Steps by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation to ensure that the principles of multilateralism and reform are upheld in engagements on global economic and developmental challenges through South Africa’s membership of the IBSA and BRICS fora

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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR ORAL REPLY

QUESTION NO: 214 (NO2582E)

PUBLISHED IN QUESTION PAPER NO 7-2012 OF 22 AUGUST 2012

Ms C C September (ANC) to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation:

What steps does she intend to take to ensure that the principles of (a) multilateralism and (b) reform are upheld in engagements on global economic and developmental challenges through South Africa’s membership of the IBSA and BRICS fora?

REPLY:

(a) Groupings such as IBSA and BRICS play a complimentary role to the United Nations as the premier locus of global collective decision-making on governance issues. Our membership of these groupings is geared towards deepening multilateralism and the rules based multilateral system.  South Africa’s approach in this regard is outlined in one of the priorities of the Department’s Strategic Plan, namely participation in the global system of governance. We will continue to utilize all international partnerships and fora to work with like-minded countries to take advantage of the catalytic role that so-called minilateral groupings can play, based strictly on the values and principles that underpin the United Nations Charter.

(b) South Africa is in favour of a “level playing field” which sees developing countries, especially African countries, with the requisite “voice” and “participation” in multilateral institutions. Groupings such as IBSA and BRICS have shown unprecedented levels of coordinated action and leadership in working together to address, amongst others, global economic and developmental challenges. South Africa’s membership of IBSA and BRICS is focused on common aspirations for the emergence of a new world order, based on strengthened multilateralism and the ascendancy of new powers from the developing world. In this regard, I quote from the BRICS Delhi Declaration of 29 March 2012:

“We stand ready to work with others, developed and developing countries together, on the basis of universally recognized norms of international law and multilateral decision making, to deal with the challenges and the opportunities before the world today. Strengthened representation of emerging and developing countries in the institutions of global governance will enhance their effectiveness in achieving this objective.”

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