Your Excellency President Xi,
Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government,
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to our Chair for continuing the BRICS tradition of meaningful engagement with like-minded emerging markets and developing economies.
We all share a desire for increased representation and a progressive perspective in global governance institutions.
We share a common history of struggle against imperialism, colonialism, exploitation and continued underdevelopment.
Our ties of solidarity were forged at the Bandung Conference in 1955, which culminated in the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement.
This remains the template for South-South cooperation and solidarity.
Less than a decade ago, the world united in a historic decision on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
We recognised that eradicating poverty was the greatest global challenge of our time.
We committed ourselves to a common agenda for humanity that would see us collectively address climate change, conflict, poverty and insecurity.
The COVID-19 pandemic further revealed our inter-connectedness and exposed our shared vulnerability.
The Ukraine conflict has exposed the fault lines in the international order.
Urgent global issues like COVID-19, poverty, inequality, climate change and the broader sustainable development agenda have been eclipsed by the conflict.
We must safeguard the principle of multilateralism.
We need a United Nations that is fit-for-purpose and clear in its benefits to all humanity, especially in times of insecurity and crises.
We must promote international peace and security by advocating inclusive dialogue and the peaceful settlement of disputes.
We need to urgently reform the United Nations Security Council so that it can credibly and effectively perform its mandate. It is unjust that Africa with a population of 1.3 bn people does not have permanent representation on the UN Security Council.
As like-minded emerging market countries, we need to move from a common vision of an emerging international order to a common programme of change.
We must be committed to shaping our own institutions to support the growth and development of emerging economies.
Our vision has been to harness our common vision and resources to improve the lives of our people through mutually-beneficial cooperation and to actively shape the world to benefit the Global South.
We must approach our cooperation in a spirit of openness and solidarity with the genuine intention to find mutual interests and build common values.
We have the potential to leverage our combined economic strength to drive a sustainable global economic recovery.
It is up to us, as emerging and developing economies, to put the global South on a new trajectory of progress, prosperity and self-reliance and to shape an inclusive and equitable international order.
This is an opportunity to move from solidarity to collective action for the benefit of all our people.
I thank you.
ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENCY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA