Statement by Minister Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa at the BRICS Dialogue with Developing Countries, in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, Tuesday 11 June 2024

Statement by Minister Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa at the BRICS Dialogue with Developing Countries, in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, Tuesday, 11 June 2024


Honourable Chair, Minister Lavrov,

Honourable BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs and International Relations,

Honourable Ministers of Foreign Affairs of invited countries


Ladies and Gentlemen,


Chairperson, colleagues the world is at an important inflection point which requires decisive leadership and fresh ideas. We in BRICS have a unique opportunity to shape a new refreshed world order.


I would like to thank our Chair, Minister Lavrov, for hosting a BRICS Dialogue with this distinguished group of Developing Countries. South Africa maintains excellent relations all these countries and to meet them here today is a significant moment for BRICS.


The BRICS bloc is a legitimate voice of the global South as far as global governance reform is concerned. We also remain a critical player in global agenda setting for economic, political, and social cooperation. The expansion of BRICS is evidence of the growing importance of our bloc and the critical role of our cooperation to collectively promote shared interests and values of emerging and developing countries. It also signals our hunger for a body in the globe that embraces progressive ideals and seeks to alter the current nature of international relations to a more inclusive, equitable and development-oriented world.


The current complex divided global environment demands that BRICS continues to advocate for Multilateralism in order to play a critical role in fostering stability and cooperation in times of significant geopolitical uncertainty.  Therefore, for our collective, multilateralism remains the only solution to successfully address global challenges such as poverty, inequality, underdevelopment, climate change, migration, disease, human trafficking, terrorism, and hunger, and to ensure an environment of sustainable peace and continuous development.  I am convinced that our mutually beneficial cooperation through BRICS uplifts communities instead of increasing their vulnerability.




It is evident that the world is currently falling short of achieving the development goals outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development due to increased economic risk for the most vulnerable and due to persistent low growth for those with the greatest need. We have to urgently accelerate our collective action to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In this regard, South Africa is committed to a successful Summit of the Future and we are convinced that it could support efforts that bridge the development divide and provide new solutions to tomorrow’s challenges. We believe the Summit presents an opportunity to revitalise the multilateral system and fulfil our promises to reform the current system of global governance to make it more representative and inclusive for everyone.


As you all know, South Africa is preparing to assume the G20 Presidency later this year, building on the achievements of Brazil’s Chairship as well as on India’s successful Chairship in 2023. The inclusion of the African Union as a member of the G20 during India’s Chairship provides a unique opportunity for South Africa to jointly champion Africa’s Agenda 2063 within the framework of the G20.


In our efforts to include the Global South in the world’s systems, South Africa remains committed to fostering peace and strengthening multilateralism. We believe the international community cannot proclaim the importance of international law and the importance of the UN Charter in some situations and not in others as if the rule of law only applies to a select few. In this regard, with a significant portion of the world’s population, GDP, global trade and land mass, BRICS should continue to work ceaselessly to ensure that our voice is heard and that we also speak for those who need our support. Therefore, South Africa will continue to do everything within its power to preserve the existence of the Palestinian people as a group, to end all acts of apartheid and genocide against the Palestinian people.


South Africa welcomes the order by the International Court of Justice of 24 May 2024 that Israel should halt military action in Rafah and we see the provisional measures ordered by the Court thus far as a signal of decisive victory for the international rule of law and a significant milestone in the search for justice for the Palestinian people. Nevertheless, the injury to International Human Rights Law, inflicted by Israel, remains significant. We therefore call on the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to also act to ensure accountability for those committing war crimes.


South Africa believes that finding and agreeing on a realistic two-state solution would bring lasting peace and would address the root causes of the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict. A solution is long overdue, and an agreement must urgently be negotiated. The agreement must result in the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian State, based on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its Capital, that exists side by side, in peace and security with Israel.


Needless to say, South Africa therefore also reiterates its firm support for the full membership of Palestine as a member State of the United Nations.




Please allow me also to again emphasise the urgent need for BRICS to contribute to the reform of the UN Security Council. The inability of the Security Council to act and respond effectively to conflict situations such as in Gaza, further supports the sentiments of this urgent call to reform.  South Africa calls on all UN member states to support Africa’s call for the historic injustice committed against the continent to be remedied through an acknowledgment of the role it plays in current global affairs. Delaying reform of the Security Council therefore presents serious negative implications for the multilateral system, undermining the credibility of the global peace and security architecture and threatening to reverse the gains made in the past 78 years.


Chair, Minister Lavrov,


Please allow me to conclude my intervention today with a sincere call to all of us to capitalise on the current opportunities for partnership in this meeting and to tackle global challenges that stand in our way towards a stronger and more empowered global South in a stable multipolar world.


I thank you, SPASIBO!




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