|From increased BRICS cooperation, security,
economic, financial and sustainable development spheres, the
groupingˇ¦s foreign affairs ministers, who were meeting in Pretoria,
came out with a united equal voice.
A communiqué issued after their second formal meeting, which was
chaired by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation,
Lindiwe Sisulu, first reflected on the importance of this year
marking a decade of BRICS summits. She said it was a testimony to
the fortitude of BRICS cooperation and reiterated the commitment to
implement the outcomes and consensus of past BRICS summits.
ˇ§The ministers recalled the BRICS tradition of outreach to extend
its cooperation to fellow developing and emerging economies,ˇ¨ read
the communiqué, issued at the end of the meeting, which was attended
by Minister Sisuluˇ¦s counterparts, China's Wang Yi, Russiaˇ¦s Sergey
Lavrov, Indiaˇ¦s Sushma Swaraj and Brazilˇ¦s Marcos Galvão.
BRICS commitment to UN
The deliberations which Minister Sululu described as ˇ§fruitfulˇ¨
reaffirmed BRICS commitment to the United Nations (UN), as the
universal multilateral organisation entrusted with the mandate for
maintaining international peace and security, advancing global
development and promoting and protecting human rights so as to build
a brighter shared future for the global community.
They recalled the 2005 World Summit Outcome document and reaffirmed
the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including its
Security Council, with a view to making it more representative,
effective and efficient, and to increase the representation of the
developing countries. This, the grouping believes, will allow the
union to adequately respond to global challenges.
This pushed the BRICS to commit to intensifying dialogue among the
BRICS countries on the administration and budget of the UN, with a
view to strengthening the organisation and preserving its member
state-driven character. ˇ§We stand firm on the importance and
promotion of multilateralism with the UN and its bodies,
notwithstanding the reform thereof, at the centre,ˇ¨ Minister Sisulu
In addition to this, the BRICS ministers reaffirmed their commitment
to multilateralism and a rules-based international order and in this
regard reaffirmed the centrality of UN, the World Trade Organisation
(WTO) and international law by pledging their support to efforts
towards making global governance more representative with greater
participation of emerging markets and developing countries.
On trade, they underlined their firm commitment to free trade, and
the centrality of a rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory,
multilateral trading system (MTS) as embodied in the WTO, by
opposing the new wave of protectionism and the systematic impact of
unilateral measures that are incompatible with WTO rules and
undermine global trade and economic growth.
In this regard, they reiterated that the WTO Dispute Settlement
System was a cornerstone of the MTS as it was designed to enhance
security and predictability in international trade.
Global economic governance
ˇ§The ministers reaffirmed their resolve to foster a global economic
governance architecture that is more effective and reflective of the
current global economic landscape, increasing the voice and
representation of emerging markets and developing economies. They
reaffirmed their commitment to conclude the International Monetary
Fund's 15th General Review of Quotas, including a new quota formula,
by the 2019 Spring Meetings,ˇ¨ reads the communiqué.
2030 Agenda, climate change, global issues
With regard to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, they
reaffirmed their commitment to implement the tenets in an equitable,
inclusive, open, all-around innovation-driven and sustainable
development, in its three dimensions ˇV economic, social and
environmental ˇV in a balanced and integrated manner.
They reaffirmed their commitment to tackling climate change. They
welcomed the entry into force of the Paris Agreement under the UN
Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Turning to global issues on the agenda, the four ministers condemned
terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and went on to urge
concerted efforts to counter terrorism under the UN auspices.
Furthermore, they recalled the responsibility of all states to
prevent financing of terrorist networks and terrorist actions from
They also raised the issue of the growing instability in the Middle
East, among others, the Israel-Palestine situation, the crisis in
Syria and Yemen, and the unfolding catastrophe in Afghanistan.
ˇ§Finding inclusive, peaceful, negotiated solutions to these
conflicts is paramount. The same holds true for international
terrorism. We recommitted ourselves to supporting the United
Nations' central coordinating role in international
counter-terrorism cooperation. We furthermore reaffirmed our
commitment to an expeditious adoption of a Comprehensive Convention
on International Terrorism,ˇ¨ Minister Sisulu added.
10th BRICS Summit
The meeting laid the foundation for the 10th BRICS Summit taking
place in July under the theme ˇ§BRICS in Africa: Collaboration with
Developing Countries for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in
the 4th Industrial Revolutionˇ¨.
The theme resonates with the core priorities of all BRICS members,
notably to strive towards the creation of an inclusive society and
global partnerships that will bring prosperity to all humankind.