"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Speech by President of the Republic, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, during the BRICS Leaders Press Conference, in Johannesburg, South Africa (H.E. Mr. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President of the Federative Republic of Brazil)

[Place] Johannesburg, South Africa
[Date] August 24, 2023
[Source] Presidência da República, Brazil
[Full text]

I want to especially thank President Ramaphosa and his team for their warm welcome to this BRICS meeting, the first in-person summit since the pandemic.

The last time I attended a BRICS meeting was in 2010.

I am deeply impressed with the maturity of BRICS, and with the results we have managed to achieve together.

In 2011, South Africa's entry gave the grouping greater geographic representation by including one of the world's fastest growing regions.

Many have claimed that we are too different to forge a common vision.

Experience, however, has demonstrated that the opposite is true. Our diversity strengthens the struggle towards a new order that accommodates the economic, geographic and political plurality of the 21st century.

In this world in transition, BRICS offer us a source of creative solutions to the challenges we face.

BRICS' relevance is confirmed by other countries' increasing interest in joining the group.

Among the various results of today's summit, I highlight BRICS' expansion through the inclusion of new members.

As President Ramaphosa indicated, it is with satisfaction that Brazil welcomes Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia and Iran into BRICS.

Now, BRICS' GDP has risen to 36% of the global GDP at purchasing power parity and the bloc represents 46% of the world's population.

BRICS will remain open to new candidates and, to this end, we have also approved criteria and procedures for future memberships.

We have also approved the creation of a Working Group to study a BRICS reference currency.

This measure may increase our payment options and reduce our vulnerabilities.

I also want to highlight our decision concerning the reform of global governance – especially regarding the UN Security Council.

Finally, I will offer a special message to my dear Alberto Fernández, President of Argentina and a great friend of Brazil and the developing world.

We will continue advancing side by side with our Argentinian brothers in yet another international forum.

We will continue to defend issues that have a direct impact on the quality of life of our populations – such as the fight against hunger and poverty and the promotion of sustainable development.

We will overcome all forms of inequality and discrimination.

May BRICS continue to be the driving force of a fairer world order; and a crucial player in the promotion of peace and multilateralism and in the defense of international law.

Thank you very much.