It was the responsibility of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) nations to provide “new perspectives and solutions” to the current international security order, according to state security minister Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba.
The minister was speaking on the second day of the BRICS block of emerging economies’ security ministers meeting at Durban’s Maharani Hotel on Friday.
South Africa is hosting the 2018 BRICS summit, which is convened annually and has a rotating chairmanship among members.
“We meet amid evolving global geopolitical realities, a period when multilateralism is increasingly under siege, when the integrity of international agreements can be hastily and expediently compromised and when more countries are succumbing to the temptation to adopt inward-looking positions at the expense of others,” said Lesatsi-Duba.
She was joined by BRICS security peers General Sergio Etchegoyen, Minister of the Institutional Security Cabinet of Brazil; Nikolai Patruchev, Secretary General of the Security Council of the Russian Federation; Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor of India, and Yang Jiechi, State Councillor of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China.
Letsatsi-Duba said the world had moved into a new and unsettling geo-political phase where doubts and questions about the global order were prevalent.
Multilateral rules-based approaches were unravelling, she said, and re-establishing the state as the primary locus of power and legitimacy had become an increasingly attractive strategy for many countries, but one that left many smaller states constrained.
“This creates new risks and uncertainties; rising military tensions, economic and commercial disruptions and destabilising feedback loops between changing global conditions and countries’ domestic political conditions. International relations now play out in increasingly diverse ways,” Letsatsi-Duba said.
“While we have progressed into the era of the fourth industrial revolution, we continue to face a range of security issues challenging our national security and sovereignty.
“Beyond conventional military build-ups, these include new cyber sources of hard and soft power, reconfigured trade and investment links, proxy conflicts, changing alliance dynamics and potential flashpoints related to the global environment,” she said.
The global nature of security issues that included international terrorism, radicalisation, drug trafficking, money laundering, unconstitutional regime change to manage economic meltdown and the illicit economy had no respect for borders, she said.
“These issues are easily imported and negatively impact stability and security within our countries. Threats related to transnational organised crime, terrorism and cybercrime further emphasise the disrespect to our national borders. Nations cannot secure their national sovereignty unless they work together.”
South Africa continued to view BRICS as a key strategic partnership to pursue and realise a just, safer, peaceful and more equitable world order, said the minister.
“South Africa will serve as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in 2019 and 2020. South Africa aims to use this opportunity to promote peace and security in the world and more specifically in Africa, where most of the world’s conflicts are located.
“As we work collectively, we must do so with a view to protecting the sacred and shared values of multilateralism and international law that underpin our union,” she said.