CLOSING REMARKS AND VOTE OF THANKS BY THE ANC SG AT BRICS POLITICAL PARTIES PLUS DIALOGUE

Programme Director, First Deputy Secretary General Nomvula Mokonyane

Leaders of the delegation from the Political Parties of the five BRICS Countries,

Secretaries General and Leaders of Delegations of the Political Parties from Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America

The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps

Esteemed representatives from PAWO, the Secretary General of the Socialist International, representatives from WFDY and IUSY

Treasurer General of the ANC, Cde Gwen Ramokgopa and ANC NEC Members

General Secretary of the South African Communist Party, cde Solly Mapaila and delegation of the Central Committee

Esteemed representatives of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania

Representatives of COSATU, SANCO, academics, think tanks and other civil society organisations,

Comrades and Friends

Fraternal Greetings!

As we conclude this historic BRICS Political Parties Plus Dialogue, we hereby express our profound gratitude at the participation by all the political parties present. We thank you sincerely for honouring the invitation to be part of this very important dialogue.

As the African National Congress, we are truly humbled by the overwhelming response to our invitations and the constructive participation of parties from over forty-five countries in this historic dialogue.

We particularly extend a special word of appreciation to the Eminent Persons who honoured this dialogue with their presence – President Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Thabo Mbeki and President Kgalema Motlanthe, former Presidents of our country, South Africa.

We acknowledge the high-level participation of many esteemed leaders and distinguished delegates from various political parties who came from different countries and regions in the Global South – Asia, Africa and Latin America. We are also pleased for the participation of the leaders from the Pan African Women’s Organization (PAWO), led by Comrade Kornelia Shilunga from Namibia; from the Socialist International, and from the youth movements, WFDY and IUSY.

We convened this BRICS Political Parties PlusDialogue under the theme: “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development, and Inclusive Multilateralism.” The choice of this theme was apt: we sought to make Africa the centre of focus of the forthcoming BRICS Plus Summit by mobilizing the largest number of progressive political parties in Africa.

We can say, without fear of any contradiction, that this Dialogue has succeeded in strengthening BRICS-Africa collaboration.

We deeply appreciate the huge turnout and active participation of the African political parties, both the governing parties and those in opposition.

The ANC welcomes the recommendation from one of the Commissions about the need to establish a Forum for African Political Parties along the experience of the Sao Paolo and Asia Parties Forums.

We will follow-up on this proposal to ensure better coordination and mutual learning among progressive parties in Africa, as we interface and seek to influence global developments.

The BRICS Political Parties Plus Dialogue observed that we met at a time when the world is undergoing rapid and significant geopolitical shifts, that are redefining the global balance of power.

On the one hand, there are rising tensions and conflicts and the stubborn resort to unipolar dominance which pose serious threats to international peace and security. The rising levels of global inequalities, the persistence of under-development and spiraling increases in the cost-of-living are pushing more people back into poverty and creating social instability, reversing gains made since the Millennium Development Goals.

The escalating intensity and frequency of climate disasters are displacing millions of people, while the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted economies and peoples’ lives pushing them into precarity.

At the same time, there is a renewed push from progressive forces, including political parties, civil society and governments in the Global South, that the only sustainable approach to deal decisively with all existential threats and global risks facing humanity is to strengthen multilateralism, international solidarity, social justice and dialogue to guarantee peace, security and prosperity of all nations.

Comrades and Friends

The growing influence of BRICS and other multilateral forums such as the G20 is evidence that countries are refusing to be spectators of this changing geopolitical environment. As this BRICS Political Parties Plus Dialogue showed, we are co-architects of change in our world.

It was therefore appropriate that an expanded platform of the BRICS Political Parties Plus Dialogue was convened to mobilise greater support for the advancement of the progressive and common global agenda for change.

It is important to declare that BRICS and all its associated meetings and programmes, is not opposed to any country. As BRICS, we refuse to declare any country as our enemy.

BRICS will remain open to engagements with all. We welcome those who want to be part of the BRICS family of nations that want to guarantee their right to choose their development paths and social systems. Humanity has a beautiful diversity of cultures, religions and civilizations, which is our common and shared heritage.

The BRICS Political Party Plus Dialogue will not repeat the mistakes of slavery, colonialism, patriarchy and imperialism that sought to divide humanity and rule the world on the basis of oppression, discrimination, racism, injustice and inequality.

