Global political ructions in the spotlight at BRICS gathering

2018-12-04 19:10
President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his closing remarks at the Brics Summit in Johannesburg. (File, Photo: Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his closing remarks at the Brics Summit in Johannesburg. (File, Photo: Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)

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The politics of protectionism, backward governments and narrow nationalism were rejected in favour of multilateralism and openness at the BRICS political parties plus dialogue on Tuesday.

The event, which took place in Pretoria, was attended by 200 delegates from BRICS nations and leaders of former liberation movements in Africa.

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa delivered an opening address and the party's secretary general, Ace Magashule, delivered the keynote speech.

Ramaphosa called on delegates to look for ways to reverse the rise of "narrow and extreme nationalism", which he said were taking root across parts of the country.

"This we must do because narrow nationalism serves only to undermine the rules based on a multilateral system of global governance," Ramaphosa said.

He also warned about the impact of rising nationalism across the globe.

"When extreme nationalism rises, so does that potential for one country or a small group of countries to arrogate to themselves the right to determine the fate of the entire world," he said.

Irresponsible nationalism 

Reiterating some of the governing party's sentiments, Magashule said the world was confronted by "irresponsible nationalism", which sought to undermine the order of things.

"It is our task to build a global trade free of narrow nationalism which seeks to undermine the order of things."

Dr Vyacheslav Tetekin, of the Communist Party of Russia hailed the growing partnership of BRICS countries as an indication that a "unipolar world" was a thing "truly of the past", with forces from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East challenging global domination of "old colonial powers".

He said BRICS countries represented a challenge to older powers and he accused them of using "economic blackmail", "information genocide" and "military interventions".

"Production power of BRICS countries surpasses those who built their prosperity on the plunder of human and mineral resources of the east and the south," said Tetekin.

Tetekin commented on ongoing protests over fuel prices in France and US President Donald Trump's trade wars, claiming these were signs that imperialist states were turning on their own people.

"The golden billion is dwindling into the golden hundred million," said Tetekin.

"Inequality is growing in those countries, whose leadership is always claiming to be champions of freedom, equality and brotherhood," he added.

Brazilian threat

Meanwhile, Gleisi Hoffman, president of the Workers' Party in Brazil, used the international platform to defend convicted former president Lula da Silva.

Da Silva is currently serving a 12-year prison term after being found guilty of corruption charges last year. The country recently elected Jair Bolsonaro as its new president.

Hoffman claimed the new leader of Brazil was out to kill communists in the country and accused the country's authorities of being at odds with global organisations such as the United Nations.

She also accused the judge and prosecutors who put Da Silva away of being aligned to small oligarchy families and serving narrow agendas.

Hoffman said Bolsonaro posed a threat to the BRICS partnerships that had been established.

"We believe that all solidarity movements around the world can help us. Bolsonaro is not only a threat to Brazil and the Latin World but to the world and multilateralism," said Hoffman.

Read more on:    brics  |  ace magashule  |  cyril ramapahosa
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