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6th BRICS Summit signals historic moment: SA Foreign Minister
July 22, 2014, 10:54 am

South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane delivers her Budget Vote in Parliament on 22 July 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa [GCIS]

South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane delivers her Budget Vote in Parliament on 22 July 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa [GCIS]

South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane on Tuesday lauded the achievements of the recently concluded 6th BRICS Summit where the group of leading developing economies created a New Development Bank and a $100 billion Contingent Reserve Arrangement.

“These agreements signal a historic and seminal moment since the creation of the Bretton Woods international financial architecture,” Mashabane said during the Budget Vote in South Africa’s National Assembly at Cape Town.

South Africa’s membership of BRICS is stronger than before, the Minister told lawmakers. In partnering with the world’s leading emerging economies, South Africa stands to gain significant trade and investment.

“In Brazil, our leaders reaffirmed our core vision to bring about a more democratic, multipolar world order.  This is the world we want.  This is the world we yearn for. In BRICS, the member states are equal in access, shareholding, and representation in leadership positions,” she said.

Founding members of the BRICS Bank have equal voting rights.

The headquarters of the New Development Bank will be located in Shanghai and the regional branch will be established in South Africa concurrently. India gets the first rotating chair of the Bank. The first chairman of the Board of Governors will be from Russia, while the first chairman of the Board of Directors will be from Brazil.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the South African Foreign Minister also reiterated South Africa’s support for “the restoration of lasting peace in the Middle East”.

“President Zuma will be dispatching a team, led by our former Deputy Minister Mr. Aziz Pahad, to Israel and Palestine to convey our growing concern with the escalation of violence there, including the endless wanton killing of Palestinian civilians and the destruction of homes in Gaza,” Mashabane said during her speech at the National Assembly.

Diplomatic efforts have intensified to end more than two weeks of fighting as Israeli airstrikes have killed more than 600 in Gaza, mostly civilians. At least 29 Israelis, 27 of them soldiers, have died in the fighting.

“We call on the UN security council to fully exercise the law under the Charter in Gaza. The senseless killings of women and children must stop now. We must silence the guns,” said the South African Foreign Minister.

She also announced that South Africa would donate $1 million to assist with humanitarian efforts in Gaza.

South African President Jacob Zuma has also invited Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas for a working visit to South Africa.

Zuma had earlier called on Israel to withdraw troops from the Gaza strip, while at the same time condemning Hamas’s firing of rockets into Israel.

 

TBP and Agencies

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