Johannesburg - Deputy President Paul Mashatile says the single most powerful instrument parliamentarians have at their disposal is their command of law-making.
He said through co-ordinated efforts, parliamentarians can influence more than a quarter of the world’s population positively by introducing far-reaching progressive legislation and repealing laws that do not improve the lives of the people.
Mashatile made these remarks on the occasion of the 9th BRICS Parliamentary Forum at Emperors Palace, Ekurhuleni, yesterday.
“As BRICS parliamentarians who seek to change the world for the better, you have the possibility to usher in the social solidarity and development that Chief Justice Khaldun and President Nkrumah strove to achieve.
“However, legislative changes alone are neither enough nor sufficient to effect change. You require a capable, civic-minded and ethical bureaucracy that has the capacity and commitment to drive the existing legislative framework to achieve its ends,” he said.
Mashatile said the forum had the ability to effect change on a global and unprecedented scale.
“For starters, BRICS has focused the imagination of the world’s population beyond the citizens of its member states. In and of itself, this is a good thing.
“However, we should not be surprised when this success factor attracts negative responses from some actors in the world, despite the fact that BRICS is not opposed to any state parties or groups.
“Instead, we seek a peaceful and just world of equitable resource distribution.”
According to Mashatile, BRICS member states had come together in the rising intergovernmental institution on a shared perspective of development, to which the current global political and economic order continued to respond inadequately.
“Every country faces these considerations and challenges in its resource allocation and decision-making processes.
“Undoubtedly, this will find expression in your discussions, especially as it concerns the four broad thematic areas on your agenda, namely, climate change, energy security, the just transition of coal to hydrogen energy, multilateralism, peace and security.”