South Africa hosts first BRICS meeting in Bela Bela

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CAPE TOWN: As Chair of BRICS for the year 2023, South Africa will host the first meeting of its tenure – the BRICS Sherpas and Sous-Sherpas – in Bela Bela, Limpopo Province, from February 1-2, stated a press release of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, South Africa.

Professor Anil Sooklal, Ambassador-at-Large for Asia and BRICS and South Africa’s BRICS Sherpa will host his counterparts from the Brazil, Russia, India and China.

BRICS is a grouping of five major emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – which together represent about 41 per cent of the world’s population, 26 per cent of the planet’s landmass across four of the continents, 25 per cent of global GDP and 20 per cent of world trade.

South Africa is Chairing BRICS under the theme: “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development, and Inclusive Multilateralism,” added the release.

The theme emphasizes the continued value of BRICS as a partnership of leading emerging markets and developing countries providing leadership and momentum towards global growth, sustainable development and inclusion of the global South in the world system.

The theme informs South Africa’s priorities for 2023, namely developing a partnership towards an equitable Just Transition; transforming education and skills development for the future; unlocking opportunities through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement; strengthening post-pandemic socio-economic recovery and the attainment of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and strengthening multilateralism, including working towards real reform of global governance institutions and strengthening the meaningful participation of women in peace processes, stated the release.

Senior government officials from South Africa and the South African Chapters of the BRICS Business Council, BRICS Women’s Business Alliance and the BRICS Think Tanks Council will use the First BRICS Sherpa and Sous-Sherpa meeting to introduce South Africa’s priorities and expectations as Chair of BRICS for 2023 to the BRICS partners.

The 15th BRICS summit is all set to take place in South Africa’s Durban in late August this year.

The foreign ministers of Brazil, Russia, India, and China met for the first time on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in 2006, kicking off BRIC cooperation. Later in April 2011, South Africa participated, for the first time, in the 3rd BRICS Summit held in Sanya, China. Since 2009, the BRICS leaders have convened 14 formal meetings and 9 informal meetings.

Earlier in 2013, the fifth annual BRICS summit was held in Durban, South Africa. It was attended by the head of state or heads of government of the five member states Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. (ANI)

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