Information Bulletin of the BRICS Trade Union Forum
Issue 28.2017
2017.07.03 — 2017.07.09
International relations
Foreign policy in the context of BRICS
BRICS urge all countries to implement Paris Climate Agreement (БРИКС призывают все страны применить Парижское климатическое соглашение) / Iran, July, 2017
Keywords: Paris_Agreement, G20_Summit

The heads of state of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which constitute the BRICS emerging countries, have called for the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate despite opposition from the United States.

In a joint statement issued on Friday on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, the BRICS leaders urged the international community to jointly adhere to the Paris climate agreement and assist developing nations in resolving issues associated with its implementation.

"We call upon the international community to jointly work toward implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change," read the statement.

The BRICS stand is in opposition with US President Donald Trump, whose withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement to tackle climate change and protectionist instincts risk leaving him isolated at the two-day G20 summit.

G20 summit is an annual event gathering the heads of governments and states of 20 major economies to discuss and promote financial stability around the globe, as well as some other pressing issues.

In early June, the United States announced its withdrawal from the Paris climate accord President Trump argued that the agreement would hurt American jobs.

Trump had said earlier that climate change was a "hoax" devised to weaken the US economy in favor of China.

US President Donald Trump on the first day of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017. (Photo by AFP) The US decision is seen as a significant foreign policy break with nearly every other country in the world and a major reversal of the former administration's efforts to stop, or at least slow down, global warming.

The landmark Paris Climate Agreement, which went into effect on November 4, 2016, had been approved by representatives of 195 countries, including top polluters, the US and China.
Press Communique of the BRICS Leaders' Informal Meeting on the Margins of the G20 Hamburg Summit (Коммюнике для прессы по итогам неформальной встречи лидеров стран БРИКС на полях саммита «Группы двадцати» в Гамбурге) / Russia, July, 2017
Keywords: G20_Summit, press_communique

We, the BRICS Leaders, met on the margins of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany on 7 July 2017.

We recognize that global economic growth is gathering pace, though the downside risks persist. BRICS countries and other Emerging Markets and Developing Countries (EMDCs) continue to be the main engine of global growth. Facing uncertainties in the world economy, major economies should enhance macroeconomic policy coordination and avoid negative spillovers to emerging market economies.

We affirm our support to the G20 German Presidency for a successful hosting of the Hamburg G20 Summit. We resolve to use all policy tools – fiscal, monetary and structural – to enhance resilience and potentials of emerging markets, and foster strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth.

We stress the importance of upholding a more inclusive, balanced, and open world economy, creating an enabling environment for the development of EMDCs, encouraging human resource development and increasing people-to-people links, so that the benefits of globalization can be shared equally by all countries and peoples.

We firmly support a rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open and inclusive multilateral trading system, implementation and enforcement of existing WTO rules and commitments and oppose protectionism. We will strive to improve the current framework and functioning of the multilateral trading system. We call for the acceleration of the implementation of the Bali and Nairobi MCM outcomes and for the WTO Ministerial Conference to be held this year in Argentina to produce positive outcomes.

In order to support global economic growth and make our financial systems more resilient to any potential systemic crises, we are committed to making global financial architecture more effective and reflective of the current global economic landscape. In this regard, we stress the importance of increasing the voice and representation of EMDCs in global economic and financial institutions, and of the completion of the new round of reforms of the IMF and the World Bank as scheduled. We welcome the contribution of the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement to international financial stability and sustainable development.

We commit ourselves and call upon the international community to make further efforts in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and attaining its Goals in a timely manner with an equal and balanced emphasis on its economic, social and environmental dimensions. Education and research are important in reaching the SDGs. We believe education improves global economic environment and promotes innovation and adoption of technologies, accelerates job creation and moves economies towards more diversified and value adding industries.

We urge developed countries to honor their Official Development Assistance commitments and help developing countries improve their development capabilities and achieve the SDGs by 2030.

We recognize the importance of research and technology collaboration in stimulating world economic growth and encourage the contributions of research initiatives to the development of economic sector. Promotion of innovation is important for sustainable growth and provides a strong and sustainable contribution to the world economy. We emphasize the importance of implementing the G20 commitments in this regard.

We call upon the international community to jointly work towards implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change according to the principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances, and to fulfill commitments to provide financial and technical support to developing countries in meeting their climate challenges.

We commit to take stock of our cooperation experiences and to build upon existing agreements, including the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership, and look forward to further enhancing BRICS strategic partnership in all priority areas of cooperation.

We express appreciation and voice full support for China's BRICS Chairmanship. We look forward to a successful hosting of 9th BRICS Summit in Xiamen under the theme of "Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future".
BRICS Leaders' Meeting (Встреча лидеров БРИКС) / Russia, July, 2017
Keywords: G20_Summit, Vladimir_Putin

Before the start of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, an informal meeting took place between the heads of state and government of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

Speaking at an informal meeting of the BRICS leaders on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Vladimir Putin stressed that in the G20 discussions on the state of the global economy, Russia will focus on ways of ensuring positive momentum in global trade. According to the President of Russia, the G20 should be proactive in promoting open, equitable and mutually beneficial trade in keeping with WTO rules.

Improving the international financial system so that all economies can benefit from it, including developing economies, remains high on the G20's agenda. Vladimir Putin said that further promoting IMF reform is essential for delivering on this objective.

The President went on to say that Russia attaches special importance to issues related to climate change and energy. "Russia is a reliable energy supplier to global markets, and to many countries and regions of the world," he pointed out.

In addition, Vladimir Putin spoke about counter-terrorism efforts, noting that no country is able to overcome this scourge and protect its people on its own. Accordingly, Russia, on a number of occasions, has called for a single counter-terrorist front with the United Nations playing a central role.

Following the meeting, the BRICS leaders issued a joint press communique.

* * *

Speech at informal meeting of heads of state and government of BRICS countries

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, colleagues,

We appreciate the BRICS tradition of comparing views before G20 summit meetings and other key international events.

I would like to say a few words about Russia's positions on the key issues on the G20 meeting agenda. The key priority is terrorism.

Experience shows that no country, however powerful, can deal with this evil or reliably protect its citizens on its own.

This is why Russia has, on several occasions, advanced the concept of a common UN-led counterterrorism front. This time, we will again urge our G20 partners to join forces against terrorism and work together to eliminate the political, social, economic and ideological preconditions for the rise and expansion of terrorism.

During discussions on the global economic situation at the G20 summit, Russia will highlight the need to promote an upward trend in global trade. We are against the economic protectionism that is gaining momentum in the world.

Illegal and politically biased trade and financial restrictions are actually aimed at removing rivals and result in the curtailment of business ties and a loss of trust between partners in economic cooperation, which is destroying the global economic fabric.

In light of this, the G20 should more energetically uphold the principles of open, equal and mutually beneficial multilateral trade as stipulated in the universal rules of the World Trade Organisation.

We are convinced that the G20 should make a bigger contribution to the creation of a fair system of global economic development, one that is capable of ensuring sustainable and inclusive growth and that can help remove the imbalances that have developed among countries.

As we all know, the global economy's transition to a new industrial order is underpinned by the development of digital technology. We believe that the G20 could take on a leading role in shaping international regulations in this area.

Improving the international financial system so all economies can benefit from it, including those in the developing world, remains high on the G20 agenda. Further promoting IMF reform is essential for delivering on this objective.

We attach special importance to matters related to energy and climate change. Russia is a reliable energy supplier to global markets, and to many countries and regions of the world.

Moving forward, Russia remains committed to proactively contributing to the harmonisation of the global energy market and reducing price volatility by working together with other countries that produce and consume fuel, in order to ensure global energy security.

Russia has been doing a lot to reduce the anthropogenic impact on the environment, and stands ready to continue this important work. The reasons behind climate change have not been thoroughly researched, nor are we fully aware of the mechanisms of ongoing climate change. That said, Russia views the Paris Agreement signed in April 2016 as an international legal foundation for long-term joint work on climate-related regulations.

We support the efforts and specific assistance by the G20 to African countries. It is important to carry on efforts aimed at promoting industrial and transport infrastructure development on the continent, and expanding access to education.

To conclude, I would like to thank our colleague, President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping, and note the effectiveness of China's BRICS Chairmanship in 2017.

Or course, we will work closely on holding the next BRICS Summit in September 2017 in Xiamen.

Thank you very much for your attention.
BRICS members embrace open economy (Члены БРИКС принимают идею открытой экономики) / China, July, 2017
Keywords: Xi_Jinping, G20_Summit

Xi tells leaders a multilateral trade system will bear fruit for all people

The leaders of the BRICS countries reached important consensus on building an open world economy and improving global economic governance during their informal meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, on Friday.

President Xi Jinping presided over the meeting, since China holds the rotating presidency of the BRICS bloc this year.

The BRICS Summit will be held from September 3 to 5 in Xiamen, Fujian province.

Xi said in his speech that there are currently positive signs for the world's economy, with a promising future for the development of BRICS countries, and at the same time, there are also challenges ahead for the BRICS members.

He called on the member countries to establish an open world economy, maintain a multilateral trade system and push forward open, inclusive, beneficial, balanced and win-win economic globalization, thus making the fruits of economic growth accessible for all people.

The BRICS countries should unswervingly stick to the principle of multilateralism in addressing conflicts and disputes, strive to achieve peace and cooperation, and make full use of multilateral mechanisms such as the United Nations to discuss international rules, he said.

In his speech, Xi highlighted the importance of the G20 in boosting international economic cooperation and improving global economic governance.

The consensuses reached at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou last year and other G20 summits should be implemented to create a good environment for the development of emerging economies and developing countries, Xi said.

Xi also encouraged the BRICS countries to play a leading role in supporting developing countries, especially African nations, to help them to improve development capacity.

Saying that preparations for the BRICS Summit in Xiamen are going smoothly, Xi added that he expected to make joint efforts with the other BRICS members to achieve fruitful outcomes, deepen BRICS cooperation, offer new solutions to improve global governance and contribute to global economic growth.

South African President Jacob Zuma, Brazilian President Michel Temer, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the meeting and agreed that the BRICS countries should keep the good momentum of cooperation on politics, economy and people-to-people exchanges to push forward practical cooperation of the BRICS members, according to a statement from China's Foreign Ministry.

They also agreed to work together to send positive messages in the G20, to push the international order to develop in the direction of being more just and reasonable, and to create a better environment for the development of emerging markets, the statement said.

Declaration to boost BRICS educational cooperation (Принята декларация о расширении сотрудничества БРИКС в области образования) / China, July, 2017
Keywords: Education, concluded_agreements

BEIJING, July 5 (Xinhua) -- A declaration was signed Wednesday by ministers of education from BRICS countries to boost educational cooperation.

At their meeting on July 4 and 5, BRICS ministers of education discussed approaches on enhancing equity in education and fostering quality education, strengthening BRICS educational collaboration, and exchange of students, scholars and teaching faculties.

The document, titled "Beijing Declaration on Education," reiterated support for the BRICS Network University to collaborate in education, research and innovation, and encouraged universities to participate in the BRICS University League.

It encouraged the organization of "youth winter/summer camps" to reinforce communication and cultural exchanges among the young generation from BRICS member states.

Member states were also encouraged to expand scholarship opportunities to students across BRICS member states, according to the declaration.

China's Minister of Education Chen Baosheng said that the signing of the declaration made preparation ahead of the BRICS summit in the southeastern Chinese coastal city of Xiamen in September.

The meeting was the fifth of its kind, and the previous four were held in Paris, Brasilia, Moscow and New Delhi.
BRICS countries to boost cultural exchanges, cooperation (Страны БРИКС расширяют культурные обмены и сотрудничество) / China, July, 2017
Keywords: cultural_exchanges

TIANJIN, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Representatives from BRICS countries inked an action plan on cultural cooperation Thursday at a ministerial meeting in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin, pledging efforts to strengthen cultural exchanges.

The action plan, which covers a number of fields including cultural heritage and personnel training among BRICS countries, encourages museums, art galleries and libraries to enhance exchanges and mutual learning via exhibitions and sharing information.

In his keynote speech, Chinese Minister of Culture Luo Shugang said that it is the common wish of BRICS countries to seek common ground in cultural values while fully respecting cultural diversity.

Luo called for efforts to strengthen civil exchanges, enhance pragmatic cooperation and consolidate public opinion in BRICS countries.

Cultural resources should be mobilized to boost the sustainable development of society and the economy, the minister said.

Representatives form Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa also elaborated on future cooperation.

The first BRICS ministerial meeting on culture was held in Moscow in June 2015.

