The XV BRICS Summit takes place in Johannesburg

23 August 2023
South Africa, South Africa

The XV BRICS Summit was held in Johannesburg on August 23, 2023. 

On the sidelines of the XV BRICS Summit, closed and open sessions of the leaders of BRICS member-states were held. The Summit was also attended by Dilma Rousseff, President of the New Development Bank (NDB), Busi Mabuza, Chairperson of the BRICS Business Council, Lebogang Zulu, Rotating Chairperson of the BRICS Women’s Business Alliance, as well as the Chairpersons and members of the BRICS WBA National Chapters. 

During the open session, the leaders discussed the realization of the BRICS potential for deepening cooperation and mutually beneficial partnership with the African continent. 

In addition, the BRICS Heads of States noted the importance of developing the education system both within each country and across the organization. They recognized the need to apply new technologies, including artificial intelligence, and called for further strengthening of ties within the bloc, both at the structural level (with the BRICS Business Council and the BRICS Women’s Business Alliance), and among people. 

The Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva emphasized in his speech: “Many countries are interested in joining the BRICS bloc, which is a testament to our growing role in the world. We continue to build a multipolar, fair and inclusive world.” A similar message was contained in the speeches of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Chinese President Xi Jinping, who also supported the expansion of the BRICS. 

The Russian President Vladimir Putin also emphasized the role of the BRICS Women’s Business Alliance in his speech: “A lot of work is being done through the BRICS Business Council and the Women’s Business Alliance”.

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, has suggested that BRICS countries to deepen cooperation in the space sector. “We are already working on a group of space satellites of the BRICS countries. A step forward would be to discuss the creation of a BRICS space research consortium that would enable research and meteorological observations for the benefit of the world.” The Prime Minister also focused on raising people’s awareness and developing educational projects. 

The Chinese President Xi Jinping supported Narendra Modi in the issue of education. “China would like to suggest BRICS nations to increase cooperation in digital education and build a platform on online education,” the Chinese leader said. 

Concluding the speeches of the BRICS Heads of State, Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa, like his counterparts, emphasized the adoption and development of advanced technologies and the need for training in the bloc’s countries. He also pointed to the solidarity of BRICS members on many issues on the global and intra-bloc agenda. 

Within the framework of the open session, the BRICS Women’s Business Alliance Russia Chapter was represented by Anna Nesterova, Chairperson of the BRICS WBA Russia Chapter, and Elena Chashchina, Head of Working Group on Creative Industries and Tourism. 

Lebogang Zulu, Chairperson of BRICS WBA South Africa and, concurrently, Rotating Chairperson of BRICS WBA in 2023, presented the results of the work done during 2023 by the Alliance to the leaders of the BRICS countries.

After that, the BRICS WBA Annual Report 2023 was presented and handed over to the leaders of the BRICS nations. On behalf of the Russian Chapter Anna Nesterova, Chairperson of the BRICS WBA Russia Chapter, handed over the Annual Report to the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The report includes the main initiatives and projects of the BRICS WBA for 2023, the results of the activities of the Alliance’s joint working groups, as well as a review and assessment of joint cooperation for 2023. 

Among other documents handed over by the Chairpersons of the BRICS WBA National Chapters to the leaders of their countries was the BRICS Women Development eThekwini Declaration, which aims to empower women, as well as achieve inclusive growth and sustainable progress. The declaration highlights the importance of collaboration between governments, business and stakeholders to advance women’s rights and empowerment. In addition, the leaders of the five countries were handed over the BRICS Women’s Development Report 2023, reflecting the positive dynamics of women’s participation in BRICS countries in various fields: healthcare, education, economy, decision-making and management as well as technology.