Closing Remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa at BRICS Leaders’ Summit, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday, 30 November 2018
Thank you for your valuable contributions on these important matters of mutual interest and global concern.
As we consider the progress made as BRICS over the last year, we are reminded of the saying that: “A ship in a harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”
Even in stormy weather and in rough seas, this ship continues its journey towards its destination – a world at peace, marked by inclusiveness and prosperity for all.
We hosted the 10th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, which marked a decade of BRICS engagement at the highest diplomatic level.
The Johannesburg Summit enriched our existing multi-sectoral and multi-faceted cooperation, adding to the core issues that we have deliberated on since the formation of BRICS.
While we have noted the challenges to the global order, we have also looked forward to the future and to the next phase of our cooperation.
As the dynamic nature of the international system takes hold, we are increasingly faced with the proliferation of unilateralism, populism and protectionism in the global order.
The centrality of the United Nations Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security is also under threat.
The World Trade Organisation, as the primary body in international trade, has been ignored, culminating in anti-globalisation sentiments.
As the BRICS Forum, we have consistently reiterated the centrality of the UN and the WTO.
As we strive towards cultivating a rules-based international system, we will certainly continue to advocate for our shared values as enshrined in the Johannesburg Summit Declaration and in declarations of the preceding BRICS Summits.
In 2018, we enhanced our economic cooperation through the endorsement of a Working Group on the 4th Industrial Revolution as a vehicle to accelerate BRICS industrial capacity for inclusive growth and sustainable development.
This, together with the establishment of the BRICS Networks of Science Parks, Technology Business Incubators and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, is critical to the future trajectory of BRICS.
During this year, we have taken bold steps to effect change in the lives of our people.
The BRICS Vaccine Research Centre to be established in South Africa is an important step to truly attain the goals set-out in the Vision 2030 for Sustainable Development.
We must employ every effort to support our technical specialists in bringing this vision to fruition.
As we usher in the second decade of BRICS under the Chairship of Brazil in 2019, we will be a step closer to our objective of addressing our common challenges and attaining inclusive growth and sustainable development.
South Africa is honoured to be passing the baton to our great friends in Brazil and we wish to assure Brazil of BRICS’ collective and unwavering support as it readies itself to Chair this august Forum in 2019 and subsequently host the 11th BRICS Summit.
In closing, I wish to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation for your support throughout South Africa’s tenure as BRICS Chair.
As we draw the curtain on the first decade of BRICS cooperation, South Africa commits itself to continue working with you to ensure that the second decade of BRICS is as meaningful, golden and innovative as the first.
I thank you.
ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENCY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA