On 27 and 28 September 2023, the HSRC’s BRICS Research Centre (BRC) co-hosted the 9th BRICS Parliamentary Forum at Emperors Palace, Johannesburg, South Africa. This Forum was held under the theme: “Harnessing Multilateralism and Parliamentary Diplomacy to Deepen BRICS and Africa Partnership for accelerated implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.” The keynote speaker of the event was Deputy President Paul Mashatile. About 250 parliamentary delegates from BRICS member states – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – attended the event. Large delegations from BRICS PLUS countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc. also attended.
The BRC and HSRC drafted the BRICS Parliament concept note. They were, in collaboration with the Parliament Research Team, also responsible for supervising four commissions at the event and organising the academic panellists.
On the first day, parliamentarians debated the themes listed on the BRICS concept note with a focus on BRICS and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The second day was dedicated to the four academic commissions each focused on one of the following four themes:
- BRICS and Africa Partnership – Promotion and Acceleration of Regional Integration Through the AfCFTA
- BRICS Energy Production: Just Transition from Coal to Hydrogen Energy and Renewable Energy
- Socio-Economic and Political Dynamics confronting BRICS and Climate Change: Legislative Considerations for Parliament
- BRICS Peace and Security: Can Multilateralism restore peace and security?
Krish Chetty from the HSRC’s Equitable Education and Economies division and Dr Rodney Managa from AISA both presented on the Socio-Economic and Political Dynamics Confronting BRICS and Climate Change: Legislative Considerations for Parliament Commission, which also included Dhesigen Naidoo, World Bank Senior Advisor and Climate Adaptation Lead, to the South African Presidential Climate Commission.
Parliamentary delegates presented the commission’s outcomes, followed by the signing of the BRICS Declaration and the BRICS Memorandum of Understanding. The event was closed by the Russian Parliamentary House Speaker.