Closing summary address by Minister Ayanda Dlodlo at the BRICS seminar on governance, Sandton convention centre
Vice Minister Chen Li of the Chinese Academy of Governance
Vice Minister Guo Weimin of the State Council Information Office of China
Esteemed Host of the BRICS Seminar on Governance, Prof Levin
Distinguished Guests from the BRICS member countries and beyond
Delegates and Friends
Allow me first to extend my unreserved apology for not being part of this exciting seminar from the beginning due to other pressing government commitments. I believe that the discussions and deliberations of the day were not only vibrant but they provided the much-needed impetus towards the upcoming 10th BRICS Summit to be hosted here in less than a month from now.
Even more exciting, is the decidedly, people focused theme of this seminar: “Contributing BRICS’ wisdom to Global Governance in the interests of the people”. I am particularly excited because the focus on the people speaks directly to our core mandate and accountability to the people who elected us to government. It is fitting that at this global level, we are able to remind each other that we do not serve at our own instance and for ourselves but at the behest of the masses of our people.
Therefore, I am glad that this seminar is anchored around the notion of putting our people first, which in the context of my portfolio is couched in the evergreen principle of Batho Pele. Going forward, we should ensure, practically that our programs are responsive and beneficial to the needs of our people and that these are informed by the enduring principles of accountability, transparency and people involvement, among others.
I would also like to applaud the enduring spirit of camaraderie and partnerships among the BRICS players and their commitment towards the development agenda of this institution. It is true, that when the idea of BRICS was conceived, the rest of the western world and their sympathisers did not give it the slightest chance even to take off, let alone the level of growth we are witnessing now.
We must celebrate the achievements of this global body and foster an even stronger and more visionary agenda and future for the institution. We must position BRICS as the voice of the voiceless as we push for a just, people-centred and representative global governance system. The exploration of the ‘BRICS Plus’ phenomenon to broaden our partnerships and maintain dialogue with other developing nations is a step in the right direction.
This will ensure that we, together with the rest of the developing world form a formidable and influential platform for South-South cooperation in the world. It is our duty to introduce to the world a new way of doing international cooperation. This visionary approach and commitment to partnerships will also strengthen our prospects and capacity to achieve the objectives of Agenda 2030.
Today more than 120 representatives from leading think tanks, universities and enterprises of BRICS countries attended the BRICS Seminar on Governance 2018 held on 4 July 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The participants engaged in candid discussions and in-depth exchanges on the theme of “Contributing BRICS’ Wisdom to Global Governance in the Interests of the People”.
The Seminar confirmed the view that the world is undergoing profound changes and that global governance is confronted with new challenges. The BRICS countries should continue to position themselves as developing countries to support developing countries to play an active part in the reform and development of the global governance system, uphold justice in the reform of the global governance system, protect the interests of the people, strive to address the challenges of developing countries in the global governance system.
It is incumbent upon BRICS countries to take forward the people-centred and driven values of BRICS so as to influence the discourse at an international level.
Seminar participants also articulated the view that conditions must be created for the BRICS mechanism to play a leadership role in regional and global governance and promote the building of a global community with a shared future for humankind.
We call on all participants to closely follow the outcomes of the BRICS Summit and to hold the Seminar annually in the rotating presidency, where we shall focus on the theme of the BRICS Summit, share experience in governance, put forward our expertise and suggestions to expand the cooperation of “BRICS Plus”.
Participants should also explore the establishment of a multi-dimensional, multi-layered and multi-disciplinary BRICS cooperation framework to make the Seminar a regular mechanism and build it into an important intellectual platform, supporting emerging market countries and developing countries to participate in global governance. We look forward to meeting each other in Brazil in 2019!
In conclusion, I would like to make a call to all participants to have the Seminar annually in the country that is next in the rotational hosting of the next BRICS Summit, where the focus should be on the theme of the BRICS Summit.
To that end “BRICS Plus” should explore the establishment of a BRICS cooperation framework to make the Seminar a regular mechanism – to share experience in governance, put forward our expertise and suggestions.
I thank you all for your participation