BRICS Information Centre
Address by President JG Zuma
of the Republic of South Africa at the Fourth BRICS Summit
Jacob Zuma, President, South Africa, New Delhi, March 29, 2012
Your Excellency, Prime Minister Singh and distinguished Chairperson of the Fourth BRICS Summit;
Your Excellency President Rousseff;
Your Excellency President Medvedev;
Your Excellency President Hu;
Your excellencies, Ministers and Sherpas,
Ladies and gentlemen;
Our Summit theme is most appropriately entitled “BRICS partnership for Global Stability, Security and Prosperity’’.
I am convinced that all nations of the world share our desire to forge stronger partnerships and to ensure greater global stability, security and prosperity for all humanity.
This is also an appropriate theme as we are experiencing unprecedented global political and economic developments.
These developments strengthen our collective BRICS resolve to promote recognised and shared norms and principles. Central to these, is the principle of multilateralism and conformity with International Law.
We share with our BRICS partners the imperative need for the reform of global decision-making structures, in order to improve global governance. We single out, in particular, the comprehensive reform of the United Nations and international financial institutions.
The purpose is to make these structures more effective, efficient and representative.
Our view is that the maintenance of peace and stability globally, as well as the resolution of conflicts, should take place within the ambit of the United Nations.Interventions, if agreed to within the UN, should be in support of home-grown processes, and not to promote the interests of particular global players.
This would ensure support for such processes and their success in bringing about desired peace and stability.
We trust that the recent dramatic occurrences in the Middle East and North Africa will open the way for the speedy resolution of lasting conflicts in those two regions, especially the Arab-Israeli conflict.
This must be done on the basis of the universally recognized, international legal framework.
With regards to Syria, our view is that her transformation process should be primarily a home-grown one, with the support of the global community, in order to ensure that Syrian society as a whole accepts ownership of the outcome of the process.
The reform of international financial institutions remains a thorn in the flesh for us in the developing world.
In recent years, we have seen changes in the quota shares at the IMF, reflecting the changes in the global economy. We welcome these changes as they reflect a new reality.
We wish to see progress in all international financial institutions.
For example, we would like to work with fellow Member States of BRICS, on the selection of a new World Bank President. Our strongly held view is that the Presidency of the World Bank and other global public institutions must be decided in a fair process.
Such a process should take into account the lopsided history of these institutions, and the fact that some regions have been marginalised for decades in their leadership and management.
We believe that a candidate from the developing world would be able to take forward the reform agenda, and will bring the expertise and background needed to champion the growth and employment creation needs of the developing world.
We warmly welcome our discussions today, regarding the feasibility of creating a new BRICS-led Development Bank. African Leaders are also in principle supportive of such an initiative.
This proposal is in line with our expressed support for Africa’s industrialisation and infrastructure development programmes, at the Sanya Summit.
At that Summit, I also raised specific funding proposals to support the African UnionPresidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative which I have been mandated to promote.
In our own country, we launched a New Growth Path in 2010, to promote inclusive growth and sustainable development.
We identified our job drivers as infrastructure development, tourism, agriculture, mining, manufacturing and the green economy.
Last month, we singled out infrastructure development for unprecedented national attention.
In this regard, South Africa is embarking on its biggest ever infrastructure development programme, in which we are invest over 800 billion rand. This will include projects in the rail, roads, water, energy, transport, and in logistics.
The infrastructure programmes will strengthen Africa’s trade and investment linkages with our BRICS partners.
The programmes are also pivotal to support the regional integration efforts in the continent. The African Union committed in January this year to a free trade area for the whole continent.
We look forward to working with BRICS partners in taking such projects forward in a manner that promotes sustainable development in both South Africa and the continent.
South Africa proudly hosted the 17th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 7th Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol in Durban at the end of last year.
The conference launched a new era in the climate change negotiations with the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action.
This will lead us to a new instrument in 2015 that will be more comprehensive, ambitious and inclusive than the current climate change regime.
Central to the decisions reached in Durban is the Green Climate Fund which is being operationalised.
I believe that we can build on this positive momentum, as Brazil prepares for the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro.
Rio+20 should aim to reinforce the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development, namely inclusive economic growth, social development and ecological sustainability.
To this goal, our negotiations should be rooted within the context of sustainable development, guided by the spirit, objectives, and principles agreed to at Rio in 1992,and as outlined in Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI).
The success of Rio+20 will also set the scene for the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, which will be hosted by India in October this year.
The practical achievement of the Millennium Development Goals has entered a critical stage in this last 5 year cycle towards 2015.
We strongly believe that MDGs must be anchored and approached from a right to development perspective, which implies the progressive realization for all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Domestically, South Africa is on course and firmly committed to the implementation of the MDGs. Challenges do however exist and there is room for improvement in the implementation of the goals.
When discussing global stability, security and prosperity, we cannot avoid the global economic crisis.
The positive impact of the growth of the BRICS and other fast growing emerging economies on lower income countries has been well documented.
Without the trade and investment opportunities that the BRICS and other emerging economies provided, lower income countries would have experienced far greater economic shocks than they did during the crisis.
Therefore, the BRICS and other fast growing emerging economies contributed significantly to stabilising the world economy in a time of unprecedented crisis.
This was achieved through sound public finances, well-directed public and private investments, increased imports and exports, sustained above-average growth rates and rising consumer incomes.
There are lessons to be learned by other economic actors from this experience, to promote prosperity.
Excellency Prime Minister Singh,
Allow me to once more convey my heartfelt appreciation to you, the Government and People of India for the exceptional hospitality we have enjoyed during our stay in India.
I have humbly invited my fellow BRICS Leaders to convene in South Africa in 2013 forthe Fifth BRICS Summit.
We look forward to warmly receiving all our BRICS partners in South Africa next year.
I thank you.
Source: The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa
[back to top]