Information Bulletin of the BRICS Trade Union Forum

Monitoring of the economic, social and labor situation in the BRICS countries
Issue 18.2022
2022.05.09 — 2022.05.15
International relations
Foreign policy in the context of BRICS
BRICS urges developed nations to fulfill commitment (БРИКС призывает развитые страны выполнить обязательства) / China, May, 2022
Keywords: ecology, top_level_meeting

BRICS nations have urged developed states to materialize their commitment on climate financing to developing countries, as their environmental ministers met virtually on Friday.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

While jointly celebrating the anniversary, ministers reiterated the commitments to the goals, principles and institutional framework of the Convention and its 2015 Paris Agreement at the BRICS High-level Meeting on Climate Change.

"We reaffirm the role of the Convention and its Paris Agreement as the fundamental legal basis and main channel for international cooperation on addressing climate change, and are committed to promoting the full and effective implementation of the Convention and its Paris Agreement," they said in a joint statement issued at the online gathering.

One of the key points highlighted in the statement was to urge developed countries to fulfill their financial commitment to developing nations for their climate efforts.

Ministers underlined that developed countries should take the lead in scaling up mitigation actions and ambition and provision of climate financing, and respect the right to development and policy space of developing countries as well as countries in transition.

According to the Convention and the Paris treaty, it's the obligation of rich nations to support developing countries in their climate efforts under a principle acknowledging the differing capabilities and responsibilities of individual countries in addressing climate change.

Considering the differences, developed countries should have scale up their level of support with a concrete road map to achieve the goal of mobilizing $100 billion per year by 2020 for climate action in developing countries.

The commitment has yet been honored, despite that the negotiations over it have lasted for 13 years. This is "hardly justifiable", said Xie Zhenhua, China's special climate envoy, addressing the online gathering.

"This has greatly damaged the confidence of parties on jointly tackling climate change and also hindered developing countries from taking more effective measures", he noted, adding they should fulfill the commitment before parties meet in Egypt for COP 27 UN climate change conference later this year.

Ministers underscored that the support provided by developed countries in Annex II to the Convention should commensurate with the climate actions taken by developing countries. "Ambition of action needs to be matched with ambition of support to developing countries," they stressed.

They also called on these developed countries to scale up the support for developing nations adapting to climate change and enhance their resilience to climate change.

The rich nations are also urged to come forward with a detailed and explicit roadmap on how the commitment made at COP26, which was held in the United Kingdom in late 2021, to at least double the climate finance for adaptation to developing countries from 2019 levels by 2025 will be realized, as soon as possible.

Political Events
Political events in the public life of BRICS
Speech by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, on the occasion of the Budget Vote, 12 May 2022 (Выступление министра международных отношений и сотрудничества д-ра Наледи Пандор по случаю голосования по бюджету, 12 мая 2022 г.) / South Africa, May, 2022
Keywords: speech, global_governance
South Africa

'Consolidating South Africa's Foreign Policy Contribution to a better Africa and Better World'

Chairman of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, Honourable Supra Mahumapelo,
Honourable members,
Members of the executive,
Guests joining us today.

South Africa has continued to conduct its foreign relations in accordance with the values and principles set out in our Constitution. We strive to be a positive contributor to the global family of nations and to promote our aspirations for a peaceful, prosperous and united Africa in a just and equitable world. These are difficult goals to pursue, challenged by complex shifts in global relations and unprecedented global instability.

Some believe we are at an inflection point in history and that we have an opportunity to reshape and rethink global institutions and mechanisms. As honourable members would know COVID-19 has been a challenge like no other since the end of the Second World War, revealing our shared vulnerability and our connectedness. The shadow of COVID-19 is still with us as we debate this budget vote. The pandemic exposed poverty and inequality in our own society and worldwide. We must ensure that we continue to respond effectively and to prepare for future crises and new pandemics. Our country has been hit hard by the effects of COVID-19, but, we responded speedily as a nation and as government and this led to the saving of many lives.

