10th BRICS Summit: Johannesburg Declaration Highlights

IAS Prelims 2023

The Heads of State Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa met from 25 – 27 July 2018 in Johannesburg, at the 10th BRICS Summit.

The 10th BRICS Summit was held under the theme “BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution”.

They agreed tp strengthen the three-pillar-driven cooperation in the areas of economy, peace and security and people-to-people exchanges.

They welcomed the hosting of the BRICS-Africa Outreach and second BRICS Plus Cooperation with Emerging Markets and Developing Countries (EMDCs) during the Johannesburg Summit.

Leaders pledged their support for the important role of the United Nations, including the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

BRICS Ministers of Energy agreed to establish the BRICS Energy Research Cooperation Platform.

They reaffirmed and support the establishment of the BRICS Agricultural Research Platform (ARP) initiated by India in 2016.

They committed to step up intra-BRICS collaboration including within the frame of the Agriculture Research Platform and the Basic Agriculture Information Exchange System (BAIES).

They acknowledged the outcomes of the 4th BRICS Environment Ministers Meeting which was held under the theme “Strengthening cooperation amongst BRICS on Circular Economy in the context of the Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP)”.

They also acknowledged the outcomes of the successive BRICS Environment Ministers’ Meetings including the implementation of the Environmentally Friendly Technology Platform, Clean Rivers Umbrella Programme and the Partnership for Urban Environment Sustainability Initiative.

The progress in the establishment of the BRICS Environmentally Sound Technology (BEST) Cooperation Platform is acknowledged, which is intended to be practical and results orientated, and would include partners, science organisations, civil society, private sector and financial institutions.

BRICS leaders acknowledged the BRICS Meeting of Heads of Disaster Management in Buffalo City, wherein the Action Plan 2018-2020, was adopted and the first meeting of the BRICS Joint Task Force was held to further enhance cooperation in this field.

They called for expeditious finalisation and adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) by the United Nations General Assembly.

They reiterated the need for renewed diplomatic efforts to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid Principles, the Arab Peace Initiative and previous agreements between the parties.

They reiterated their support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

They reaffirmed commitment for a political resolution of the conflict in Syria, in pursuance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254 (2015) and taking into account the result of the Congress of the Syrian National Dialogue in Sochi. They reiterate support for the Geneva process and the mediation offered by the UN, as well as the Astana process.

Recalling the Johannesburg Summit’s focus on the 4th Industrial Revolution and the outcomes of the BRICS Meetings of Science and Technology and Industry Ministers, they commended the establishment of the BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR). To commence the full operationalisation of PartNIR, an Advisory Group will be set up, comprising of respective representatives of BRICS Ministries of Industry, in consultation with appropriate Ministries, to develop, as a first step, the Terms of Reference and a Work Plan aligned with the 4th Industrial Revolution priorities, to be submitted to the BRICS Chair. The PartNIR aims at deepening BRICS cooperation in digitalisation, industrialisation, innovation, inclusiveness and investment, to maximise the opportunities and address the challenges arising from the 4th Industrial Revolution. It should enhance comparative advantages, boost economic growth, promote economic transformation of BRICS countries, strengthen sustainable industrial production capacity, create networks of science parks and technology business incubators, and support small and medium-sized enterprises in technology intensive areas.

They believe that the initiative to establish the BRICS Networks of Science Parks, Technology Business Incubators and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises is a promising step in that direction.

BRICS support measures including policy recommendations proposed in the G20 Initiative to Promote Quality Apprenticeship and the BRICS Action Plan for Poverty Alleviation and Reduction through Skills, to further facilitate vocational training, lifelong learning and the training that is relevant to the fast-changing demand of growing economies and world of work.

We acknowledge the importance of infrastructure development and connectivity in Africa through the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA).

Keenly aware of the need for Africa’s industrialisation and the realisation of the African Union’s Agenda 2063, they commend African countries and the African Union on the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The AfCFTA is an important step to economic integration on the continent and the unlocking of the tremendous potential of intra-African trade and in addressing its socio-economic challenges. In this regard, they reiterate support for Agenda 2063 and efforts to promote continental integration and development.