Sudan: High Committee for Supervising Relations With BRICS Countries Holds Meeting (Судан: Верховный комитет по контролю за отношениями со странами БРИКС провел совещание) / South Africa, July, 2017
Keywords: Sudan_BRICS
South Africa

Khartoum — The High Committee for Supervising Sudan's Relations with BRICS Countries-Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa- held meeting in the Republican Palace , Wednesday, which was chaired by its Chairman, Dr Awad Al-Jaz.

Dr Al-Gaz said in press statements that the meeting focused on importance of boosting the added value for projects agreed upon between Sudan and BRICS nations, especially in animal and agricultural fields, disclosing that a technical panel was assigned to study the move from exporting animals to meat so as to maximize the added value.

He added the Technical Panel conducted a study about boosting added value for products of animal resources and would be handed over to the Ministry of Animal Resources.
Sikkim standoff: At BRICS meet, Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping's fake smiles mask underlying hostility (Противостояние в Сикким: на встрече БРИКС поддельные улыбки Нарендры Моди и Си Цзиньпина маскируют скрытую враждебность) / India, July, 2017
Keywords: India_China, G20_Summit, Xi_Jinping, Narendra_Modi

There is considerable enthusiasm over the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese president Xi Jinping during the informal BRICS meeting on the sidelines of the recent G20 summit. Earlier, the Chinese media said that there would be no meeting and talks between the two leaders.

The Chinese foreign ministry also ruled out a meeting, saying that the "atmosphere" was not conducive for such talks, even as our Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) clarified no meeting had been sought. Obviously, these Chinese announcements of no meeting and no discussion was for the consumption of the Chinese public and to create the impression that India requested for such a meeting which was rejected by China — to talk of the Chinese threat of supporting Sikkim independence – an obvious distraction from the suppression of Tibetans and Uighurs in Xinjiang.

There was no logic to such bluster. China knew full well that Modi and Xi would have to meet at the informal BRICS meet at Hamburg hosted by China, in the run up to the 9th BRICS summit which be hosted by China from 3 to 5 September 3-5 at Xiamen City.

But eventually the website of China's People's Daily displayed the photograph of a smiling Modi and Xi holding hands and standing alongside the presidents of Brazil, Russia and South Africa at Hamburg. In fact, Modi and Jinping held an informal meeting and had a conversation on a range of issues, as intimated by the MEA spokesperson. Whether the Sikkim standoff came up during the discussion is not known but most likely it would have not been mentioned by either leader.

At the BRICS informal meet, Xi called for "peaceful settlement of regional conflicts and disputes", expressed appreciation for India's strong resolve against terrorism as well India's success in economic and social development.

He also called for consolidation of the G20 as the premier platform for international economic cooperation. Xi also expressed appreciation of progress made by BRICS under the earlier stewardship of Modi.

Modi too, praised the progress made by BRICS under Xi, while emphasising the need for cooperation aimed at global economic recovery. He called for G20 to collectively oppose terrorism financing, franchises, safe havens, support and sponsors. Referring to the introduction of GST in India, Modi advocated a collective stand against the practice of protectionism, specifically in spheres of trade and movement of knowledge and professionals, while also reiterating India's commitment in implementing the Paris Agreement. While Xi mentioned the significance of the Paris Agreement and the need for it to be implemented, his alluding to terrorism was limited mentioning India's strong resolve.

Utopians in India appear upbeat at Xi's mention of "peaceful settlement of regional conflicts and disputes", not knowing what lies behind the mask and the fake smile. It may be recalled that Modi and Xi met on 9 June 9 the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit at Astana, Kazakhstan where both leaders concurred that bilateral differences should not lead to disputes.

But even as Xi shook hands with Modi and smiled away (as in Hamburg), it has now emerged that during the night of 8 and 9 June, People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops were breaking bunkers of the Royal Bhutan Army on the Doka La Plateau, in clear violation of the written Bhutan-China agreement that pending final boundary settlement, peace and tranquility be maintained along the boundary and both sides refrain from unilaterally altering the status on ground.

So, there is no cause for optimism. China will continue to maintain, as she is doing now, that there is no dispute because the Doka La property is Chinese territory. This, even as 'another blatant lie' of China has been exposed by Claude Arpi who exposing that Tibet was not signatory to the Sikkim-Tibet Treaty of 1890 that China has been flouting in order to claim Doka La. Arpi also highlighted that leaving aside 1890, China did not agree to a treaty on the Bhutan-Tibet and Sikkim-Tibet borders until as late as 1960.

This was another fact that China did not mention when it went about using the 1890 document as the basis of its claim over Doka La. China pretends there was no need to get the treaty approved by the Tibetan government but China had no control over Tibet in 1890, and was merely represented by a resident, which means precisely zilch.

China's move to illegally occupy the Doka La Plateau is based on the three principles of ambiguity, deception and deceit she has been using since time immemorial. Xi may be endeavouring to imitate the smile of Buddha but behind this mask lies China's genocide in Tibet.

Subsequently, the joint statement of the G20 stated, "We, the leaders of the G20, strongly condemn all terrorist attacks worldwide and stand united and firm in the fight against terrorism and its financing. These atrocious acts have strengthened our resolve to cooperate to enhance our security and protect our citizens. Terrorism is a global scourge that must be fought and terrorist safe havens eliminated in every part of the world."

At the G20, Modi equated Pakistan-based terrorist groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed with the Islamic State and Al- Qaeda, saying their names may be different but their ideology was the same, and that some countries were using terror as a tool to achieve political objectives even as he pressed for collective "deterrent" action by G20 members.

Modi presented an 11-point "Action Agenda", which included G20 nations exchanging terrorists lists, easing and expediting of legal processes such as extradition and concrete steps to choke the supply of funds and weapons to the terrorists. This may well be the narrative in the forthcoming 9th BRICS Summit too, but will it stop China backing Pakistani terrorism and terrorist leaders? Will it stop China threatening that she can destabilise North East India, if required?

The world witnessed anti-capitalist protesters setting fire to cars, barricades, rubbish bins and wooden pallets outside the venue of the G20 summit at Hamburg. These poor souls apparently have no idea what type capitalist 'scorched earth' policy China is unleashing through its One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative covering over 60 countries comprising 30 percent of global GDP and 60 percent of world population.

Many are yet to realise that it will bury many countries in debt, especially in the developing world, ushering the worst kind of capitalism: Both economically and physically, a sample of which can be gauged from listening to Dr Umar Johnson describing how the Caribbean and Africa are being colonised by China. The astute Chinese plan to will give the lion's share to Chinese companies and Chinese colonisers, while throwing some bones towards the country that the OBOR passes through.

