Challenging Misconceptions: The 9th Brics Parliamentary Forum’s True Success

30 September 2023

In the wake of the 9th BRICS Parliamentary Forum, it is with regret that we must address the misinterpretations and unfounded claims put forth by Ms Emma Louise Powell (MP), DA Shadow Minister on International Relations, regarding the event. Her statement, tinged with apparent resentment and misinformation, unfortunately, perpetuates a narrow perspective that undermines the genuine spirit of international cooperation and dialogue that unfolded at the Forum.

It appears that Ms. Powell’s statement was crafted prior to the event, with her attendance serving merely as a means to validate predetermined viewpoints. Her narrative, driven by political resentment and a desire to witness South Africa’s failure on the global stage, epitomises the worst aspects of partisan politics. Such a mindset has no place in our Parliament or society, as it runs counter to the kind of inclusive and forward-thinking society we aim to create for future generations.

Contrary to Ms Powell’s claims, the substantial turnout at the Forum, which included Members of Parliament from non-BRICS countries, attests to the international commitment to BRICS objectives. This marked a significant step in the growing influence and inclusivity of the BRICS initiative, particularly as it was the first time the Forum was held independently of the IPU. Unfortunately, Ms. Powell’s misrepresentations conveniently overlook the extensive international dialogue and collaboration that took place.

Ms Powell’s assertion that several companies declined to sponsor the Forum due to aversion to BRICS is baseless. In reality, Parliament was pleasantly surprised by the considerable support and corporate enthusiasm for the Forum, even though they were approached at the eleventh hour. The idea that these companies harboured resentment for BRICS is nothing but a figment of Ms Powell’s imagination.

Furthermore, Ms Powell seems to misunderstand the purpose of the BRICS group of countries and the Parliamentary Forum. They are not platforms for anti-Western rhetoric; rather, they serve as avenues for fostering global harmony, dialogue, and mutual respect among nations with diverse perspectives and histories.

Ms Powell’s portrayal of the BRICS Parliamentary Forum as a venue for promoting “antiWestern” sentiment reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of the principles of multilateralism and international cooperation. To effectively navigate the complex challenges of our time, we must rise above divisive narratives and approach international alliances with informed, balanced, and constructive perspectives.

It appears that Ms. Powell’s approach to this significant international event is clouded by a predisposition to see failure rather than progress, and division instead of unity. Her unfounded claims and distortions stem from a narrow understanding of modern diplomatic engagements and a prejudiced view of the BRICS initiative.

The 9th BRICS Parliamentary Forum was an unequivocal success, representing a turning point in international cooperation and dialogue. The Forum was enriched by a diverse range of participants, including Members of Parliament from both BRICS and non-BRICS countries, facilitating an unprecedented level of inclusive dialogue and shared commitment to common goals. Discussions were informed by a wide spectrum of insights and perspectives, enabling a comprehensive exploration of pressing global issues and the formulation of collaborative strategies to address them. The historic signing of the Memorandum of Understanding and the adoption of declarations were significant achievements, setting the stage for enhanced collaboration and shared progress in the years ahead.

As we reflect on the Forum’s accomplishments, it is crucial to sustain the momentum gained in Johannesburg and build on the collective wisdom and commitments articulated during the event. The South African Parliament, in collaboration with our BRICS counterparts, remains devoted to translating the Forum’s strategic decisions and agreements into tangible actions and benefits. Our unwavering commitment to our nations and the broader BRICS community entails diligent consideration and implementation of the Forum’s outcomes, with a focus on advancing multilateralism, fostering greater collaboration, and promoting parliamentary diplomacy. In doing so, we contribute to a more equitable, harmonious, and sustainable world.

Issued by the Office of the Chief Whip

Comrade Pemmy Majodina (MP)
For enquiries, please contact the Chief Whip
082 419 1616