Your Excellencies, the BRICS Leaders
Your Excellencies, Leaders of Egypt, Guinea, Mexico, Tajikistan, and Thailand,
I would like to take this opportunity to thank President Xi Jinping for bringing together a new configuration of like-minded partners from amongst the group of Emerging Markets and Developing Countries (EMDCs) with whom the BRICS nations share common aspirations and challenges.
As the unfolding multi-polar world order takes shape, formations such as BRICS are indicative of the shared resolve to assume ownership of our development paths.
Such formations are intended as a conduit for addressing the needs of all global citizens.
Addressing common development challenges is integral to building a better future for all humankind, as evidenced by the collaboration that exists between the BRICS nations and their various international partners.
Our joint efforts were further manifested in the successful adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Full implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has the potential to eradicate poverty.
Revitalising the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development can only be fully achieved if supported by the concrete policies and actions outlined in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, also adopted in 2015; and which is an integral part of the 2030 Agenda.
The Means of Implementation is fundamental to the success of countries meeting their developmental needs, and achieving the SDGs, yet it is the one area that has received neither the appropriate attention, nor the requisite priority.
African countries are implementing the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063 of the African Union in an integrated manner.
This is to ensure that we secure and utilise natural resources sustainably.
In the lead up to the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, we are confident that international solidarity will prevail and that countries will encourage and support each other in the implementation of their various contributions and obligations.
Excellencies, the world has witnessed a number of terror attacks in recent times.
South Africa strongly condemns these horrendous acts and believes that, in order to fight this scourge, it is imperative for the global community to unite as one and to intensify its collective efforts to counter the challenges that this poses to the international community at large.
It remains our conviction that, given terrorism’s global reach, international cooperation in countering this threat is critical. South Africa, therefore, fully supports the global campaign against terrorism within the framework of the United Nations.
BRICS partners have established their first financial institutions to notably address their own needs.
The New Development Bank is supporting its founding members.
Hopefully soon, it will also support our partners through providing development financing for infrastructure and sustainable development projects.
The leadership of the African Union engaged the BRICS leadership at an early stage indicating its strong support for this project and the recent launch of the Africa Regional Centre is a most welcome signal of an intensifying partnership for development.
As the Global South, it remains our collective responsibility to increase our role in agenda setting and rule formulation in relevant fora, notably in the United Nations.
In its current state, the United Nations has been unable to curb unilateral actions by powerful nations. These practices risk the reversal of gains made by the collective and we must continue to address its inherent biases.
This dialogue with our fellow partners from the group of EMDCs has certainly created an opportunity for us to work towards finding solutions for our common challenges.
It provides an opportunity as well to craft a paradigm for mutually beneficial South-South cooperation, to positively impact on the lives of our people, and to constantly strive for justice, equity and development.
Each of the countries present here today enjoys comparative and competitive advantages in specific fields.
Cross fertilisation, the exchange of ideas, joint projects and skills training can go a long way towards promoting economic development and social progress for all. South Africa will continue to explore these mutually beneficial cooperation ties with all our partners.
I thank you.