As to the Sikkim standoff, it will last, even expand as China hopes India will wilt. But by now it should be known that China is a conceited bully that will only respect if it is slapped back and slapped hard rather than offering the other cheek. The writing on the wall is pretty simple: if India de-escalates, China will occupy Doka La and continue its policy of pig-headed intrusions elsewhere.

If China escalates on basis that no one will intervene to assist India, the price for China will be equally high not only at the point of clash but by way of global response to OBOR, China's future lifeline.

India's best option is to hold fast until China agrees to mutual de-escalation.

At BRICS meeting, Xi Jinping calls for 'peaceful settlement' of regional disputes (На заседании БРИКС Си Цзиньпин призывает к мирному урегулированию региональных споров) / India, July, 2017
Keywords: Xi_Jinping, G20_Summit

HAMBURG: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday urged the BRICS countries topush for "peaceful settlement"+ of regional disputes, amid a stand-off between India and China in Sikkim and Beijing's growing assertiveness in the disputed South and East China seas.

Xi made the remarks at an informal leaders' meeting of the BRICS+ , which groups Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, ahead of a Group of 20 summit in the German port city of Hamburg, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

He pressed the BRICS members to unswervingly build an open world economy, champion multilateralism and promote common development.

The BRICS leaders exchanged views on the current international political and economic circumstances and the G20's priorities, and reached important agreements on strengthening BRICS unity and coordination, jointly improving global economic governance and promoting sustainable development, the report said.

The Chinese leader, who presided over the meeting, also called on the BRICS countries to "push for peaceful settlement of regional conflicts+ and disputes, and to consolidate the role of the G20 mechanism as the premier platform for international economic cooperation," the report said.

The Xinhua report did not elaborate on what Xi meant by "regional disputes".

Apart from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi+ , the meeting was attended by Brazilian President Michel Temer, Russian President Vladimir Putinand South African President Jacob Zuma.

The leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, pledged to work together for positive results at the BRICS summit in the southeastern Chinese seaside city of Xiamen later this year.

China and India have been engaged in a stand-off in the Dokalam area near the Bhutan tri-junction for the past three weeks after a People's Liberation Army construction party attempted to build a road. Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Dokalam while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.

China is also engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea. Beijing has built up artificial islands and militarised many of them.

Both the South China Sea and the East China Sea areas are stated to be rich in minerals, oil and other natural resources. They are also vital to global trade.

China claims sovereignty over all of South China Sea. Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims.

China also lays claim to tiny islands in the East China Sea between Japan and the Korean peninsula, and between Japan and Taiwan.

The US today said it has flown two bombers over East Asian waters, as tensions continue to run high in the region. The B-1B Lancers took part in joint military drills with Japan in the East China Sea, the US Air Force said in a statement. They bombers then flew over the highly contentious South China Sea.

The US had also recently sent a navy warship near an artificial island in the South China Sea as part of the first "freedom of navigation" operation under President Donald Trump.

China has previously termed the US' move as "irresponsible" and warned that America's deliberate provocations would have "extremely dangerous consequences" to regional stability.
Xi urges BRICS to promote open world economy, multilateralism (Си призывает БРИКС содействовать развитию открытой мировой экономики, многосторонности) / China, July, 2017
Keywords: Xi_Jinping, G20_Summit

HAMBURG, Germany - Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday urged the BRICS members to unswervingly promote the building of an open world economy, multilateralism and common development.

He made the appeal at an informal leaders' meeting of the emerging-market bloc, which groups Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, ahead of a Group of 20 (G20) summit in the German port city of Hamburg.

The BRICS leaders exchanged views on the current international political and economic circumstances and the G20's priorities, and reached important agreements on strengthening BRICS unity and coordination, jointly improving global economic governance and promoting sustainable development.

"Currently, the global economy is showing some positive signs, and the prospects for the development of BRICS countries are growing brighter in general, which is very inspiring," said Xi, who presided over the meeting.

However, there have also emerged some challenges that require the BRICS countries to watch closely and handle properly, he added, pointing out that this year's G20 summit comes at a critical moment when the global political and economic situation is undergoing profound adjustments.

Noting that the BRICS countries are all important G20 members, he called on the bloc to support Germany as the host of the summit, and to send a signal that the G20 is committed to fostering partnership, building an open world economy, and boosting global economic growth.

"The BRICS countries should uphold the spirit of partnership that features openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, strengthen unity and cooperation, safeguard common interests and seek interconnected development," he said.

The Chinese leader proposed that the BRICS countries need to unswervingly promote the building of an open world economy, safeguard the multilateral trade system, and steer economic globalization towards openness, inclusiveness, universal benefit, balance and win-win results so that all the people can benefit from economic growth and globalization.

"We should unswervingly follow multilateralism," he said, urging the five-member bloc to push for political and peaceful settlement of regional conflicts and disputes as well as peaceful co-existence of different nations.

He added that the BRICS members should advocate the full use of multilateral mechanisms such as the United Nations, so as to jointly negotiate international rules, build partnerships and deal with all sorts of global challenges.

Xi also called on the BRICS leaders to improve global economic governance and consolidate the role of the G20 mechanism as the premier platform for international economic cooperation.

The BRICS countries, he suggested, should push all major economies to better coordinate their macroeconomic policies, implement the consensus reached at the Hangzhou and all other previous G20 summits, and create an environment conducive to the development of emerging-market economies and developing countries.

"We should unswervingly promote common development," he added, urging the BRICS nations to push the G20 to follow through on the achievements of last year's Hangzhou summit, including an action plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and an initiative to support industrialization in Africa and the least developed countries, so as to support their capacity building and help them stride forward in their development.

Noting that the BRICS leaders will gather in the southeastern Chinese seaside city of Xiamen for this year's summit in two months, Xi said preparations for the event are proceeding smoothly.

Xi added that he looks forward to working with other BRICS leaders to ensure that the Xiamen summit, themed "deepening the BRICS partnership and opening up a brighter future," will deliver fruitful results, so as to inject fresh impetus into BRICS cooperation, offer new solutions on improving global governance, and make new contributions to global economic growth.

The BRICS leaders agreed that the emerging-market bloc is facing both challenges and opportunities at the moment.

They stressed that the BRICS countries should maintain the sound momentum in their cooperation in political, economic and cultural areas, deepen practical cooperation in all sectors, and boost the unity and influence of the emerging-market bloc.

