Ramaphosa calls on BRICS to peacefully resolve conflicts around the world.
By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
President Cyril Ramaphosa says BRICS response to the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated what can be achieved when nations work together in the spirit of friendship, solidarity and responsibility.
Ramaphosa said the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on human life, livelihoods, economies and communities around the world.
He was delivering his opening remarks during the virtual 14th BRICS Heads of State Summit on Thursday.
"We are here as members of BRICS to affirm our shared desire for a world in which all people have a meaningful stake, in which all have equal opportunity, and from which all can benefit," the President said.
He said that the launch of the BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] Vaccine Research and Development Centre, in March this year, will strengthen international health and science cooperation to prepare for future crisis.
The President said it is cause for great concern that the rest of the global community has not sustained the principles of solidarity and cooperation when it comes to equitable access to vaccines.
"We call on developed economies, international agencies and philanthropists that procure vaccines to purchase from manufacturers in developing economies, including in Africa.
"We need to realise the great potential of our economic partnership to strengthen intra-BRICS trade, investment and tourism. Our combined economic strength should be a catalyst for sustainable global economic recovery, "he said.
In line with its foreign policy principles, the President said South Africa continues to call for dialogue and negotiation towards a peaceful resolution of conflicts around the world.
"We are concerned that the focus and resources of the international community have been diverted from other concerning conflicts and humanitarian crises," Ramaphosa said.
He noted that urgent global issues like climate change and sustainable development are not being effectively attended to.
Ramaphosa emphasised that decision-making across the entire United Nations system needs to be democratised so that multilateral institutions can effectively address global challenges.
He said he was looking forward to the High-level Dialogue on Global Development on Friday.
BRICS provides a valuable platform to address the key challenges of the global South, in partnership with like-minded emerging markets.
"This High-level Dialogue is an important opportunity to form a common vision of a more inclusive, just and stable international order. BRICS must play its important role in giving leadership to the world," he said.