The challenging crises that have affected South Africa since 2019, impacted negatively on our economy and lead to continuing low growth and inadequate productivity. The government had to adjust budgets and redirect funds toward the COVID-19 response and to respond to the effects of the riots of 2021. These changes have affected the resources available to us as DIRCO and government departments in this new financial year. We are allocated over 6.6 billion for this financial year, which is an extremely modest increase of around 1.3% from the 2020/21 allocation. As we have said previously, our department requires greater allocation of resources in order to carry out the assigned work in the 116 diplomatic missions in the 102 countries in which South Africa has representation.

However, we are aware that South Africa is constrained in terms of the availability of public finances and we have committed that we will ensure utilisation of this allocation in an efficient and robust manner.

I am pleased to report to the honourable members that we have made progress in advancing our foreign policy agenda and have worked hard at consolidating the progress achieved in the past two decades. South Africa is committed to using its foreign policy to contribute to a better South Africa, a better Africa and a better world as stated in goal seven of our Medium-Term Strategic Framework. Our country showed this commitment through implementing a comprehensive strategic framework in combating the pandemic and its effects and sharing our programs and our experiences with the entire continent.

We also used our participation in the G20, the G7 and BRICS to secure practical actions to address the fallout from the pandemic. We were able to achieve important outcomes. One of these was an agreement that multilateral financial institutions would implement a yearlong debt standstill to provide liquidity for the economies of low- and middle-income countries and funding for businesses that experienced losses under COVID-19 restrictions. We also actively argued in these fora for Africa to be a vaccine producer to reverse inadequate vaccine access for Africa.

Today, six African countries are developing vaccine production processes and establishing facilities for this. This is a major advance for Africa and we are pleased that President Ramaphosa gave leadership on these issues and advanced Africa in its research and innovation initiatives.

In 2021, the UN Secretary General gave the global community new hope when he presented a global vision of inclusive and transformed multilateralism. He proposed adoption of a common agenda for humanity that will see us address climate change, conflict, poverty and insecurity in a manner that promotes inclusion, shared development and equality. He proposed that the United Nations and its institutions would serve as the strategic multilateral body supporting the globe in acting on this common agenda.

The 2021 General Assembly enthusiastically welcomed the Secretary General's initiative and committed to his common agenda. We thus began 2022 with renewed hope for the global community.

The Russia and Ukraine war has severely eroded that hope and has divided the world once again and diverted us from the Secretary General's common agenda.

Despite our calls for a ceasefire, and for UN led negotiations, the war rages on, with millions displaced and thousands maimed and dead. We remain steadfast in our belief that war benefits no one and that all efforts should focus on peaceful settlement of disputes.

The United Nations Security Council has failed the world, proving that it cannot be relied upon to preserve peace and security. The ongoing conflict has starkly exposed the inadequacy of the UN system and highlighted the need for serious attention to our repeated calls for substantive reform of the Security Council and indeed, the United Nations. We look forward to working closely with new non-permanent members of the Security Council to urge them to initiate a genuine robust process of reform.

South Africa firmly believes that the Ukraine Russia war will only be ended through negotiations, and we urge the Secretary General to lead as the key negotiator to secure a cessation of hospitalities.

Drawing on our experiences in the past year, South Africa will give greater attention to member states of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and work with them to ensure that we all actively contribute to shaping the reform deliberations within the United Nations system, as well as giving new content to the United Nations Security Council. The non-aligned movement member states have always worked hard to support multilateralism and have contributed extensively to the battles for an end to colonial oppression and abuse of multilateral institutions.

We continue to derive great value from the BRICS partnership. Our joint call with India, a fellow BRICS member at the World Trade Organisation for the temporary suspension of intellectual property rights, so that COVID-19 vaccines and other new technologies treatments and diagnostics are accessible for developing countries was an important intervention in the fight against COVID-19. We are pleased that South Africa and India will also be collaborating on genomic sequencing to further research COVID-19 and its mutations.

