS, we are ready to explore opportunities for improving the stability, reliability, and fairness of the global financial architecture," he said.

Ramaphosa said the summit agreed to task the BRICS Finance Ministers and/or Central Bank Governors, as appropriate, to consider the issue of local currencies, payment instruments, and platforms and report back to the BRICS leaders by the next summit.

“We adopted the Johannesburg II Declaration, which reflects key BRICS messages on matters of global economic, financial, and political importance. It demonstrates the shared values and common interests that underlie our mutually beneficial cooperation as the five BRICS countries,” Ramaphosa said.

He said that as the five BRICS countries, they have reached agreement on the guiding principles, standards, criteria, and procedures of the BRICS expansion process, which has been under discussion for quite a while.

Ramaphosa said they have consensus on the first phase of this expansion process, and further phases will follow.

“We have decided to invite the Argentine Republic, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates to become full members of BRICS.

“The membership will take effect on January 1, 2024.

“We value the interest of other countries in building a partnership with BRICS,” he said.

Ramaphosa said they have tasked their foreign ministers to further develop the BRICS partner country model and a list of prospective partner countries and report by the next summit.

“I thank the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, and China, together with their delegations, for participating in this most successful 15th BRICS Summit held in Joburg, South Africa.

“Through this summit, BRICS has embarked on a new chapter in its effort to build a world that is fair, a world that is just, and a world that is also inclusive and prosperous,” said Ramaphosa.

The Star