The 15th BRICS Summit has successfully adopted the Johannesburg II Declaration, a document that encapsulates significant BRICS viewpoints on matters of global economic, financial and political significance.

This was announced by the Chair of BRICS President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday during a media briefing to announce the outcomes of the XV BRICS Summit.

“We adopted the Johannesburg II Declaration which reflects key BRICS messages on matters of global economic, financial and political importance. It demonstrates the shared values and common interests that underlie our mutually beneficial cooperation as the five BRICS countries.

“BRICS itself is a diverse group of nations. It is an equal partnership of countries that have differing views but have a shared vision for a better world,” the President said.

The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa met in Sandton, Johannesburg, from 22 to 24 August 2023 for the XV BRICS Summit.

The Summit was held under the theme: “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism”.

This is the first BRICS Summit to be hosted in-person since the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent global travel restrictions.

The BRICS leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to the BRICS spirit of mutual respect and understanding, sovereign equality, solidarity, democracy, openness, inclusiveness, strengthened collaboration and consensus.

As the bloc builds upon 15 years of BRICS Summits, it further committed to strengthening the framework of mutually beneficial BRICS cooperation under the three pillars of political and security, economic and financial, and cultural and people-to-people cooperation.

Partnership for Inclusive Multilateralism

The bloc has also committed to enhance its strategic partnership for the benefit of its people through the promotion of peace, a more representative, fairer international order, a reinvigorated and reformed multilateral system, sustainable development and inclusive growth.

“We reiterate our commitment to inclusive multilateralism and upholding international law, including the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations (UN) as its indispensable cornerstone,” President Ramaphosa said.

The BRICS leaders expressed their concern about the use of unilateral coercive measures, which are incompatible with the principles of the Charter of the UN and produce negative effects notably in the developing world.

“We reiterate our commitment to enhancing and improving global governance by promoting a more agile, effective, efficient, representative, democratic and accountable international and multilateral system.

“We call for greater representation of emerging markets and developing countries, in international organizations and multilateral fora in which they play an important role. We also call for increasing the role and share of women from EMDCs at different levels of responsibilities in the international organizations,” the Declaration read.

Local currencies

The BRICS leaders emphasised that they are ready to explore opportunities for improving the stability, reliability and fairness of the global financial architecture.

In the declaration, the leaders said they recognise the widespread benefits of fast, inexpensive, transparent, safe, and inclusive payment systems.

Therefore the Summit agreed to task the BRICS Finance Ministers and/or Central Bank Governors, as appropriate, to consider the issue of local currencies, payment instruments and platforms and report back to the BRICS leaders by the next Summit.

“We look forward to the report by the BRICS Payment Task Force (BPTF) on the mapping of the various elements of the G20 Roadmap on Crossborder Payments in BRICS countries. We welcome the sharing of experience by BRICS members on payment infrastructures, including the interlinking of cross-border payment systems.

“We also encourage strengthening of correspondent banking networks between the BRICS countries and enabling settlements in the local currencies. We task our Finance Ministers and/or Central Bank Governors, as appropriate, to consider the issue of local currencies, payment instruments and platforms,” the leaders said.

New Development Bank (NDB)

The summit further recognised the key role of the New Development Bank (NDB) in promoting infrastructure and sustainable development of its member countries.

The Summit congratulated Dilma Rousseff, former President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, as President of the New Development Bank (NDB) and are confident that she will contribute to the strengthening of the NDB in effectively achieving its mandate.

“We expect the NDB to provide and maintain the most effective financing solutions for sustainable development, a steady process in membership expansion, and improvements in corporate governance and operational effectiveness towards the fulfilment of NDB’s General Strategy for 2022-2026,” the leaders said.

The leaders further welcomed the work of the BRICS Women’s Business Alliance in their first in-person engagement with leaders, particularly welcoming the participation of youth representatives in the Summit.

They further addressed expectations for the BRICS economic partnership to generate tangible benefits for communities and deliver viable solutions for common challenges faced by the global South.

The Summit further reaffirmed the importance of BRICS people-to-people exchanges in enhancing mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation.

Brazil, Russia, India and China commend South Africa’s BRICS Chairship in 2023 and expressed their gratitude to the government and people of South Africa for holding the XV BRICS Summit.

The bloc further extended its full support to Russia for its BRICS Chairship in 2024 and the holding of the XVI BRICS Summit in the city of Kazan, Russia.