Statement of the Presiding Officers on the 9th BRICS Parliamentary Forum

Parliament, Friday, 29 September 2023 - The convening of the 9th BRICS Parliamentary Forum in Johannesburg stands as a seminal moment, signalling a harmonious unity and collective ambition amongst the BRICS nations. This assembly, articulated under the illuminating theme, “Harnessing Inclusive Multilateralism and Parliamentary Diplomacy to Deepen BRICS and Africa Partnership for Accelerated Implementation of the Africa Free-Trade Agreement,” embodies our progressive journey and mutual dedication to reinforcing global dialogues and alliances.

The adoption of the declaration and the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) during this Forum mark significant and transformational milestones, reflecting our united vision to fortify relations within our nations, and importantly, with Africa, aiming to propel inclusive growth and sustainable development forward. The historic signing of the MoU is a critical testament to our commitment to consolidating the BRICS Parliamentary Forum as a hub for democratic parliaments in the Global South.

The successful hosting of the Forum, viewed with the accomplishments of the 15th Heads of States BRICS Summit in Sandton, accentuates the significant and impactful role both South Africa and its Parliament play in international dialogues and discussions. Serving as the chair of the BRICS Parliamentary Forum for 2023, the Parliament of South Africa has been pivotal in fostering meaningful dialogues and in achieving consensus on issues of overriding significance to the global community. The insightful leadership, strategic discourse, and united action exhibited during the Forum have not only elevated the international standing of the South African Parliament but have also established a robust foundation for future discussions and collaborative initiatives within the BRICS Parliamentary Forum. This lays down a benchmark for committed engagement and collaborative efforts for the international community, exemplifying the substantial influence of concerted actions in sculpting a more balanced and sustainable future.

The Forum has unwaveringly highlighted the indispensable value of implementing a balanced and holistic approach to the economic, social, and environmental aspects of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We fervently advocate for the fulfillment of Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments by donor countries, emphasizing the imperative of enabling capacity building, technology transfer, and the infusion of additional development resources, aligning with the national aspirations of the beneficiary countries.

The successful deliberations at the Forum emphasized the paramount importance of enhancing multilateralism, with the United Nations playing a central role, in championing the causes of sustainable development, human rights, as well as peace and security, all premised on the principles of mutual respect, justice, and equality. Parliamentary diplomacy has been recognised as a catalyst in shaping a more equitable international order and fostering a revitalized multilateral system.

Our collective resolve is to see the resolutions of the 15th BRICS Summit actualized within our parliaments, thereby bolstering the prominence of BRICS, particularly in optimizing the opportunities embedded in the AfCFTA for BRICS trade partnerships, for the evolution and integration of Africa, and the augmentation of South-South cooperation.

With the unanimous adoption of the declaration and the signing of the MoU, the Forum’s mission is to intensify concerted efforts to address mutual concerns and to persistently strengthen the inter-parliamentary relations of BRICS Member States, underscoring the fact that robust parliamentary cooperation is fundamental to the essence of BRICS cooperation. The MoU serves as a transformative blueprint, marking a new era in the institutionalization of the parliamentary dimension of our cooperation.

The embrace of new members and the fortification of relations with diverse African parliamentary assemblies and national parliaments have mirrored our inclusive ethos in fostering cooperation and shared progression. We anticipate the integration of the newly invited BRICS countries with great enthusiasm and envision deepened interactions with the African parliamentary fraternity.

The fruitful outcomes of the 9th BRICS Parliamentary Forum are transformative, blending our mutual aspirations and commitments to tackle global imperatives and craft a future characterized by peace, equality, and sustainable prosperity. We are determined to elevate our collaborations, envisioning the BRICS Parliamentary Forum as a beacon of democracy, inclusiveness, and multilateralism in the global discourse, thereby unlocking the boundless possibilities of tomorrow through enhanced collaboration, multilateralism, and parliamentary diplomacy.

The Parliament of South Africa extends heartfelt thanks to the leadership and representatives of all the BRICS member parliaments, the newly added BRICS parliaments whose memberships will activate in 2024, and all the invited parliaments at the Forum, for their meaningful participation and invaluable contributions. The insights and perspectives shared by every participant have notably enriched our dialogues, paving the way for meaningful cooperation in the forthcoming years.

As we prepare to transfer the chairpersonship of the BRICS Parliamentary Forum to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation in 2024, we express our utmost confidence in their stewardship. We are optimistic that they will continue to enhance the momentum established during the 2023 Forum in South Africa. We trust that their leadership will inject renewed vigour and fortify the collaborative endeavours of the BRICS nations to actualize our shared aspirations and vision for a more equitable and harmonious global community.

In this journey, our commitment to strengthening mutual relations and deepening mutual understanding and respect among BRICS nations remains steadfast. We anticipate witnessing new milestones and the realization of our collective aspirations for global peace, stability, and sustainable development under the impending Russian chairpersonship.

Moving forward, the Parliament of South Africa remains deeply committed to the actionable outcomes of the BRICS Parliamentary Forum, by meticulously considering the comprehensive report stemming from the Forum's deliberations. Both Houses of Parliament are primed to play their oversight and legislative roles to actualize the outcomes of the 15th BRICS Summit held in Sandton. Our collective efforts will be directed towards translating these strategic decisions into tangible actions and benefits, underpinning our steadfast commitment to both our nation and the broader BRICS community.

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