Members of the Media,
We successfully concluded the XV BRICS Summit yesterday.
It is the first BRICS Summit to be hosted in-person since the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent global travel restrictions.
Leading up to the Summit, there was a wide-ranging BRICS business programme aimed at attracting investment, promoting collaboration and showcasing opportunities within South Africa, Africa and BRICS countries.
We welcome the clear vision of Ms Dilma Rousseff as the President of the New Development Bank on the role that the Bank should play in support of infrastructure and sustainable development in Africa and the Global South.
We celebrated the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the BRICS Business Council and welcomed the self-review by the Council and the subsequent recommendations made to Leaders.
We also welcomed the work of the BRICS Women’s Business Alliance in their first in-person engagement with leaders. We particularly welcomed the participation of youth representatives in the Summit.
We addressed our expectations for the BRICS economic partnership to generate tangible benefits for our communities and deliver viable solutions for common challenges faced by the global South.
We shared our vision of BRICS as a champion of the needs and concerns of the peoples of the Global South. These include the need for beneficial economic growth, sustainable development and reform of multilateral systems.
We reiterate our commitment to inclusive multilateralism and upholding international law, including the purposes and principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter.
We are concerned about ongoing conflicts in many parts of the world. We stress our commitment to the peaceful resolution of differences and disputes through dialogue and inclusive consultation.
The Summit noted that an unbalanced recovery from the hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating inequality across the world.
We encourage multilateral financial institutions and international organisations to play a constructive role in building global consensus on economic policies.
We have noted that there is global momentum for the use of local currencies, alternative financial arrangements and alternative payment systems.
As BRICS, we are ready to explore opportunities for improving the stability, reliability and fairness of the global financial architecture.
The Summit agreed to task the BRICS Finance Ministers and/or Central Bank Governors, as appropriate, to consider the issue of local currencies, payment instruments and platforms and report back to the BRICS leaders by the next Summit.
This Summit reaffirmed the importance of BRICS people-to-people exchanges in enhancing mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation.
The Summit appreciates the progress made over the last year in the fields of media, culture, education, sports, arts, youth, civil society and academic exchanges.
We adopted the Johannesburg II Declaration which reflects key BRICS messages on matters of global economic, financial and political importance.
It demonstrates the shared values and common interests that underlie our mutually beneficial cooperation as the five BRICS countries.
BRICS itself is a diverse group of nations.
It is an equal partnership of countries that have differing views but have a shared vision for a better world.
As the five BRICS countries, we have reached agreement on the guiding principles, standards, criteria and procedures of the BRICS expansion process, which has been under discussion for quite a while.
We have consensus on the first phase of this expansion process, and further phases will follow.
We have decided to invite the Argentine Republic, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to become full members of BRICS. The membership will take effect from 1 January 2024.
We value the interest of other countries in building a partnership with BRICS.
We have tasked our Foreign Ministers to further develop the BRICS partner country model and a list of prospective partner countries and report by the next Summit.
Today, we will be hosting leaders from Africa and the Global South in the BRICS-Africa Outreach and BRICS Plus Dialogue.
This is so that we can have an inclusive dialogue on key issues affecting developing economies and identify actions that we can take together towards a more equitable, inclusive and representative world.
May I conclude by thanking the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and China, together with their delegations, for participating in this most successful XV BRICS Summit held in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Through this Summit, BRICS has embarked on a new chapter in its effort to build a world that is fair, a world that is just, a world that is also inclusive and prosperous.
I thank you.
ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENCY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA