Zuma welcomes Brics declaration

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has welcomed the Delhi Declaration issued by leaders of Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), saying it will invigorate their collective resolve to find global solutions to global challenges.

The declaration was issued after the fourth Brics Summit, which was held in New Delhi, India.

It highlights the possibility of establishing a new Development Bank for emerging economies and developing countries; the roles of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank; the Doha Round of trade talks; the situation in the Middle East and North Africa - particularly Syria, Iran, and Afghanistan; energy and efforts to fight terrorism, as well as the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa.

In a statement issued after the meeting, President Zuma said he was pleased with the Brics leaders' commitment to support Africa and South Africa's comprehensive infrastructure development programmes, as part of stimulating sustainable development and prosperity.

The President also welcomed the decision to prepare a new Brics-led Development Bank for inclusive and sustainable development projects.

In the declaration, the leaders directed their finance ministers to work towards forming a Development Bank that would cater for the needs of developing countries and supplement the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development.

"This development is welcomed by many other African leaders as it will support our priority infrastructure projects as well as trade and investment opportunities with our Brics partners. Such a bank has great potential to help us create good jobs in developing countries," said Zuma.

On the matter of inclusive growth, Zuma said they were concerned about the current impasse in WTO trade negotiations, and the threat to the Doha Development Agenda.

"Developing economies are under pressure to offer additional and unreciprocated access to their markets in industrial products and services, in exchange for moderate reforms in agricultural protectionism. This is unfair, un-mandated and anti-development."

With regards to global governance, Zuma said they reflected on the comprehensive reform that was required of global decision-making structures to better reflect the current realities of a multi-polar world.

He said this would be critical when they speak of the United Nations. Developing countries have been calling for better representation in the global body.

The leaders also discussed the situation in the Middle East and North Africa. According to Zuma, in order to bring stability to these regions, strong global governance was required now more than ever.

The Brics leaders also discussed the important issues of food security and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.