Therefore, this BRICS Political Parties Plus Dialogue has re-affirmed our opposition to unilateralism, inequality, weaponization of international finance and trade through unfair sanctions and economic blockades, as well as waging of wars as means to effect global control.

Comrades and Friends

As political parties, we meet here as agents of change. As President Ramaphosa pointed out recently, we are refusing to be beggars.

We are refusing to be victims of the unfair, unequal and unjust global system of governance and international economic system that is designed to keep the developing countries out.

We insist on structural transformation and reform of the current global governance.

We believe another world is possible where there is no unilateral domination and aggression by powers from anywhere.

We believe in an equitable, diverse and inclusive global system that leaves no nation behind, whether in the South or in the North.

We believe in a more equitable and just global governance system where countries can work together for peace and security, sustainable development, inclusive growth and shared prosperity for all the peoples of the world, with strong multilateral collaboration and resilient international solidarity.

We believe that as humanity we must work together to protect the planet, as a collective inheritance for current and future generations.

We believe in an economic, trade and financial global architecture that facilitates all countries to develop their infrastructure, industrialize and beneficiate their natural resources, and skill and meet the basic needs of their people.

We therefore call on all political parties, from the global South and the North, to work together with us for a better and sustainable world.

Comrades and Friends

We need strong progressive and moral voices in both the Global South and in the Global North about a new, more equitable and just world order.

We know there are political parties and people in the North who want to be part of a more equitable, peaceful, inclusive and sustainable world order, that leaves no country behind.

As progressive political parties, we must be conscious agents of a global system that puts people first; that respects the cultural diversity of all and respect the right of countries to chart their own development paths.

We are the co-architects of a world that the diverse peoples of our planet – from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Caribeans, North America, Australasia and the Pacific – have yearned for since time immemorial.

It is a quest of global humanity that such a world must be underscored by shared values of multilateralism, democracy, equality, universal development, peace and stability, a humane and prosperous world.

This BRICS Political Parties Plus is an important platform for such progressive voices. Our voice will in the coming months and years grow louder and firmer. We will work together, sparing no effort to work for the better world we imagined here through various profound deliberations.

It is a voice that sends vibrations of hope to those yearning for justice, but shame to those who sought injustice.

Comrades and Friends

Our Political parties represented here today, have always stood with the oppressed of the world. You stood by South Africa as we languished under the yoke of apartheid, and you did not tire of raising our plight in every forum you took part in.

Today, the plight of the peoples of Palestine and Western Sahara, and their right to freedom, nationhood and self-determination, remains as critical to global humanity as the global anti-apartheid struggle. All progressive minded parties, organisations and governments must therefore not tire to work for the freedom of Palestine and Western Sahara.

We have called on the removal of the unjust embargo against countries such as Cuba, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Syria, Nicaragua, Iran and so on.

The BRICS Political Party Plus Dialogue supports the noble objective of the African Union Agenda 2063 to silence the guns. In the Sahel and the Sudan, in eastern DRC and Libya, in Ethiopia and Mozambique, wherever there are conflicts, we must silence the guns by addressing the root causes and through dialogue.

The democratization process in Eswatini remains an important goal for our region. We shall spare no effort to ensure that there is genuine and inclusive national dialogue, so that the people of Eswatini can decide their future and form of government.

In line with our anti-war stance, we call for the immediate silencing of guns in the Russia / Ukraine conflict, and the start of dialogue as proposed by the African Leaders Peace Mission, China and others.

Comrades and Friends

It is not enough to have these noble and progressive ideals. We have to be prepared to work together, tirelessly and resiliently to face challenges and setbacks we will encounter.

Unity of purpose and acting together is indispensable to realise and defend the various development objectives, the commitment to diverse cultures and civilizations, that we articulated in this Dialogue.

The Declaration adopted is not only the pivot of our commitment as political parties gathered here, but a perspective that must influence the governments scheduled to meet in the BRICS Summit in August.

The African National Congress of South Africa, takes this opportunity to wish you well as you depart to your various countries!

In the words of Nelson Mandela, “Never, Never and Never Again shall it be that this beautiful (World) will again experience the oppression of one by another.”

A better world is possible!

Aluta Continua!

Victory is certain

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