BRICS Summit Puts Forward Global Order Reform to Make it More 'Democratic,' SA's Ramaphosa Says
On August 24, the 15th BRICS Summit, held in the South African city of Johannesburg, was concluded. The summit is notable for the official invitation of six new countries to the bloc, for the discussions on promoting an alternative to the US-dollar dominated trading system and for the talks on the reform of the United Nations.
One of the most important decisions made at the recently concluded 15th BRICS Summit, is to promote a reform of the United Nations to make it more "democratic," South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday in his address on outcomes of the event.
"One of the key decisions taken by the BRICS member countries was to support the call for a comprehensive reform of the United Nations, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more democratic, representative, effective and efficient," he emphasized.
The reform implies a "greater representation of developing countries in the UN Security Council," according to the leader. This concerns Brazil, India, South Africa and other states from Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Ramaphosa also underscored that the support of China and Russia, who are the permanent members of the Security Council, adds to the value of the decision.
"This was a most significant decision in view of the fact that it was supported by two BRICS members who are permanent members of the UN Security Council," the president underlined.
Moreover, the leader highlighted the importance of the decision for the African continent and South Africa, in particular, noting that a "more fair" world along with "more democratic and more representative" international institutions would be advantageous for them.
In addition, the president noted that the summit marked a new stage for the organization.
"It was a historic Summit that heralded a new chapter for BRICS." the leader emphasized.
A total of 66 countries were represented at the summit, including 46 states of the African continent, the president summed up.
Having thanked all the people, involved in the organization of the event, Ramaphosa noted that the "the success of the summit is an accomplishment of South Africa and its people, that shows "ability to host major international gatherings."
As the second major result, achieved at the summit
, the South African president called the approval of six candidates to join the bloc.
Ramaphosa stressed that the organization's decision to adopt new members stems from the acknowledgement of its possible positive impact for the bloc's efficiency and influence.
"BRICS leaders agreed that the value of BRICS extends beyond the interests of its current members. They agreed that BRICS could be more effective and have a greater impact by building partnerships with other countries that share its aspirations and perspectives," the leader said.
As for the opportunities that the BRICS expansion promises the confirmed and potential candidates, the president underscored that the states, who "seek for a fairer global governance, financial, investment and trading system," will be able to benefit from "clear," "equal" rules, suggested by the group.
Continuing his thought, Ramaphosa added that the bloc's enlargement
offers a chance to enhance export of member-states, which leads to increased production and more jobs.
"An expanded BRICS also means that we will be able to export more of our products to major markets and, as a result, we will be able to produce more and create more jobs," the president explained, adding: "South Africa stands to benefit from its relationship with these countries"
Commenting on the existing pros of BRICS membership of South Africa, the leader highlighted that Brazil, Russia, India and China relations are important for the economy of the country in terms of trade and investment.
"These countries are important destinations for South Africa’s products and services. They are important sources of investment and are becoming even more important as tourism markets," the president stated, noting "The engagements between our respective business people at this summit has resulted in several opportunities for the export of South African products to large countries with big markets."
He added that, within the bloc, there is cooperation in numerous fields such as business, science, culture, education
"We have regular interaction at many levels, among our business people, our scientists, our professionals, our cultural workers, our sports men and women, our academic, our public servants and our young people. This extends to interactions between political parties in BRICS countries," the leader elaborated.
What's more, Ramaphosa mentioned that it is planned to create a BRICS Youth Council to "define the direction of these relationships into the future."
"All this enhances our progress as a country," South African president concluded.
Applications to join the bloc
of six new states, including Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, were approved at the organization's summit on August 22-24. The candidates will officially become members in January.
Apart from the issues of the UN reform and the group's enlargement, the leader named the progress of the discussion on the financial matters as another outcome of the summit.
In particular, he said that the participants of the summit decided to examine the possibility to use various countries’ local currencies
as well as local payment instruments and platforms in international trade, adding that the report on the issue will be presented at the next event.
"The summit also decided that the finance ministers or central bank governors of BRICS countries, as appropriate, should consider the use of our various countries’ local currencies, payment instruments and platforms in international trade and financial transactions between BRICS and their respective trading partners. They are expected to report back at the next summit," Ramaphosa noted.
In addition, the president underlined that the summit discussed the potential of the African Continental Free Trade Area as an organization, which could help Africa to "shift from an exporter of raw materials to a producer of manufactured goods."
Nevertheless, the South African leader emphasized that the country's support for the expansion of BRICS does not "detract from the good and strategic relations with many other countries around the world." The state pursues an independent foreign policy and its own developmental path, according to the president.
"From the advent of our democracy, we have always sought to develop ties of friendship, cooperation and respect with all countries. We have never aligned ourselves with any one global power or bloc of countries," Ramaphosa concluded.