They also vowed to push the G20 to send out positive messages, promote the building of a more just and reasonable world order, and foster a stable, open, inclusive and all-win development environment for emerging-market economies and developing countries.

The BRICS leaders also voiced unanimous support for China to host the upcoming summit, and pledged to work with China to achieve positive results at the Xiamen meeting.
Investment and Finance
Investment and finance in BRICS
BRICS' New Development Bank to seek dollar bond funding this year: President (НБР БРИКС в этом году будет искать финансирование долларовых облигаций: президент) / India, July, 2017
Keywords: NDB

SHANGHAI: The New Development Bank (NDB) set up by the BRICS group of emerging economies is looking raise money by issuing dollar-denominated bonds later this year, the agency's president, K.V. Kamath, said on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters at a briefing, Kamath said that he expected progress on securing an investment rating by an international rating agency this year, enabling the bank to tap global markets for dollar funding "towards the very end of the year."

Kamath said leaders of the BRICS countries--which comprise Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa--have indicated they would like to see local currency bonds as a means of finance, in addition to dollar bond issuance.

The NDB will look at issuing bonds in one or two member countries in the second half of the year, Kamath said, adding that India's masala bond market looked attractive.

Kamath has previously said that the NDB plans to raise up to $500 million via masala bonds, which are rupee-denominated bonds sold outside of India, in the second half of 2017.

Kamath also saw potential in issuing bonds in Russia and South Africa depending on market conditions.

The NDB issued 3 billion yuan ($440.95 million) in green bonds in China's interbank market last year to support clean and renewable energy use.
PM Modi pitches for expediting BRICS rating agency (Премьер-министр Моди намерен ускорить создание рейтингового агентства БРИКС) / India, July, 2017
Keywords: rating_agency, Navendra_Modi, G20_summit

Hamburg: Expeditious action should be taken to establish the BRICS credit rating agency, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday, while emphasising that international financial institutions should reflect the world's current economic balance.

Speaking at the informal meeting of the BRICS leaders on the sidelines of the G20 Summit here, Modi said India is seeing fast economic growth.

Asserting that the BRICS group has to be a voice of stability, reform, progress and governance at the world stage, Modi called for expeditious action to establish BRICS credit rating agency.

Last year, BRICS nations agreed to set up an independent credit rating agency based on market-oriented principles as part of efforts to further strengthen global governance architecture.

They have already set up New Development Bank, which became operational last year, to meet funding requirements of the members.

While stressing on the need for collective efforts to sustain global economic recovery, Modi also touched upon the issue of representation in global financial institutions.

"We have to ensure that international financial institutions fully reflect the current economic balance," the Prime Minister said in an apparent reference to the quota reforms at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

According to Modi, BRICS reflects stability, reform, progress and good governance in the world.

"The decisions taken by us impact the entire world... We have to work collectively to sustain the global economic recovery," he noted.

Modi also underlined support for free and open trade regime of World Trade Organization (WTO).

"We are collectively against growing protectionism, especially with regard restriction on movement of knowledge, technology and skilled professionals," Modi said.

His remarks came against the backdrop of certain developed nations looking at restricting flow of skilled people from overseas.

Fortunately, Modi said, the global economic growth is showing improvement while India's economy is growing at a fast pace.

"The GDP growth this year is likely to be more than 7 percent... India's reform agenda is continuously making progressing," he said.

Noting that the GST (Goods and Services Tax), which was implemented last week, was the biggest tax reform in the last 70 years, the Prime Minister said it would help businesses and provide a unified market of 1.3 billion people.

While stating that cooperation on development of Africa should be a priority, he also called for greater people-to- people exchanges.

BRICS bloc comprises five members -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Brics countries benefit Africa in bilateral trade – experts (Страны БРИКС приносят пользу Африке в двусторонней торговле - эксперты) / Namibia, July, 2017
Keywords: SABTT, IGD, Africa_BRICS, NDB, expert_opinion

JOHANNESBURG – Brics countries have and continue to assist African countries collectively with investment, South African experts said Monday.

At a seminar organised by the South African Brics Think Tank (SABTT) and Institute for Global Dialogue (IGD), experts explored Brics in the changing global dynamics.

Ashraf Patel, researcher at SABTT said the Bretton Woods institutions and their subsidiaries on the continent have pillaged African countries without benefiting them for over 50 years.

While the New Development Bank (NDB) can copy policy development and knowledge from Bretton Woods Institutions, it should change the method of operation, said Patel.

"The 50-year jubilee is over. They had a colonial mindset and have been responsible for extraction and capital outflows and unequal terms of trade. We hope the NDB will not replicate them but it's too early to judge them. The Bretton Woods Institutions' failure has led to the large-scale underdevelopment of Africa," said Patel.

Sanusha Naidu, lecture at the University of Cape Town, said the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), India-Africa cooperation and bilateral cooperation with individual countries have helped many African countries. She said they have helped in credit loans, technical development and loan for infrastructure to facilitate intra-Africa trade.

China's Belt and Road Initiative will integrate Africa to China and the world. "China is saying we cannot afford to be inward looking and protectionist. China wants other countries to come aboard with it and does not want to be a super power at the moment," she added.

Philani Mthembu, director of IGD, said Brics is creating a multi-polar world and that many countries now have a say in global politics and contributing to African development.

"China has been an important partner in Africa for investment. It has diversified its engagement with Africa contrary to what some think that it's only pursuing extractive resources. They are involved in finance, manufacturing amongst others. China is important for Africa's long-term development," said Mthembu.

The experts expect the operationalisation of the NDB Africa regional centre in Johannesburg this year. Mthembu said the NDB has resolved to massively scale up, targeting 75 projects by 2021. – Nampa-Xinhua
BRICS Bank looking to offer bonds in Rand and Yuan (Банк БРИКС собирается предложить облигации в рандах и юанях) / South Africa, July, 2017
Keywords: NDB, SPIEF, rating_agency
South Africa

The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) is mulling a Rand bond issuance in the second half of this year, according to a report by Tass.

The NDB is a financial institution within the BRICS, an association of five developing economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which is aimed at enhancing cooperation in multiple spheres between the member states.

Speaking at a the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on Thursday, NDB President Kundapur Vaman Kamath noted that both the Russian and South African markets were promising in terms of bond issue potential, but would ultimately be determined by market conditions.

Kamath also confirmed that alongside the second currency, the NDB would be issuing yuan-denominated bonds.