We're thrilled that the virtual BRICS Vaccine Research and Development Centre was launched in March this year, and that it is one of South Africa's BRICS Chairship legacy projects. We look forward to leading further progress on BRICS initiatives once more, as we assume Chairship of BRICS in 2023. We are very heartened at the advances recorded by the New Development Bank. Last year its membership expanded to include Bangladesh, Egypt, Uruguay and the United Arab Emirates. We hope to expand the membership further next year.

We also remain committed to championing the interests of Africa within BRICS as the African agenda remains a cornerstone of our foreign policy.

Honourable Members, in terms of our priorities on the continent, we are ever mindful that there can be no development without peace and no peace without development. We had long hoped to silence the guns on our continent, but there is still much work to be done to achieve that.

One of the important priorities in the AU agenda, as well as in the Secretary General's common agenda is the maintenance of peace and the prevention of conflict. Member states have been encouraged to reshape their responses to all forms of violence and to engage in genuine peace building and conflict prevention. It is clear that much must be done to promote democracy and good governance on our continent. We welcome the efforts led by President Ramaphosa to strengthen unity and cooperation throughout Africa and plan to build on the foundation laid through successful visits to Nigeria, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Senegal last year.

In August last year South Africa assumed the rotational chairmanship of the SADC organ on politics, defence, and security cooperation.

Our Chairship is focussed on the challenging political and security matters in the Kingdom of Lesotho, in Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as in the Kingdom of eSwatini.

President Ramaphosa's facilitation on behalf of SADC in the Kingdom of Lesotho continues, and the national reform process is at a very critical stage. The constitutional amendments have now been tabled before the Parliament of Lesotho and are under consideration. We also continue to support the SADC deployment in Mozambique as part of our region's response to the fight against extremism and terror. We thank our men and women for their courageous efforts in the fight against terrorism.

South Africa welcomed the establishment of the Tanzania based regional Counterterrorism Centre in February this year. This is an important step towards strengthening our regional security architecture.

We are also promoting strong humanitarian efforts on the ground in Mozambique. This involves working with other SADC countries to alleviate the plight of internally displaced persons in the Cabo Delgado region.

The Mozambican government has specifically requested assistance for internally displaced families to be resettled. South Africa plans to make a contribution, through support for sustainable food production projects. Our efforts at promoting democracy and good governance in Eswatini are also underway. The SADC Secretariat has through the organ Troika prepared a Terms of Reference for an inclusive national dialogue in eSwatini.

These TORs have been submitted to the government of Eswatini and to His Majesty King Mswati III. We are hopeful that the kingdom will draw on our goodwill and convene a genuine dialogue.

We are deeply concerned that there appears to be a rise in unconstitutional changes of governments in other regions of our continent, as well as a rise in violent extremism. We believe this undermines our continents efforts to realise a peaceful and secure Africa.

We will work with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the African Union to combat these incidents of insecurity. Working with our partners on the continent we will redouble our efforts within the African Union, to hold governments accountable, to build a united front against terrorism and to prevent military interventions, as well as to stop negative foreign interference on our continent.

We must combat persistent instability caused by poverty, high unemployment, and violent conflict in Africa.

There are massive opportunities awaiting South Africa in promotion of African trade, African regional integration, and African industrialisation. In order to draw benefit from these opportunities, we must be seen as a country that is inclusive, that practices social cohesion and that is a home for all who live in it. Our Pan African dream of Africa's prosperity and development really relies on mutual African support and African interdependence. South Africa must boost intra African trade and reduce import of goods from beyond Africa and ensure that that which can be grown in Africa, is grown in Africa, that that which can be manufactured in Africa, is manufactured in Africa. We have developed a framework through which we can realise the benefits of intra African trade and we look forward to the full operationalisation of the African continental free trade area.

