South Africa to Host In-Person BRICS Summit Amid Global Tensions

BRICS Summit in South Africa: A Focus on Peace, Security, and Sustainable Development

South Africa is set to host the 2023 BRICS Political Party Plus Dialogue, with more than 54 international political parties expected to attend. The theme for this year’s summit is “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development, and Inclusive Growth.” The event is scheduled to take place next month, ahead of the BRICS summit.

The dialogue, set for next week, will focus on key areas, including global peace and security. Among the guests expected to arrive for the summit in Johannesburg, starting July 18, are Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, Sam Nujoma of Namibia, and Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Coast.

The ANC’s first deputy secretary-general, Nomvula Mokonyane, announced the summit details during a media briefing at the Birchwood Hotel in Ekurhuleni. Despite reservations about South Africa’s non-aligned stance on the Russia-Ukraine war, Mokonyane affirmed that the country remains steadfast in its approach to the conflict.

The ANC’s recent elective conference led to a decision to review South Africa’s participation in the International Criminal Court (ICC). This comes as the ICC expects President Cyril Ramaphosa and his government to act against Russian President Vladimir Putin on alleged war crimes, following a warrant of arrest issued in March.

Mokonyane stated, “We have come from the 55th ANC elective conference, and we have come to the resolution to remain in the ICC but to review our participation there. There are processes that are unfolding without undermining such bodies because, again, we must guard against the situation where we do not participate.”

The ANC’s stance is not about transforming these institutions but ensuring they are fair, consistent, and impartial in dealing with issues. Mokonyane added, “Historically, we have remained non-aligned, not only because of any relationship that we hold with Russia today, but also because of our own historical perspective around the issues of a unipolar world against nations and our own experience of exploitation and colonialism.”

Meanwhile, several parties, including Build One South Africa (BOSA), have approached the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, seeking an order to compel the government to arrest Putin should he attend the BRICS meeting in person. The government’s response to this matter has been filed as confidential, leading to calls for transparency and accountability.

As the BRICS summit approaches, the world will be watching how South Africa navigates these complex geopolitical issues while fostering dialogue and cooperation among the BRICS nations.

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