The ninth BRICS Parliamentary Forum has recently drawn sharp criticism from the Democratic Alliance (DA). The forum gathers lawmakers from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The DA has labelled the meeting as ‘shambolic’ and a ‘national embarrassment,’ placing the blame squarely on the ANC for its perceived incompetence in managing the event. This critique has raised questions about South Africa’s reliability as a partner within the BRICS coalition.
The two-day forum, primarily focused on discussions concerning climate change and African partnerships, concluded last Thursday. Emma Louise Powell, a Member of Parliament (MP) representing the DA and a delegate at the forum, expressed her discontent with the event. Powell highlighted a significant disparity in representation, with South Africa sending over 45 MPs. At the same time, one delegate represented Russia.
According to Powell, this glaring imbalance undermined the forum’s significance. It transformed it into a platform for what she described as anti-Western propaganda. Powell also pointed out Russia’s absence from the summit, which she linked to Russia’s diplomatic isolation due to its invasion of Ukraine. Additionally, she criticised the Speaker of Iran’s National Consultative Assembly for delivering a highly critical speech against the West in his opening remarks and then abruptly leaving the forum.
Another challenging aspect of the forum was the difficulty in securing sponsorship. Documents released during the event revealed that out of the 13 companies approached for support, 12 either declined or did not respond to the requests. This list includes notable companies like Telkom, Vodacom, and Nedbank.
The criticism and challenges the BRICS Parliamentary Forum faces highlight the complexities and intricacies involved in multilateral partnerships and forums.
Picture: Facebook / The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa
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