This will show our commitment to the joint prosperity and development of Africa. And it is our hope that the Free Trade Area implementation will result in a continental customs union robustly overseeing intra African trade. We are thrilled about the progress that has been made in the ratification of the tripartite free trade area, which consists of SADC, the East African Community, and COMESA. Only three more states need to ratify in order for the agreement to enter into force. The tripartite Free Trade Area has the possibility of creating a market of 29 countries with a combined population of more than 700 million. The challenge we face as South Africa is to trade within the continent beyond the SADC region, and to make sure we take up the enormous economic opportunities that exist in other regional economic communities.

We have worked hard as DIRCO to coordinate South Africa's economic diplomacy on the African continent and to have a coordinated approach to this. We recently launched the Coordination Mechanism for Economic Diplomacy (COMED) as a platform in South Africa to exchange information between government departments, the private sector, and civil society, on economic opportunities on the continent and to coordinate efforts for export promotion. We hope that COMED, as we call it, will assist us in ensuring a coherent South African response to economic opportunities. The common agenda of the Secretary General aspires that all of us will embrace global solidarity.

As DIRCO we are committed to providing humanitarian assistance as part of our global responsibility, particularly on the African continent, and in countries of the South. It makes no sense to us that we expect to receive grants and support from other nations of the world and yet as South Africa, we don't wish to give to others. The African Renaissance Fund (ARF) was set up for the purpose of humanitarian assistance. We receive requests from various partners on the continent for mitigating circumstances of extreme poverty and providing support in disaster relief. We will continue within our abilities to provide what we can to assist our fellow Africans on the path towards sustainable and inclusive development.

We believe this is an important obligation and South Africa as one of the nations of the world must honour it. We are also prepared and committed to act in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Cuba, as we cannot turn a blind eye to their plight while their economy is strangled by illegal blockades and sanctions. The Cuban economy has been brought to its knees after 61 years of draconian US economic sanctions imposed on that impoverished island nation. This is a nation that stood shoulder to shoulder with our combatants in the struggle for freedom and we must help if we can. It was Cubans who sent their sons and daughters to fight for the liberation of southern Africa. Of course, those who were never in the trenches fighting for freedom cannot appreciate nor know this history. Cuba played a pivotal role in turning the tide against our colonial oppressors. It would unjustified and unethical for us to turn our backs on them in the hour of their greatest need.

We also have an important obligation to consolidate our support for international solidarity. We continue to support the revolutionary causes of those who suffer under the yoke of colonial oppression. The last colony in Africa, Western Sahara – is still not free. Its resources are being plundered and the international community remains silent in the face of this long-standing injustice. We believe time has come to exert maximum diplomatic pressure to ensure that the promised referendum on Western Sahara's self-determination is finally held.

Similarly, the people of Palestine who continue to struggle for human rights, dignity and self-determination in their own land, need our support. The situation on the ground for ordinary Palestinians has become unbearable in terms of the gross violations of their human rights and dignity. We hope that all members of the United Nations will combat the infringement of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Palestine and will ensure that as members of the global family of the United Nations, we are equally angry at the plight of the people of Palestine, just as we are angered at the conflict in Ukraine. The UN Secretary General has issued a call to action for human rights and his agenda calls for human rights for all to be placed at the centre of our global and national agenda.

We have also launched our campaign to return to the Human Rights Council in 2023 and the African Union has endorsed our candidature. We regard the Human Rights Council as an important multilateral body where South Africa can pursue its foreign policy objectives and promote the human rights enshrined in our Constitution. Given our dedicated commitment to multilateralism our presence in the council will provide an opportunity to argue for the transformation of the global system of governance from one based on power to one based on rules.

We also place women's empowerment and gender equality at the heart of our foreign policy. This year, we have assumed co-chairship of the Global Network of National Focal Points on Women, Peace and Security, and we are working to close the implementation gaps in our UN resolutions.

