South African civil society vows to build on BRICS Civil Forum

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UFA Brics
UFA Brics

The South African civil society on Friday called for greater efforts to continue building on what was achieved at the last BRICS Summit in Russia.

UFA Brics
UFA Brics
This emerged from an ongoing BRICS Civil Society Forum in Pretoria which was hosted by the Human Science Research Council (HSRC) and the BRICS Research Centre in collaboration with the South African BRICS Think Tank.
The seminar was meant to make preparation for the first official BRICS Civil Forum, which was held in Moscow from June 29, 2015 to July 1, 2015.

Participants said the BRICS Civil Forum helped to ensure constructive dialogue amongst the civil societies in BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The South African representatives called for the institutionalised space for the BRICS Civil Society to tackle common challenges.

Corlett Letlojane, Executive Director of the Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HRISA) welcomed the inclusion of the BRICS Civil Forum as a positive development in the history of BRICS.

She said the forum was open and democratic and her organization welcomes this initiative.
“We are not business, we are not think-tank but we work with the people at the grassroots especially those in the rural areas.

“We need our space. We welcome the SA Department of International Relations and Cooperation for opening doors for us,” Letlojane said.

She said the HRISA will go to the people in the grassroots to explain to them what the BRICS means for the country.

Sibulele Poswayo from the Secretariat Member for South African Network on Inequality/Economic Justice Network, said there is a need for BRICS civil society organisations to continue engaging each other beyond the BRICS Civil Forum.

She said, “We have to be careful not to be swallowed by the institutionalised BRICS forums. We have to maintain our autonomy. We have to continue as civil society from BRICS countries to engage post BRICS Civil Forum. We have to respect each other and use each other to put our issues on the table.”

Poswayo also said there has to be a convergence of views in South Africa to further enhance the already started initiative.

She added, “In South Arica it’s high time we find civil society on the left, right and centre to come together and create space to engage effectively about this BRICS space which has been created.”

Michael Casser of the HSRC said that efforts to push the BRICS frontiers to include the civil society is a welcomed move. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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