South Africa’s BRICS Sherpa, Ambassador Anil Sooklal, has described the country’s chairmanship of the bloc this year as being “full of challenges, yet it brought out the best in all of us”.
Russia this weekend took over the chairmanship, as it prepares to host the summit next year, which will include the new countries that were added to the grouping at the 15th Summit held in Johannesburg in August.
“If we look back on the journey we have travelled in these past almost 12 months being the chair, the success we have achieved as a BRICS family is due to all of us, each and every one of the countries,” Sooklal told a gala dinner with Ambassadors on Friday in Durban.
“Collectively working together at the 15th BRICS summit in South Africa and perhaps one of the most challenging for a number of reasons.”
Sooklal said the resilience, solidarity, co-operation and creativity meant the bloc was able to meet the challenges that resulted in a win-win outcome for the global community and especially the Global South, including the African continent.
“The extended BRICS summit with the BRICS plus summit in August where we had more than 60 delegations was the largest gathering we ever had.
“This also demonstrated the solidarity that we enjoy in the Global South and clearly indicated the new confidence and belief that we can make a difference in reshaping the evolving global order.”
The Johannesburg II Declaration that came out of the summit highlighted the progressive thinking of the bloc as it reaffirmed the countries’ commitment to the bloc’s spirit of mutual respect and understanding, sovereign equality, solidarity, democracy, openness, inclusiveness, strengthened collaboration and consensus.
The group emphasised the support for a comprehensive reform of the United Nations, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more democratic, representative, effective and efficient, and to increase the representation of developing countries in the Council’s memberships.
The call was made for the UN to adequately respond to prevailing global challenges and support the three legitimate aspirations of emerging and developing countries from Africa, Asia and Latin America, including Brazil, India and South Africa, to play a greater role in international affairs, in particular in the United Nations, including its Security Council.