A major initiative that we recently launched as DIRCO, is the Charlotte Maxeke African Women's Economic Justice and Rights program. Me Charlotte Maxeke was one of our earliest ambassadors, a true internationalist forging relations across the globe and was one of the first women in Southern Africa to attain a Bachelor of Science degree in 1901. Her commitment to social justice at home and abroad should inspire a new generation of women ambassadors in diplomacy.

We have begun the implementation of our multi-year flagship programs, such as our Minister's Annual Breakfast with women Heads of Mission accredited to South Africa, as well as the African Women's Leadership Award, which will be held later this year. The Awards will recognise exceptional African Women leaders whose achievements have advanced Africa's development. We're also working on a project such as the Charlotte Maxeke Africa Future Leadership Program, a Women's Trade Fair and African Women's Scholarships.

Our Diplomatic Academy in DIRCO is also running an international women's capacity building program on Conflict Resolution, Mediation and Negotiation, a program that invites women from all over Africa. All of this is indicative of our commitment to the full participation of women in advancing and maintaining peace and security.

We are pleased to welcome DG Dangor and look forward to working closely with him to advance our Foreign Policy agenda.

As our first president of a democratic South Africa, President Nelson Mandela said during the Fifth Steve Biko Lecture in 2004: "One of the challenges of our time, without being moralistic, is to re-instill in the consciousness of our people, that sense of human solidarity, of being in the world for one another and because of and through others."

That quotation illustrates our own platform of global solidarity.

I thank you honourable members.


OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road

World of Work
BRICS Network University International Governing Board (IGB) Meeting Launched (Состоялось заседание Международного совета управляющих (IGB) Сетевого университета БРИКС) / China, May, 2022
Keywords: social_issues

On May 5, BRICS Network University International Governing Board (IGB) Meeting was held virtually, with dozens of delegates from BRICS NU IGB attending. Mr. Fang Jun, Deputy Director-General of the Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges, Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China, moderated the Meeting.

During the Meeting, the head of delegation from BRICS reported the development of education in each country under the framework of BRICS Network University (BRICS NU) respectively, and Beijing Normal University briefed the outcomes of 2022 BRICS Network University Annual Conference.

BRICS Network University IGB Meeting Beijing Consensus was discussed and adopted as the outcome of the Meeting. The Consensus stresses that members of BRICS NU will continue to highlight ITG and expand new cooperation, persistently improving the education digitization, scientific cooperation and exchanges among teachers and students. A coordinating mechanism among BRICS NU members will be established to facilitate the resources sharing. The Consensus also insists upon implementing the concept and road map of BRICS NU development, to tackle with the tremendous changes triggered by the pandemic in education.

The Meeting serves as an opportunity to mark out the new direction for BRICS NU development, and guide BRICS NU members to further enhance exchanges and to explore new fields for scientific cooperation, boosting the BRICS NU and education in BRICS to a new stage.

The BRICS Network University was established in July 2015 during the 7th BRICS Summit. With years of development, fruitful achievements were made by BRICS NU regarding the studies in energy, computer science and information security, BRICS studies, ecology and climate change, water resources and pollution treatment, as well as economics. The BRICS NU has become to a comprehensive platform for coordination, communication, and joint scientific researches, bridging teachers and students among BRICS countries.

As a conventional activity of BRICS NU, the 2022 BRICS Network University Annual Conference was virtually held ahead of the Meeting on April 20. More than 300 experts and scholars from 13 countries participated in 6 parallel fora and exchanged opinions centering on the theme of "Building Partnerships among Top Universities for Sustainable Development in BRICS". It gave full play to the features of digitization and invigorated the development of BRICS NU. Universities including Beijing Normal University, North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power, Hohai University, Southwest University, Northeast Forestry University and Hunan University respectively hosted the 6 parallel fora.

