Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Botswana
Tel.: (267) 3953-389
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15 december / 2015

Address at BRICS Ambassadors’ cocktail

Dear colleagues,

Soon we will be celebrating Christmas and New Year. As always, end of a year is a time to draw conclusions and to sum up what happened during this period. It has been 8 months since Russia assumed presidency in BRICS, so allow me to say a few words on how we assess the results of this association of states.

BRICS has become an influential collective participant in global politics, with its own voice on some key international issues. In this sphere, the following practical tasks have been singled out for the year of Russia’s presidency in BRICS

- to strengthen international peace and security. To promote BRICS interests on the international arena;

- to facilitate multilateral financial cooperation and the reform of the international financial system;

- to enhance trade and economic cooperation within BRICS;

- to expand social cooperation of the BRICS countries

- to deepen humanitarian cooperation.

In July the Russian city of UFA hosted the 7th BRICS Summit. Its agenda was very busy and substantive, which is a direct reflection of the diversity and depth of interaction between our five countries.

These and many other products developed during Russia's Presidency have found their reflection in the Ufa Declaration and Action Plan.

The summit was timed to coincide with the entry into force of constituting agreements on the creation of New Development Bank and the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement Among the documents approved by the summit is also the BRICS Economic Partnership Strategy through 2020. It sets the task of making our economies more competitive on the global markets, strengthening ties in energy, high technology, agriculture, science and education.

In the context of increasing turbulence in global markets, intensified international competition and the expanding practice of imposing unilateral economic sanctions, it is more important than ever to launch "internal" economic cooperation within the framework of BRICS. Such cooperation will enable BRICS countries to take advantage of the mutual complementarity of their economies, as well as reduce the existing vulnerabilities to unfavourable international trends. Other new, topical issues can be discussed, provided there is mutual interest. These may include sharing best practices on forming national payment systems and improving the work of credit rating agencies.

BRICS has developed an efficient mechanism of dialogue between senior representatives of the member countries responsible for national security. During Russia's Presidency, this mechanism should be used to achieve such objectives as non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, settlement of regional conflicts, maintenance of regional stability, strengthening international information security, fighting drug trafficking and others.

To increase exchanges in education and science on the basis of our countries' top universities, BRICS are creating Network University. Civic BRICS, BRICS Parliamentary and Youth forums that were first held this year will become regular.

But more progress can be made on this front. BRICS partners still have limited experience of practical cooperation in the "five-country" format. Working mechanisms for multilateral cooperation are insufficiently developed. The association's external relations should be elevated to a level commensurate with its increased capacities.

In this regard, it is commendable that meetings of heads of state and senior officials continue on different occasions. Last time leaders of BRICS states met in Antalya on the margins of the G 20 Summit. Foreign Ministers of the five countries had a meeting during the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

I believe that all these positive developments show us that BRICS is an example of a new approach to multilateral partnership based on openness, equity, solidarity, non-interference into each other’s affairs and equal rights. Not only is it new but also efficient, aimed at finding joint responses to global challenges.

Dear friends, I sincerely hope that in the next year we will see the cooperation between our countries broaden further for the benefit of our peoples and for peace and stability in the whole world!