The Speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, has emphasised the need for a collective solution from the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) bloc to mitigate the global food, fuel and financial crisis.
“Food security and nutrition of our vulnerable populations are under threat, and legislatures of all BRICS nations, in particular, occupy a unique place to foster cooperation and people-people relations through public diplomacy, where there could be strategic direction of multilateralism and mutual development,” Mapisa-Nqakula said.
Mapisa-Nqakula was speaking at the 8th BRICS Parliamentary Forum (BRICS PF) virtual meeting held on Tuesday.
Mapisa-Nqakula led a multi-party Parliamentary delegation to the meeting hosted by the National People’s Congress of China, under the theme, ‘Leveraging the role of the legislature to foster high-quality BRICS partnership’.
The Speaker commended the 14th BRICS Summit Strategy on Food and Security Cooperation, which is aimed at stabilising global food production and contributing positively to global food security infrastructure.
Mapisa-Nqakula also applauded the establishment of the BRICS Vaccine Research and Development, saying that it was an important BRICS milestone, which will further enhance BRICS countries’ capabilities to respond to future health emergencies.
“Through our oversight function as Parliaments, we have to ensure that the BRICS Vaccine Centre has the resources and the capacity to build a much-needed line of defence against infectious diseases,” the Speaker said.
She said the BRICS PF has a key role to play in strengthening the broader BRICS partnership, and BRICS countries must reconnect with their objective of strengthening cooperation.
She said through sustained parliamentary cooperation, BRICS can create responsive governments to address the current crises.
The BRICS Parliamentary Forum is constituted by the National Congress of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, the Parliament of the Republic of India, the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China, and the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa.
The forum was founded to strengthen and promote contacts at the leadership level of chambers, committees and groups of parliamentarians; perform inter-parliamentary exchanges and hold regular expert consultations, and create and develop new inter-parliamentary cooperation mechanisms.
China is currently chairing the forum and South Africa is next in line to chair and host the 9th BRICS PF in 2023.