The BRICS forum constitutes one of the cornerstones of South Africa’s foreign policy, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said on Monday.
“Through our engagement in BRICS, we have worked not only to generate ideas, projects and programmes that are innovative and responsive to the realities that our countries and citizens face – we have equally focused our efforts on the practical implementation of our ambitions.
“We have done so in a way that has yielded tangible results,” said DIRCO Director-General Kgabo Mahoai.
Mahoai was speaking at the opening of the BRICS Sherpas and Sous Sherpas meeting underway in Cape Town.
The main pillar of the country’s foreign policy is Africa, Mahoai said, stressing that South Africa has sought to carry the African Agenda into the BRICS engagements.
“We intend to further engender a meaningful and productive interaction between BRICS and our African partners, whilst attempting to contribute to the BRICS institution-building agenda, through the two proposals we have put forward, namely the establishment of a working group on peacekeeping and the virtual vaccine research platform,” said Mahoai.
The meeting, which brings representatives from the five emerging economies, is the first in the calendar under the auspices of South Africa’s chairship, which it assumed in January.
The meeting will discuss the working arrangements for BRICS.
South Africa is scheduled to host the 10th BRICS summit from 25 – 27 July at the Sandton Convention Centre, which will see the country building on the BRICS programme of development and prosperity for partner countries.
Mahoai said the meeting will discuss proposed new areas of cooperation, such as the establishment of a working group on peacekeeping, and a platform for collaboration with the BRICS vaccine innovation and development partners.