"We have approval from China on issue of 10 bln RMB of which we did only one tranche of 3 billion RMB last year," he said, adding that further issuances will depend on the projects being implemented now.

Earlier this week the ANC renewed its call for the establishment of a BRICS ratings agency, stating that it has become a necessity that needs to made official party policy.

Both Brazil and Russia have also been downgraded by Moody's in recent times, adding fuel to the desire for an alternative ratings firm that can give investors insight into different metrics and opportunities in developing markets.

However, the concept of a BRICS agency has also faced its share of criticism – specifically its use as political tool, or channel of propaganda.

23 projects worth $6 bn in pipeline: BRICS Bank (23 проекта стоимостью $6 млрд. в работе - Банк БРИКС) / India, July, 2017
Keywords: NDB, investments

The BRICS Bank has 23 projects at various stages of preparation for 2017 to 2018, with a total lending amount of $6 billion, NDB President K.V. Kamath said at a press conference on Thursday in Shanghai.

Seven of these projects are in Brazil, six in India, two in Russia, and three in South Africa.

Five projects, totaling $1.7 billion, are in China.

In 2016, the bank granted $1.5 billion in loans to seven projects. Most projects involved green energy or infrastructure, Kamath said.

"The last two years have been very satisfying to us. It has built a strong foundation for the bank," Kamath said.

The new lender hopes to get rated by international rating companies by the end of the year. According to the NDB, Standard Chartered and Goldman Sachs have been chosen to be bank's advisers for international ratings.

The bank sold its first 3 billion yuan ($437 million) yuan-denominated bonds in China in July last year, to fund clean energy projects in member states.

It plans to issue rupee-denominated bonds this year and will also look for opportunities to issue bonds in Brazil and Russia, Kamath said.

A recent Bloomberg report said emerging-market investors are again piling into the BRICS markets, pushing monthly inflows and stock prices to nearly two-year highs.

Non-resident portfolio flows into BRIC nations rose to $166.5 billion in May, up from $28.3 billion in outflows 12 months prior, according to data compiled by the Institute of International Finance and EPFR Global.

Financing sustainable development and infrastructure projects and local currency financing remain the focus of the New Development Bank launched by the BRICS countries, according to a new policy document for the next five years.

The new lender has said it plans to expand membership gradually.

"NDB signifies developing countries' coming of age and reflects their aspirations to stand on their own feet," according to the 2017-2021 strategy document.

BRICS members, China, India and Russia are also the three largest shareholders in the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Both the BRICS Bank and the AIIB will extend China's financial reach and compete not only with the World Bank, but also with the Asian Development Bank, which is heavily dominated by Japan.
BRICS development bank to seek dollar bond funding this year (Банк развития БРИКС намерен добиваться финансирования долларовых облигаций в этом году) / India, July, 2017
Keywords: NDB, investments

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - The New Development Bank (NDB) set up by the BRICS group of emerging economies is looking raise money by issuing dollar-denominated bonds later this year, the agency's president, K.V. Kamath, said on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters at a briefing, Kamath said that he expected progress on securing an investment rating by an international rating agency this year, enabling the bank to tap global markets for dollar funding "towards the very end of the year."

Kamath said leaders of the BRICS countries--which comprise Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa--have indicated they would like to see local currency bonds as a means of finance, in addition to dollar bond issuance.

The NDB will look at issuing bonds in one or two member countries in the second half of the year, Kamath said, adding that India's masala bond market looked attractive.

Kamath has previously said that the NDB plans to raise up to $500 million via masala bonds, which are rupee-denominated bonds sold outside of India, in the second half of 2017.

Kamath also saw potential in issuing bonds in Russia and South Africa depending on market conditions.

The NDB issued 3 billion yuan ($440.95 million) in green bonds in China's interbank market last year to support clean and renewable energy use.

($1 = 6.8035 Chinese yuan)
Political Events
Political events in the public life of BRICS
ANC Policy Conference 2017: Questions raised over SA's Brics membership (Конференция АНК по политике 2017 года: подняты вопросы по поводу членства ЮАР в БРИКС) / South Africa, July, 2017
Keywords: SA_BRICS
South Africa
Author: Peter Fabricius

The ANC's national policy conference has questioned the value of South Africa's cherished membership of Brics – the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa forum – which is a cornerstone of South Africa's foreign policy.

This was one of several conference decisions more or less at odds with national foreign policy, including a call for solidarity campaigns with banned Swazi political parties and for the downgrading of the South African embassy in Israel.

The conference noted that although Brics had increased South Africa's trade, the balance of trade with some Brics countries was not in its favour.

Miriam Saohatse, a member of the ANC's national executive committee, told journalists on Tuesday that the conference had recommended that the ANC should constantly review and analyse South Africa's relations with individual Brics members "and the role they play in advancing the world we aspire to".

"We recommended that the ANC should continually assess the role played by some Brics countries, whether they are promoting the values and principles of a world we want, a world that is just, that is equitable, that is free of exploitation of its resources and a world that is at peace with itself."

She added that this assessment should include the role played by these Brics countries in South Africa and the rest of Africa.

Saohatse did not say which Brics members should be continually assessed but China has been criticised before for creating huge trade imbalances with South Africa and other African countries by importing mostly natural resources from them and selling them mainly manufactured goods.

On Swaziland, Saohatse said the policy conference had called for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to intervene in the country because of the "gross violations of human rights" which the Swazi people were suffering, including the banning of political parties like Pudemo and imprisonment of political leaders.

The conference had recommended the strengthening of solidarity campaigns and formalisation of party-to-party relations with Pudemo and for the unbanning of it and other banned parties.

The ANC has made such calls before but they have been ignored by the South African government.

The conference also reaffirmed the decision of the ANC's 2012 conference that South Africa should withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC). Last year the government did formally apply to the court for withdrawal but withdrew the application after the High Court ruled it should have first received parliamentary authorisation.

It has not been clear whether the government intends to reapply for withdrawal, this time going through Parliament. Some officials have suggested that South Africa would not withdraw if it won its case at the ICC on whether or not it should be rebuked for not arresting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, an ICC fugitive, when the ICC asked that this be done while he was in South Africa in 2015.

The ICC has announced that it will announce this decision on Thursday this week, 6 July.

Saohatse said the conference was aware of the ICC decision but had decided South Africa should withdraw anyway.

The conference has also decided that South Africa should downgrade its embassy in Israel to send a strong message of disapproval of Israel's continuing occupation of Palestine territory and its human rights abuses there.

