Minister Ernesto Araújo, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, Minister Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, State Councillor Wang Yi, State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of China, General VK Singh, Minister of State of India

Johannesburg - Minister of International Relations Naledi Pandor participated in her first BRICS Foreign Ministers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Friday.

"BRICS is in a powerful position to be a voice of inclusion, of change and to advocate for a more progressive world order defined by cooperation," Pandor told her BRICS counterparts.

"As the BRICS partners, we are confronted today with tendencies towards ultra-nationalistic behaviour, anti-globalisation sentiments and arbitrary unilateral actions. The contemporary global political and economic situation is setting an alarming tone," Pandor said.

The BRICS ministers underlined their support for multilateralism and the central role of the UN in international affairs, and reaffirmed the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including the Security Council, with a view to making it more representative and efficient. There was consensus on the need to increase the representation of developing countries so that the council can adequately respond to global challenges. China and Russia reiterated the importance they attach to the status and role of Brazil, India and South Africa in international affairs and support their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN.

The Ministers also underlined the imperative of countering challenges to international peace and security through political and diplomatic means, and the need to avoid all measures that are inconsistent with the Charter of the UN. The Ministers expressed concern over the heightened tension in the Gulf region and called for a peaceful political solution through dialogue and diplomatic engagement.

South Africa welcomed the focus on trade and investment at the BRICS meeting as a means to aid developing countries in navigating the current global economic environment. Russia, India, China and South Africa have extended their full support for Brazil in hosting the 11th BRICS Summit in 2019. 

* Shannon Ebrahim is the Group Foreign Editor