12 November 2013
Mid-term Meeting of the BRICS Think Tanks Council
The BRICS Thinks Tanks Council (BTTC), which represents the think tanks of the five countries in the BRICS grouping (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), met near Stellenbosch on 11 and 12 November 2013. The BTTC was established through the adoption by the BRICS Leaders at the eThekwini Summit on 27 March 2013 of a Declaration advanced by the think tanks of the five countries.
The Declaration committed the think tanks, in the first instance, to: forming a platform for the exchange of ideas among researchers, academia and think tanks; convening the annual BRICS Academic Forum; and making policy recommendations and giving guidance to the BRICS Leaders for consideration.
The representatives from the respective chapters attending the meeting were: Prof Olive Shisana, Chairperson of the BTTC and CEO of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), South Africa; Prof Renato Baumann, Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA), Brazil; Prof Georgy Toloraya, National Committee for BRICS Research (NRC/BRICS), Russia; Mr H.H.S Viswanathan, Observer Research Foundation (ORF), India; and Mr YuYun Zhou, China Centre for Contemporary World Studies (CCCWS), China.
The main objectives of the meeting were to share progress on the achievements of the five think tanks since March 2013, to adopt the Terms of Reference for the functioning of the BTTC, to review the vision and long-term strategy for BRICS, which will be finalised prior to the Sixth BRICS Summit for consideration by the respective governments, and to agree on the establishment of a databank for BRICS.
The Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mr Mduduzi Manana, addressed the BTTC mid-term meeting. He alluded to the important role the BTTC could play in using the intellectual resources of its networks to consolidate ideas and research from wherever they are generated across the spectrum of BRICS interests and make sense of them for practical implementation and advancement of the BRICS agenda.
“The BRICS Think Tanks Council is expected to serve as the brains behind BRICS strategic decisions,” said Mr Manana, “and therefore going forward the success of BRICS will be dependent on the quality of its work and advice. There are high expectations of the BTTC! It is, therefore, important that this council of intellectuals is able to work together and to seek solutions to intricate international problems.”
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