Forum lauded as major pillar
February 05, 2018
Cape Town, South Africa: The BRICS forum constitutes one of the cornerstones of South Africa’s foreign policy, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said on Monday (February 05, 2018).
Kgabo Mahoai, Director General for DIRCO was speaking at the opening of the BRICS Sherpas and Sous Sherpas meeting underway in Cape Town when he made the statement.
The BRICS Forum, an independent international organisation encouraging commercial, political and cultural cooperation between the BRICS nations, was formed in 2011. It consists of five major emerging national economies namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Mahoai said through BRICS, South Africa has been able to yield tangible results and create programmes that are responsive to the realities South African's face.
“Through our engagement in BRICS, we have worked not only to generate ideas, projects and programmes that are innovative and responsive to the realities that our countries and citizens face. We have equally focused our efforts on the practical implementation of our ambitions.
“We have done so in a way that has yielded tangible results,” said Mahoai.
The main pillar of the country’s foreign policy is Africa, Mahoai said, stressing that South Africa has sought to carry the African Agenda into the BRICS engagements.
“We intend to further engender a meaningful and productive interaction between BRICS and our African partners, whilst attempting to contribute to the BRICS institution-building agenda, through the two proposals we have put forward, namely the establishment of a working group on peacekeeping and the virtual vaccine research platform,” asserted Mahoai.
The meeting, which brings representatives from the five emerging economies, is the first in the calendar under the auspices of South Africa’s chair-ship, which it assumed in January.
The meeting will discuss the working arrangements for BRICS.
South Africa is scheduled to host the 10th BRICS summit from 25 – 27 July at the Sandton Convention Centre, which will see the country building on the BRICS programme of development and prosperity for partner countries.
Mahoai added the meeting will discuss proposed new areas of cooperation, such as the establishment of a working group on peacekeeping, and a platform for collaboration with the BRICS vaccine innovation and development partners.