4th Meeting of BRICS Joint Task Force on Disaster Management Held (Состоялось 4-е заседание Совместной рабочей группы БРИКС по управлению стихийными бедствиями) / China, May, 2022
Keywords: cooperation, top_level_meeting

Hosted by the Ministry of Emergency Management of China, the 4th Meeting of BRICS Joint Task Force on Disaster Management was held virtually in Beijing on April 29. Representatives of the BRICS Joint Task Force on Disaster Management and their respective points of contact attended the meeting to discuss the future direction of cooperation, as well as to exchange views on the proposed events, activities and achievements under the mechanism of BRICS Ministers for Disaster Management in 2022.

In its statement, the Chinese side highlighted that the meeting of BRICS Joint Task Force on Disaster Management was one of the important and practical moves taken by the BRICS disaster management agencies to implement the consensus reached at the BRICS Summits on strengthening exchange and cooperation in the field of disaster management among BRICS countries. As the first event held, this meeting aimed to build consensus and accumulate achievements through communication and exchange, so as to lay a solid foundation for the preparations for the Meeting of BRICS Ministers for Disaster Management and other supporting activities this year. Under its chairship of BRICS this year, China is willing to work with BRICS disaster management agencies to strengthen solidarity and coordination and invigorate BRICS cooperation, enhance the comprehensive capabilities of member countries in disaster prevention, mitigation and relief, as well as jointly respond to disaster risk challenges. It also suggested that BRICS countries should participate in the global disaster governance in a more active manner so as to increase their influence globally.

Representatives of BRICS countries expressed their appreciation to China for organizing this meeting, and supported China's plan to hold the series of events and activities under the mechanism of BRICS Ministers for Disaster Management in 2022,and offered to participate actively. They also expressed their interest in sharing and exchanging ideas and experience with member countries, so as to jointly upgrade their level of disaster management and promote global disaster management cooperation. They confirmed that they would maintain close communication with China on the follow-up plans and achievements based on the principle of consultation and consensus.
The Second Meeting of BRICS PartNIR Advisory Group Held Successfully (Второе заседание Консультативной группы по Новой промышленной революции прошло успешно) / China, May, 2022
Keywords: cooperation

The 2nd Meeting of BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR) Advisory Group took place virtually on 28-29 April 2022. Chaired by Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China, the Meeting was attended by members from Ministry of Economy of Brazil, Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia, Ministry of Commerce and Industry of India and Ministry of Trade, Industry and Competition of South Africa.

The Meeting reviewed the progress achieved since the 1st Meeting of BRICS PartNIR Advisory Group in March, exchanged views on the arrangements and programmes of the BRICS Forum on Development of Industrial Internet and Digital Manufacturing as well as the 6th BRICS Industry Ministers Meeting, reached consensus on the outcome documents including the Updated Work Plan for BRICS PartNIR and BRICS Initiative for Cooperation on Digitalization of Manufacturing, and made progress on the negotiation of the Joint Declaration of the 6th BRICS Industry Ministers Meeting.

During the Meeting, Russia updated the progress in advancing the initiative of UNIDO-BRICS Center for Industrial Competences. The BRICS PartNIR Innovation Center briefed about its training programmes on Industrial Internet. BRICS members expressed their interests in participating the programmes and encouraged more activities of this kind for concrete outcomes.

Second 2022 BRICS Think Tank Symposium Held (Состоялся второй симпозиум аналитических центров БРИКС 2022 г.) / China, May, 2022
Keywords: brics_think_tank, cooperation

On May 6, 2022, the second BRICS Think Tank Symposium was held in Chongqing both online and offline. The theme of this conference is "BRICS Cooperation and Global Development: New Era, New Mission, New Plan", which was hosted by China Council for BRICS Think-tank Cooperation(CCBTC), the Chinese coordinator for BRICS think tank cooperation, and organized by Sichuan International Studies University, the vice-chairman organization of CCBTC. Think tank scholars and business representatives from BRICS countries carried out in-depth exchanges and discussions under the theme.

