Opening Statement by President Cyril Ramaphosa during the XIV BRICS Heads of State Summit

Your Excellency President Xi,
Your Excellency President Bolsonaro,
Your Excellency President Putin,
Your Excellency Prime Minister Modi,
Ladies and Gentlemen,


We thank China for convening this virtual XIV BRICS Summit.


We meet at a time of great uncertainty.


The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on human life, livelihoods, economies and communities around the world.


We are here as the members of BRICS to affirm our shared desire for a world in which all people have a meaningful stake, in which all have equal opportunity, and from which all can benefit.


The BRICS response to the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated what can be achieved when we work together in the spirit of friendship, solidarity and responsibility.


The launch of the BRICS Vaccine Research and Development Centre in March this year will strengthen international health and science cooperation to prepare for future crises.


It is a cause for great concern that the rest of global community has not sustained the principles of solidarity and cooperation when it comes to equitable access to vaccines.


We call on developed economies, international agencies and philanthropists that procure vaccines to purchase from manufacturers in developing economies, including in Africa.


We need to realise the great potential of our economic partnership to strengthen intra-BRICS trade, investment and tourism.


Our combined economic strength should be a catalyst for sustainable global economic recovery.


In line with our foreign policy principles, South Africa continues to call for dialogue and negotiation towards a peaceful resolution of conflicts around the world.


We are concerned that the focus and resources of the international community have been diverted from other concerning conflicts and humanitarian crises.


Urgent global issues like climate change and sustainable development are not being effectively attended to.


Decision-making across the entire United Nations system needs to be democratised so that multilateral institutions can effectively address global challenges.


We look forward to the High-level Dialogue on Global Development tomorrow.


BRICS provides a valuable platform to address the key challenges of the global South in partnership with like-minded emerging markets.


This High-level Dialogue is an important opportunity to form a common vision of a more inclusive, just and stable international order.


BRICS must play its important role in giving leadership to the world.


I thank you.