She said that a call by some delegates for the embassy to be shut down completely had been rejected. The conference had also called on the ANC to do a risk analysis of the consequences of a downgrade in relations and that this analysis should inform the government's decision.

This last decision suggested that the conference was wary of negative economic consequences of downgrading relations with Israel. DM

World of work
Social policy, trade unions, actions
BRICS senior officials meeting in education recognized BRICS NU to be the main BRICS forum for collaboration in education (Встреча высокопоставленных чиновников БРИКС в области образования признала Сетевой Университет БРИКС основным форумом БРИКС для сотрудничества в области образования) / Russia, July, 2017
Keywords: BRICS_NU, education

On July 4th, 2017, a meeting of the senior officials of the BRICS countries' Ministries of Education took place in Beijing. The meeting was devoted to the issues of quality assurance and accessibility of education, as well as organization of cooperation between the BRICS countries in the area of education. The leaders of the national delegations were: Prof. M. Khomyakov, Vice-Rector for International Relations of Ural Federal University (Russia); Mr. K.K. Sharma, Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of HRD, Government of India (India); Mr. Tian Xuejun, Vice-Minister of Education (China); and Dr. Diane Parker, Deputy Director General of the Department of Higher Education and Training of the Ministry of Education (South Africa). Brazil was represented by the Brazilian Embassy.

In the morning session, after the opening talks of the delegations'leaders, the parties discussed the text of the Beijing Declaration of the BRICS Ministers of Education (ГИПЕРССЫЛКА). The discussion focused on the organization of large-scale university cooperation in the framework of the BRICS Network University, cooperation in distance education and e-learning, technical and vocational education (TVET), organization of youth camps and summer/winter schools. All proposals were included in the Beijing Declaration.

The second half of the day was devoted to the thematic discussions on approaches to promoting education equity (moderated by Brazil), approaches to increasing education quality (moderated by Russia), education collaboration among BRICS (moderated by India), and mechanism of the maximizing the visibility of educational collaboration in BRICS (moderated by South Africa).

The discussions led to the expressed common conviction of the necessity of using BRICS Network University platform for the implementation of joint projects on education, science and innovation. The speakers also emphasized the role the Network University plays in increasing visibility of the educational systems of the BRICS countries.
China-Russia Media Exchange Year Offering New Opportunities (Китайско-российский год обменов между СМИ предлагает новые возможности) / China, July, 2017
Keywords: Russia_China, media

2016 and 2017 have been tapped as the China-Russia Media Exchange Year, designed to create new opportunities and impetus for media cooperation between the two countries.

Under the program, Russia's mainstream media outlets have carried out a wide range of cooperation with their Chinese counterparts, including the establishment of an exchange mechanism for information.

As an example, in 2016, the Sputnik News & Radio Agency and China Radio International organized a full-media tour along the Silk Road Economic Belt, which allowed reporters from the two sides to conduct in-depth interviews on topics such as regional economic, social, and cultural development.

An app covering "Chinese and Russian headlines" has been launched in July, 2017. It will act as a medium for pictures, text, audio and videos from both countries.

"New media is the future of mass communication development. This bilingual app will enable information to reach its target audiences in a more accurate way," said Vasily Pushkov, director of the international project center with Sputnik News.

In June, 2017, the BRICS Media Forum was held in Beijing, under the theme of "Deepening BRICS Media Cooperation, Promoting Fair and Just International Public Opinion."

An action plan was reached during the forum, saying content, depth and breadth of BRICS media cooperation should be further enhanced in accordance to the needs of BRICS nations.

Pavel Negoica, head of a Russian newspaper, says closer media cooperation among BRICS countries should allow China and Russia to gain more influence in communication among the grouping.

"In modern media, we need to further coordinate our stances, via various mediums including television, radio, print and online. This way we let more people from different regions hear our voices. We should not only inform them about events which have happened in China and Russia, but also convey our opinions on international affairs to them," said Negocia.
BRICS is a tool to multiply opportunities, says Temer (БРИКС - это инструмент для увеличения возможностей, - говорит Темер) / Brazil, July, 2017
Keywords: Michel_Temer, G20_summit

Speaking during a meeting with heads of state and government of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), President Michel Temer highlighted on Friday (7) the importance of the group for Brazil's growth and global development.

"In this challenging scenario, the message that Brazil brings to Hamburg is one of responsibility and openness. Responsibility in the search for a safe path to sustained growth that is based on dialogue, and openness to the world, to the plurality of ideas, to new and old economic partnerships," Temer said.

At the BRICS meeting, held on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg (Germany), Temer said that the economic group is the venue where the individual efforts of each nation are translated into joint gains.

The president also highlighted the opening of new markets and the possibility of growth for the country in several sectors. "Brazil attaches high priority to the BRICS. We see intra-BRICS cooperation as a valuable tool to multiply opportunities, not only in the financial area. We also have fertile ground here to cooperate on trade, investment, innovation, science and technology" , the president said this morning.

The G20 Summit also represents an opportunity for the BRICS countries to reaffirm their commitment to the multilateral trading system, the protection of the environment through the Paris Accord and the concrete realisation of the policies in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

BRICS Health Ministers Agree to Strengthen Health Systems to Respond to HIV (Министры здравоохранения БРИКС согласились укреплять системы здравоохранения для борьбы с ВИЧ) / Switzerland, July, 2017
Keywords: Healthcare, Health_Ministers_Meeting, concluded_agreement

Health ministers from the BRICS countries (Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa) have agreed to strengthen their surveillance capacity and health-care services to respond to infectious diseases, such HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. They adopted a joint communiqué during the opening ceremony of the BRICS high-level meeting on traditional medicine, which is being held in Tianjin, China, on 6 and 7 July.

The high-level participants noted that while significant progress has been made in the global AIDS response, the epidemic is not yet over. They committed to collective action and sustained leadership to fully implement the 2016 United Nations Political Declaration on Ending AIDS in order to achieve the 90–90–90 targets by 2020 and end AIDS by 2030.

The BRICS countries are home to one third of the 36.7 million people living with HIV globally, and accounted for a third of the 2.1 million new HIV infections in 2015. The countries are taking responsibility for funding their AIDS response, with contributions ranging from 75% to 95% of all resources available for HIV in their respective countries. However, the resources available for the AIDS response in the BRICS countries represent only half of the resources they need to meet the 90–90–90 targets and the other Fast-Track commitments.


