The 9th BRICS Parliamentary Forum (PF) Assembly is set to take place on the 27th and 28th of September 2023 at the prestigious Emperors Palace, Johannesburg. This high-profile event, featuring dignitaries and delegates from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, is a testament to the commitment of BRICS nations to diplomatic ties, cooperation, and global partnership.
Before delving into the objectives and significance of the BRICS PF Assembly, South Africa’s Parliament took a moment to pay tribute to the memory of the late Zoleka Mandela, granddaughter of Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Zoleka Mandela, a writer, activist, and survivor, was known for her fearless advocacy and openness about her personal battles, including addiction and breast cancer. Her legacy, intertwined with the struggle for justice and freedom, serves as an inspiration to many.
The tribute also acknowledged the enduring influence of Zoleka’s grandmother, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, on her activism. This moment of reflection underscored the interconnected legacies of the Mandela family and their commitment to justice and equality.
The BRICS Parliamentary Forum is a structure comprising leaders of legislative organs from BRICS nations. It serves as a symbol of cooperation and a demonstration of the shared commitment of these nations to strengthen diplomatic ties across various domains. The primary goal of the BRICS PF Assembly is to nurture and strengthen relationships among parliamentary chambers, committees, and groups of parliamentarians, with a focus on enhancing cooperation and collective impact.
Under the theme “Harnessing Multilateralism and Parliamentary Diplomacy to Deepen BRICS and Africa Partnership for Accelerated Implementation of the Africa Free-Trade Agreement,” the 9th BRICS PF Assembly aligns with the recent BRICS Heads of State Summit held in Johannesburg. South Africa, the BRICS Chair hosting the 15th Heads of State Summit, emphasizes the importance of meaningful interactions, economic prosperity, and strategic partnerships that transcend borders.
This theme underscores South Africa’s commitment to promoting a more inclusive and prosperous Africa while emphasizing the interconnectedness of national interests with Africa’s stability and unity. The BRICS nations recognize the opportunity to lead in shaping a new global order while upholding multilateralism as the foundation for international relations.
South Africa’s membership in BRICS has yielded numerous benefits, enabling the nation to have a united voice in promoting a world order based on mutual respect and equal sovereignty among nations. BRICS membership fosters cooperation in areas such as research, innovation, energy, health, and education. It also provides a platform for sharing best practices, knowledge, and expertise, including innovative technologies for industrialization.
Aligning the themes of the 15th BRICS Summit with the 9th BRICS PF Assembly facilitates clear communication of South Africa’s cooperation vision during its BRICS presidency. Additionally, it ensures continuity and consistency in the work of BRICS. The BRICS Parliamentary Forum plays a vital role in overseeing legislative actions and monitoring the implementation of decisions made during the Heads of States Summit.
Unlike previous meetings held parallel to other events, the 9th BRICS PF Assembly stands out as a separate and significant event. This decision aims to highlight the importance of the BRICS PF within the BRICS system and aligns with principles of separation of powers.
The Assembly will commence on September 27th with a keynote address by the Deputy President of South Africa, Mr. Paul Mashatile, followed by a debate on the outcomes of the 15th BRICS Summit Heads of State. The second day, September 28th, will witness the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding among participating countries and discussions on key topics, including BRICS and Africa Partnership, energy issues, climate change, and peace and security.
Over 250 delegates are expected to attend the Assembly, with the participation of all BRICS Member Nations, including prospective members in BRICS Plus. Dignitaries from other nations, including Egypt, Iran, Mozambique, Namibia, and the United Arab Emirates, will also be present. This diverse and influential gathering aims to strengthen the identity of BRICS and foster increased people-to-people exchanges.
Public participation is a crucial aspect of the BRICS PF Assembly, and the proceedings will be accessible through various media platforms, including Parliament’s multimedia channels and mainstream media. Over 120 media personnel have been accredited to cover the event, and they are encouraged to collect their accreditation tags in advance.
South Africa’s Parliament extends its gratitude to the City of Ekurhuleni for hosting this significant event. The BRICS PF Assembly promises to be a productive and successful meeting, building on the principles of cooperation, diplomacy, and partnership that define the BRICS nations.
As the 9th BRICS PF Assembly unfolds, it reflects not only the strength of cooperation among these nations but also their shared commitment to global progress and prosperity. The BRICS Parliamentary Forum serves as a platform for dialogue, innovation, and collective action, ensuring that the aspirations of citizens in BRICS countries are met in an ever-evolving world.