Jin Xin, Secretary-General of CCBTC, director-general of the Research Office of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, Ma Ranxi, Deputy Director-General of Publicity Department of Chongqing Committee of CPC and Director of Information Office of Chongqing Municipal Government, and Dong Hongchuan, President of Sichuan International Studies University delivered speeches respectively. Jin Xin said that at present, the shadow of a once-in-a-century pandemic and the conventional security risks are intertwined. Adjustments over the global governance system and the international landscape have gathered pace. The recovery of the world economy is weak and faltering, and the global development gap is widening. Amidst the great changes of the world, the era and the history, the international community, especially developing countries, is in dire need of economic recovery and common development, and generally hope to emerging market countries including BRICS to play a greater role in promoting economic recovery and common development. As China holds the rotating chair of the BRICS this year, it takes "Foster High-quality BRICS Partnership, Usher in a New Era for Global Development" as the theme of 2022 BRICS cooperation, with the hope to work with all BRICS countries to respond to the major concerns of the international community and build a more comprehensive, closer, more practical and more inclusive BRICS partnership to jointly achieve stronger, greener and sounder global development. Under new circumstances, in order to further deepen BRICS cooperation and promote common development: first, we should give priority to development and jointly promote economic recovery; second, we need to commit ourselves to inclusive development and focus on bridging the development gap; third, we should uphold innovation as the driver of growth and work together to achieve leapfrog development; fourth, we must adhere to green development and accelerate transformation towards green and low-carbon development.

Ma Ranxi said that local-level cooperation among BRICS countries is of great significance. Cooperation at the local level is counted as an important and specific means to promote BRICS practical cooperation, and can provide new ideas and suggestions from the bottom up to national-level cooperation. Chongqing, as a strategic stronghold of China's western region development and a connection between "Belt and Road" initiative and the Yangtze River Economic Belt, will further expand pragmatic cooperation, people-to-people and cultural exchanges with other BRICS members, and provide more and stronger drivers for BRICS cooperation and global development by promoting local-level exchanges.

Dong Hongchuan said that Sichuan International Studies University is an important base for foreign language education, foreign-related personnel training, as well as foreign language and culture, foreign economic and trade, and international studies in southwest China. It will continue to deeply involve itself in BRICS think-tank international exchanges and cooperation, build a base for think tank consultation, personnel training, and people-to-people exchange for BRICS research in western China, and make due contributions to promoting BRICS cooperation.

Zhu Chaowei, vice president of Sichuan International Studies University, Xu Xiujun, researcher of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Zhu Jiejin, professor of Fudan University, Sun Yiran, researcher of Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Jiang Shixue, distinguished professor of Shanghai University, Miao Jun, deputy general manager of Power China International Group Limited, Zhang Zhengping, rotating chairman of Chongqing Sokon Industrial Group Co., Ltd, and other Chinese think tank and business representatives believe that in the past 16 years, BRICS countries have made remarkable achievements in establishing New Development Bank and BRICS PartNIR innovation center, and formulating Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership 2025. In the future, BRICS countries should continue to strengthen coordination in various fields of global governance, lead cooperation with development, promote security with development, raise their voice with development, and realize the role change from participants to leaders of global development , from hitchhikers to defenders and builders of international order , and from global public goods demanders to suppliers.

Think tank scholars and representatives from international institutions, such as Applied Economic Research of Brazil, Higher School of Economics of Russia, Observer Research Foundation, Gateway House of India, University of Johannesburg of South Africa, and ECLAC/UN Office in Brasilia, believe that in order to achieve the sustainable development goals, BRICS countries need to further deepen cooperation, conduct dialogue and exchanges with a more open mindset, mobilize their own resources, and work in synergy. On the one hand, BRICS countries should carry out domestic structural reforms, strive to change development modes, policies and models, vigorously develop human capital and social capital, coordinate competition objectives, and achieve fair development on the basis of law and regulations. On the other hand, BRICS countries should always adhere to multilateralism, promote effective global economic governance, and jointly counter the downward pressure and risks of the economy by improving mutual investment complementarity and carrying out scientific and technological innovation cooperation.

