South African Parliament hosts 9th BRICS Parliamentary Forum - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

South African Parliament hosts 9th BRICS Parliamentary Forum

- Hon. Pemmy Majodina, Amos Masondo on SA delegation

The South African Parliament will host the 9th meeting of the BRICS Parliamentary Forum (BRICS PF) with the theme "Harnessing Multilateralism and Parliamentary Diplomacy to Deepen BRICS and Africa Partnership for Accelerated Implementation of the Africa Free-Trade Agreement."

Expected to last for two days, the meeting starts on the 27th of September with a keynote address by the Deputy President of South Africa, Mr. Paul Mashatile and a debate on the outcomes of the 15th BRICS Summit Heads of State.

This is according to a statement issued on Monday by the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa.

Made up of leaders of legislative organs of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) countries, the BRICS PF structure is a symbol of cooperation and proof of members’ shared commitment to strengthening diplomatic ties and fostering cooperation on many fronts.

The primary purpose of the BRICS PF Assembly is to reinforce and cultivate relationships at the highest levels of parliamentary chambers, committees, and groups of parliamentarians. Through inter-parliamentary exchanges and expert consultations, it aims to enhance cooperation and increase collective impact.

The Assembly's current theme is consistent with the recent Heads of State Summit held in Johannesburg last month. South Africa was the BRICS Chair that hosted the 15th Heads of State Summit. Parliament has the dual role of facilitating meaningful interactions, promoting economic prosperity, and advancing strategic partnerships that transcend borders.

Our focus on the alignment of the theme demonstrates our steadfast dedication to promoting a more inclusive, integrated, and prosperous Africa. This theme also highlights the significance of Africa in South Africa's foreign policy, emphasizing the interconnectedness of our national interests with Africa's stability, unity, and prosperity.

The BRICS nations have a valuable opportunity to lead in promoting change and shaping a new global order while preserving multilateralism as the foundation for international relations. Parliaments, which consist of representatives from diverse political parties and ideologies, work on behalf of their countries' citizens. By participating in groups such as the BRICS PF, parliaments can help ensure that the aspirations and desires of their people are met.

Since the inaugural BRICS PF meeting, which was held in Moscow, Russia in 2015, the forum’s meetings have been held parallel to the BRICS Heads of State Summit or on the sidelines of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) meetings.

Although the arrangement was convenient and saved time and resources, it did not give the BRICS PF the necessary recognition it deserved. This also diminished its stature as an equally important structure within the BRICS system.

The Assembly then deemed it fit to hold this meeting separately from the other meetings in order to give it the significance it deserves, guided by the principles of separation of powers.

Over 250 delegates are expected to attend the Assembly, with several critical outcomes expected, including the formal establishment of the BRICS PF through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, the issuance of a Declaration or Outcome Document outlining our shared vision, a decision on establishing the BRICS PF Secretariat, and most importantly, a strengthened BRICS identity with increased people-to-people exchanges.

The South Africa delegation includes two members of South Africa’s delegation to the Pan-African Parliament, Hon. Amos Masondo (President of the National Council of Provinces) and Hon. Pemmy Majodina (ANC Chief Whip).

Expected participants include all the BRICS Member Nations, including the new prospective members in the BRICS Plus, including Brazil, Russia Federation, India, China. Invited dignitaries include:

 • Ms. Baleka Mbete, Former Speaker of the National Assembly and Former Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa.

HE Dr. Hanafy Ali Gebaly, Speaker of the Egyptian House of Representatives;

HE Mr. Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf, President of MajlesShoraye Eslaimi of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Hon. Esperança Laurinda Francisco Nhuane Bias, Speaker of the National Assembly, Parliament of Mozambique.

Hon. Prof. Peter H. Katjavivi, MP, Speaker of the National Assembly, Parliament of Namibia.

HE Saqr Ghobash, Speaker of Majlis Watani Itihadi, United Arab Emirates.

Cllr Nthabiseng Tshivhenga, Speaker of the City of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality.

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