Photo opportunities and declaration signing was the theme of Day 2 of the 10th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa Summit). All the Brics leaders gathered on the second day of the summit to further discuss deepening the relations between the five member countries. The Daily Vox team was there.
Russia’s Vladimir Putin, the most eagerly awaited head of state, landed in South Africa on Thursday morning. Soon after his arrival at the Sandton Convention Centre, the five Brics heads of states gathered for a “family photo”. This marked Cyril Ramaphosa’s first one with the bloc since he became the president of South Africa.
After the photo session, the heads of states went into a private meeting where they discussed the relevant policies and resolutions that they wanted to be adopted at the end of the summit. South Africa as a the host country had four main issues that they wanted to be adopted.
This included the establishment of a working group on peacekeeping, a vaccine research centre, a Brics Gender and Women’s Forum and partnerships aimed at inclusive growth and advancing towards the 4th Industrial Revolution. Other areas that were raised by the leaders included growing the decade long Brics cooperation looking forward.
The deliberations made by the heads of states culminated in the adoption and signing of the Johannesburg Declaration. The declaration included the joint commitments for the year ahead.
Ramaphosa used his address to call for cooperation between the Brics countries to be able to create technological advancements. He said the new technologies can help in bringing about better service delivery.
Chinese president, Xi Jinping said that despite the science and technological advancements and breakthroughs, countries still cannot deal with growth. Xi once more reiterated that unilateralism would affect and closer cooperation was needed. Interestingly enough Xi called for safeguarding global peace and security and for countries to abide by international law.
Michel Temer, the president from Brazil used his address to speak about the need for cooperation and and the need for countries to stay open. He said the ultimate purpose of Brics is to share in prosperity and development. There were calls for cooperation echoed by many of the leaders.
Russia’s Putin started his address with a commemoration of the centenary of Nelson Mandela. He said it was the values of the struggle icon and former president which guides the Brics formation. Putin called for closer partnerships between the member countries to further development. He mentioned that there would be a move to protecting personal data through Russian technology.
Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister started his address with saying that technological developments would bring about new paths to economic progress. He spoke about the need for human rights in development and the importance of developing curricula which will prepare the youth for the future.
An important announcement was made by Ramaphosa as per a suggestion by Putin that as the partnership heads in to the “Golden Decade”, the member countries have agreed for greater cooperation which extends beyond the economic. Ramaphosa said they would be working towards more sports, cultural and people-to-people cooperation.
While delegates were gathered inside for the summit, outside activists took to the streets of Sandton to hold a picket. The picket was about the summit as a whole as well as the various leaders from the Brics countries and other African countries who have been accused of human rights and other violations by their populations. This includes Modi and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame in particular.