Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen of the media
The South African Government is privileged to be hosting the 10th BRICS Summit, starting on 25 July and ending on 27 July 2018. As you may be aware, South Africa, in its role as Chair of BRICS for the calendar year 2018, has chosen the theme: “BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.
The dates of the Summit are segmented as follows:
· BRICS Business Forum – Wednesday, 25 July 2018;
· BRICS Leaders’ meeting and Retreat – Thursday, 26 July 2018; and
· BRICS-Africa Outreach and BRICS-Plus Initiative – Friday, 27 July 2018.
The Inter-Ministerial Committee on BRICS, set up by President Cyril Ramaphosa, has been meeting ahead of the Summit, and concluded its last meeting today. The IMC is pleased with the level of preparation that has gone into the event. Many of our international guests are already in the country and have been having meetings since 19 July 2018.
We can confirm that the following BRICS Heads of State and Government will participate in the Summit:
· His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa and Chair of BRICS;
· His Excellency Michel Temer, President of the Republic of Brazil,
· His Excellency Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China,
· His Excellency Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India, and
· His Excellency Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation.
South Africa’s foreign policy is based on our African history and identity. Whereas we are in BRICS in our own right as a sovereign state, participating on an equal footing with fellow BRICS members, we also use our membership to champion the interests of our continent, Africa.
Our theme for the Summit talks to the need to strengthen the relationship between BRICS and Africa. Accordingly, during the Summit, the BRICS leaders will have time – on the 27th of July 2018 – to interact with African leaders on how best we can bring about the “inclusive growth” and “shared prosperity” that the theme talks to. We can confirm that the following African leaders will participate in the BRICS-Africa Outreach:
· His Excellency Dr. Hage G. Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia,
· His Excellency Ali BONGO ONDIMBA, President of the Republic of Gabon,
· His Excellency João Manuel Lourenço, President of the Republic of Angola,
· His Excellency Macky SALL, President of the Republic of Senegal,
· His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Republic of Uganda
· His Excellency Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe, President of the Republic of Togo,
· His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, and
· We have also extended an invite to all SADC Heads of State and Government.
We are continuing with the BRICS practice initiated by our previous Chair, the People’s Republic of China, to organise a BRICS-Plus Initiative. Through this initiative, BRICS aims to reach out to fellow developing and emerging market economies. In this respect, we have invited the leaders of the following countries and regional organisations who have accepted our invitation to participate in the Summit:
· His Excellency Mauricio Macri, President of the Argentine Republic,
· His Excellency Mr Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Republic of Turkey,
· His Excellency Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of the Republic of Jamaica,
· Dr Stergomena Lawrence Stergomena Tax, Executive Secretary of SADC,
· Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, the Chief Executive Officer of NEPAD, and
· Mr Kundapur Vaman Kamath, President of the New Development Bank.
The 10th BRICS Summit will be an important milestone as it represents a decade of BRICS cooperation. The Summit will culminate in the adoption of the "Johannesburg Declaration" which will include our joint commitments for the year ahead.
South Africa has proposed the following for adoption at the Summit:
1. Establishment of a Working Group on Peacekeeping;
2. Establishment of a Vaccine Research Centre for Collaboration with BRICS vaccine innovation and development partners – this is intended to be a physical research centre focused on research and development and vaccine innovation;
3. Establishment of a BRICS Gender and Women’s Forum – intended as a dedicated track for gender and women’s issues, given the economic benefit to be derived from the socio-economic empowerment of women, particularly in developing countries;
4. Leveraging the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership towards the pursuit of Inclusive Growth and Advancing the 4th Industrial Revolution – this is intended to foster discussions to address opportunities provided by the Fourth Industrial Revolution; and
5. Establishment of a BRICS Tourism Track of Cooperation.
We believe that these proposals will go a long way in consolidating cooperation amongst the BRICS partners as we enter the second decade of BRICS.
Although our leaders will focus much of their attention on intra-BRICS cooperation, they are also cognisant of the fact that BRICS exists within a broader global political and economic environment. With this understanding in mind, we expect that the leaders will review the political and security environment globally and express views accordingly. BRICS countries understand that inclusive socio-economic development cannot be achieved in a world that is insecure and unsafe.
As BRICS members, we understand that the United Nations remains the universal multilateral organisation entrusted with the mandate for maintaining international peace and security, advancing global development and promoting and protecting human rights.
South Africa will remain Chair of BRICS until 31 December 2018. The next Chair is the Republic of Brazil. For the remaining period of our tenure, we will tirelessly work with our partners to implement our decisions and deepen the level cooperation. Not only intra-governmentally but through other sectors, including business, civil society, youth, women, etc.
We have no doubt, given the support we have already enjoyed since becoming BRICS chair at the beginning of January 2018, that the Summit will be a success.
I THANK YOU
Date: Monday, July 23, 2018
Topic: Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on the 10th BRICS Summit, BRICS Media Centre, Sandton Convention Centre