(Source: International Department. Central Committee of CPC)
China, other BRICS nations to establish early warning system for diseases (Китай и другие страны БРИКС создадут систему раннего предупреждения о заболеваниях) / China, May, 2022
Keywords: cooperation, social_issues

Members of BRICS agreed to initiate the establishment of an early warning mechanism for major infectious diseases to help strengthen global health security during a meeting involving their health ministers on Tuesday evening.

BRICS comprises the five major developing economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The agreement was reached as the COVID-19 pandemic that first emerged in late 2019 has prompted the global community to enhance coordination to address the spread of novel contagious diseases.

During the 12th BRICS Health Ministers Meeting that was held virtually, Ma Xiaowei, minister of China's National Health Commission, said the nation has implemented scientific and targeted disease control measures to contain the disease and has striven to coordinate its virus containment measures with economic development.

China has made contributions to the global fight against the virus by providing antivirus materials and vaccines to other countries. In fact, according to Ma, it has supplied more than 2.2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to more than 120 countries and international organizations.

Furthermore, it has dispatched medical aid teams overseas to offer assistance.

He called on BRICS countries to strengthen cooperation to fight against COVID-19 and promote universal health coverage.

The formulation of an early warning system against major infectious diseases was first raised during the BRICS meeting chaired by Russia in 2020 and was further discussed during the meeting chaired by India last year.

China is the chair of BRICS this year.

Russian partners at SCO, BRICS interested in contacts with Sirius center, Putin says (Российские партнеры по ШОС и БРИКС заинтересованы в контактах с центром «Сириус», заявил Путин) / Russia, May, 2022
Keywords: quotation, vladimir_putin, innovations

It is mentioned that some countries are interested in developing contacts with the Sirius center along the lines of their ministries, agencies, individual schools, universities and research centers

SIRIUS /Federal territory/, May 11. /TASS/. Moscow's partners at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and BRICS are interested in developing cooperation with the Sirius center along the lines of research and education, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"Those who seek to develop relations with us, too, have taken a great interest in the Sirius platform. I primarily mean SCO member-countries and BRICS," Putin said at a meeting of the board of trustees of the Talent and Success Foundation on Wednesday.

"Some colleagues [I] was here with, they are impressed by what they have seen here, and they would like to develop contacts with the Sirius center along the lines of their ministries, agencies, individual schools, universities and research centers," the Russian president said.

SCO and BRICS members are huge countries with billions of people, and they have achieved world-class results in lots of areas, Putin said, suggesting this "should be best used.".

Russian Health Minister proposes to create medical association of BRICS countries (Минздрав России предлагает создать медицинскую ассоциацию стран БРИКС) / Russia, May, 2022
Keywords: top_level_meeting, cooperation

Mikhail Murashko also proposed to create an international BRICS research journal

MOSCOW, May 11. /TASS/. Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko proposed to consider the possibility of creating a medical association of BRICS countries during the 12th Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Health.

"We are proposing to think about this idea of creating the medical association of BRICS and will hope to discuss it within the framework of our intersession work," he said on Wednesday.

The agency's press service noted that the participants agreed with the minister's proposals to activate work on creating a comprehensive early-warning system for mass infectious diseases within the BRICS framework.

The Russian health minister noted that this would not only bolster the role of the medical community but would also allow to collectively discuss and develop the standards of medical aid, upgrade the skills of the medical community and develop the principles of medical ethics in BRICS.

Additionally, the necessity to designate coordinators from each BRICS country within the framework of creating the comprehensive system was upheld. "The final declaration also emphasized the importance of the joint approval of preventive and effective measures on preventing and decreasing the risk of trans-border transmission of infectious diseases," the agency added.

Murashko also proposed to create an international BRICS research journal which would allow specialists to swiftly and easily share their achievements in vaccinology with the global community. "The activities of this journal can also accumulate the existing expertise of our countries' scientific circles and reflect the success of new initiatives by BRICS," he explained. The representatives of BRICS states supported this proposal.

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