They advocated for a strong Global Financial Safety Net with an adequately resourced, quota-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) at its centre. To this effect, they reaffirm commitment to conclude the IMF’s 15th General Review of Quotas, including a new quota formula while protecting the voice of the poorest countries by the 2019 Spring Meetings and no later than the 2019 Annual Meetings.

They congratulated Governor LesetjaKganyago of the South African Reserve Bank on his appointment as the Chair of the International Monetary and Financial Committee.

They note the steps undertaken on strengthening and ensuring the operational readiness of the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) and welcome the completion of a successful test run of the de-linked portion of the CRA mechanism.

They note with satisfaction the progress achieved on establishing the BRICS Local Currency Bond Fund.

They welcomed the signing of MOU on Collaborative Research on Distributed Ledger and Blockchain Technology in the Context of the Development of the Digital Economy.

They underscore the role that Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), in particular, the New Development Bank (NDB), are playing in catalysing private sector financing for public infrastructure and investment.

They welcomed the upcoming establishment of the Americas Regional Office in São Paulo, Brazil, which, alongside the Africa Regional Centre, will help the NDB consolidate its presence in those continents.

They reaffirmed commitment to international cooperation as envisaged in Chapter IV of the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

They commend the African Union on choosing 2018 as the year of combating corruption.

In operationalising the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership, they welcome the positive outcomes of the 8th BRICS Trade Ministers Meeting as supported by the ongoing activities of the BRICS Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues (CGETI). They also welcome the good progress made in the implementation of the BRICS Action Agenda on Economic and Trade Cooperation.

They welcome the signing of the BRICS MOU on Regional Aviation.

They appreciated the outcomes of cooperation between BRICS Customs Administrations in implementing the Strategic Framework of BRICS Customs Cooperation and welcome its long-term objectives, including the early conclusion and entry into force of the BRICS Customs Mutual Administrative Assistance Agreement so that the BRICS Authorised Economic Operator Programme is functional by the end of 2022, including mutual recognition of controls and economic operators.

In this regard, they further welcome the BRICS Customs Action Plan, which identifies actions that will be taken collectively by the BRICS Customs Administrations in the short, medium and long term to achieve the stated goals and the establishment of BRICS Custom Training Centres.

They recognise the potential of the BRICS Customs Cooperation Committee and acknowledge the continued support provided by the BRICS Revenue Authorities for all the international initiatives towards reaching a globally fair and universally transparent tax system.

They welcome the establishment of Digital Economy Working Group within the framework of BRICS Business Council.

They acknowledge the 8th World Water Forum held in Brasilia, the world’s major water-related event, held in the Southern Hemisphere for the first time, which contributed to establishing water as a priority at the global level.

They welcome the proposal to establish a BRICS vaccine research and development centre.

They welcome the 1st WHO Global Ministerial Conference on Ending Tuberculosis in the Sustainable Development Era: A Multisectoral response, in Moscow in 2017, and the resulting Moscow declaration to End TB and stressed the importance of the upcoming 1st High-Level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on Ending Tuberculosis and the 3rd High-Level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of non-communicable diseases, to be held in September 2018.

They commend the organisation of the 3rd BRICS Film Festival and recognise the need to further deepen cooperation in this field. We acknowledge South Africa’s proposal regarding a draft BRICS Treaty on Co-Production of Films to further promote cooperation in this sphere and to showcase the diversity of BRICS cultures.

They emphasised the guiding role of the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Agreement between the Governments of the BRICS States on Cooperation in the Field of Culture (2017-2021) for creative and sustainable cultural cooperation.

They acknowledge the 2nd BRICS Seminar on Governance 2018 in Johannesburg, while recognising the intention of Brazil to hold the 3rd meeting in 2019.

Emphasising the role played by women in promoting inclusive development, they note the work being done to consider the establishment of the BRICS Women’s Forum and the BRICS Women’s Business Alliance.

Brazil, Russia, India, and China commend South Africa’s BRICS Chairship in 2018 and express their sincere gratitude to the Government and people of South Africa for hosting the 10th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg.

Russia, India, China and South Africa extend full support to Brazil for its BRICS Chairship in 2019 and the hosting of the 11th BRICS Summit.