"The BRICS will strengthen cooperation on innovation in the areas of research and development technology and medical products, as well as intervention policies on key health issues, such as tuberculosis, aids and emerging diseases."
Liu Yandong, Vice-premier of China

"The BRICS will strengthen collaboration on global health platforms to collectively provide BRICS wisdom and BRICS solutions to meet new health challenges."
Li Bin, Minister of the National health and family planning commission, China

"The BRICS have shown great leadership in funding the aids response in their respective countries. however, aids is not yet over and countries need to keep up the pace on increasing investments, as well as ensuring the funds are spent smartly on programmes that will have the highest impact."
Luiz Loures, Deputy Executive Director, UNAIDS
BRICS promotes traditional medicine (БРИКС пропагандирует традиционную медицину) / China, July, 2017
Keywords: Xi_Jinping, Health_ministers_meeting, healthcare

President Xi Jinping calls for intensified exchanges, cooperation in healthcare

The BRICS nations have pledged to strengthen the integration of traditional medicine in their national healthcare systems to improve services, according to a declaration by the five nations released during a high-level meeting on Thursday.

"It is necessary to strengthen the integration of traditional medicine in the national healthcare system as a valuable means to promote and encourage the practice, education and training ... of traditional medicine to improve the quality and outreach of healthcare services," said the declaration, released during the BRICS Health Ministers Meeting and a High-Level Forum on Traditional Medicine in the port city of Tianjin.

President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the meeting.

"Traditional medicine is an important carrier of fine traditional culture, and plays an important role in encouraging different civilizations to learn from each other and protect people's health," Xi said. "I hope various parties involved in the meeting will intensify exchanges and cooperation in health and learn from each other in traditional medicine to work together to cope with public health challenges."

It is the second time China has hosted such a meeting. The first BRICS Health Ministers Meeting was held in Beijing in 2011. The five countries have chosen priority areas for cooperation in the past six meetings, including intensifying health monitoring; research into tuberculosis, AIDS and malaria; and development and research into drugs, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - are home to a total of more than 3 billion people, accounting for more than 40 percent of the world's population, and integrating traditional medicine into the countries' healthcare systems is crucial for achieving universal healthcare coverage, Shin Young-soo, World Health Organization regional director for the western Pacific, said in a speech during the meeting.

Wang Guoqiang, head of China's State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said: "Health cooperation has been an important part of cooperation between BRICS nations."

"Traditional medicine has played an indispensable role in protecting national health and carrying forward civilization, and intensifying cooperation in traditional medicine between BRICS nations is of great significance to benefiting people worldwide," Wang said.

Chen Kaixian, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences who specializes in drug research, said, "To cope with global health challenges, such as common chronic noncommunicable diseases including cancer and cardiovascular diseases, and increasing medical costs, different countries need to integrate traditional medicine into the their modern medical and healthcare systems.

"For example, traditional Chinese medicine emphasizes healthcare and prevention of disease, and it can also be an effective means to help reduce medical costs."
Second General Conference of the BRICS Network University (Вторая Генеральная конференция Сетевого Университета БРИКС) / Russia, July, 2017
Keywords: Education, BRICS_NU

Representatives of member universities and partner institutions gathered in Zhengzhou to discuss achievements and future plans for the BRICS NU

On July 1-3, 2017, the North China University of Water Conservancy and Electric Power, Zhengzhou, China) hosted the Second General Conference of the BRICS Network University, which gathered representatives of the member universities as well as experts of partner institutions. Russia was represented by 10 universities, members of BRICS NU. The delegation was headed by the President of the Russian National Coordinating Committee of BRICS NU, UrFU's Vice-Rector for International Relations Maxim Khomyakov.

The conference included plenary sessions, where the participants analyzed the major achievements and problems of the BRICS NU's activities, meetings of six thematic groups of BRICS NU, meeting of the BRICS NU International Governing Board, and a roundtable meeting of the Rectors of BRICS NU.

The presenters of the plenary meetings addressed the goals and tasks set before the BRICS NU in the context of the current state of the world's higher education. A special attention was paid to understanding of the educational cooperation between the BRICS countries as an alternative to the existing structure of the global educational market. The reports also analyzed the special characteristics of different educational systems of the BRICS countries.

At the thematic groups' meetings, the participants considered the proposals made by the member universities concerning development of joint Master and Doctoral programs, and designed a plan for approval of the programs by the thematic groups. It is expected that 7 such programs will be available for enrolment in 2017.

The BRICS NU International Governing Board discussed the most important aspects of the Network University's operation. The Board members signed the Statements on the International Governing Board and the International Thematic Group, designed the final note of the Conference – the "Zhengzhou Consensus", and approved the work plan for the IGB for 2017-2018.

As a conclusion, after signing the "Consensus", the South African delegation invited the participants to the Third General Conference of the BRICS Network University, which is to take place in 2018 in Cape Town.

Since 2013 Ural Federal University has been a participant of the Russian Academic Excellence Project 5-100. The key goal of the project is to maximize the competitive position of a group of leading Russian universities in the global research and education market.
SA space agency joins BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation (Космическое агентство ЮАР присоединяется к группировке спутников дистанционного зондирования БРИКС) / South Africa, July, 2017
Keywords: Space
South Africa

The South African National Space Agency (SANSA), the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), the State Space Corporation "Roscosmos" (ROSCOSMOS), the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the China National Space Administration (CNSA) have formally joined forces to create the BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation.

A joint committee meeting was held in Haikou, China, on 3 July 2017 to review and deliberate on the progress of the BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation and to discuss a draft agreement to be signed later this year. It was stressed that the BRICS Satellite Constellation is the first substantive project in the field of space co-operation.

There are two phases proposed for the BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation, namely, phase 1 comprising a virtual constellation of existing satellites, and phase 2 comprising a new satellite constellation to be discussed and defined in the near future.

The intention of the virtual constellation is to establish the remote sensing data sharing mechanism and avail to the partners, space solutions that meet the challenges faced by humanity, such as global climate change, major natural and technological disasters and environmental protection.

Speaking at the meeting, SANSA CEO Dr. Valanathan Munsami stated that agency remains committed to ensuring the integration of African space-based knowledge and technology in improving the lives of fellow Africans and welcome such esteemed partners in achieving this important objective.

The BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Virtual Constellation is seen as a practical step towards high-tech cooperation between BRICS countries and will assist in attaining the sustainable development goals and challenges pertaining to countries' respective economies and societies. It is also expected to inject new vitality into the strategic partnership between BRICS States.
Made on