Johannesburg, 26 November 2023 (TDI): The virtual BRICS Summit, held on November 21, 2023, convened leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa to address the escalating Israel-Gaza conflict.
The summit aimed to facilitate diplomatic discussions and humanitarian efforts to mitigate the crisis.
The BRICS is a group of five major emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The group aims to enhance cooperation and coordination among its members on various issues of global importance, such as trade, development, security, and health.
In 2023, the group decided to expand its membership and include six more countries: Egypt, Ethiopia, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Iran. Pakistan has also made a formal request to join the group.
The Gaza war is an ongoing armed conflict between Israel and the Palestinian armed group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.
The war started on October 7, 2023, when Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israeli communities, killing 1,200 people and taking 240 others hostage.
Israel responded by launching a massive military campaign against Gaza, targeting civilian infrastructure, such as hospitals, schools, and refugee camps, and killing more than 14,850 people, many of them children.
The war has caused a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, with millions of people facing shortages of food, water, electricity, and medical supplies.
On November 21, 2023, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa called for the BRICS extraordinary virtual summit on the Gaza war.
The summit was attended by the leaders of the BRICS countries, as well as the six new members and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The summit aimed to discuss the situation in Gaza and call for an end to the violence and a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
- South Africa
- President Jair Bolsonaro (Brazil)
- President Vladimir Putin (Russia)
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi (India)
- President Xi Jinping (China)
- President Cyril Ramaphosa (South Africa)
Main points and outcomes of the summit
The BRICS leaders condemned the attacks on civilians in Palestine and Israel, and called for an immediate ceasefire and a release of the hostages.
Moreover, the leaders denounced the forced displacement and deportation of Palestinians from their own land, whether inside Gaza or to neighboring countries, as war crimes and violations of international humanitarian law.
The BRICS leaders reiterated their support for a two-state solution, based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, and the right of return for Palestinian refugees.
Also, they urged international community, especially the United States and its Western allies, to play a constructive role in facilitating dialogue and negotiations between the parties, and to respect the legitimate rights and aspirations of the Palestinian people.
Furthermore, the leaders expressed their solidarity with the people of Gaza, and pledged to provide humanitarian and development assistance to alleviate their suffering and rebuild their infrastructure.
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The BRICS extraordinary virtual summit on Gaza war was a historic and unprecedented event, as it marked the first time that the group addressed a specific political and humanitarian crisis in the world.
The summit demonstrated the growing role and influence of the BRICS and the Global South in shaping the international order and resolving the conflicts that affect their interests and values.
The summit also showed the solidarity and unity of the BRICS countries and their new members, despite their differences and diversity, on the issue of Palestine and Gaza.
The summit sent a strong message to Israel and the West that their actions and policies in Gaza are unacceptable and unsustainable, and that they must respect the rights and dignity of the Palestinian people.
The summit also offered a glimmer of hope and support to the people of Gaza, who have been suffering from the war and the blockade for years.
Therefore, the BRICS countries and their new members must follow up on their commitments and initiatives, and work together with other actors and stakeholders, to ensure the implementation of their decisions and the achievement of their goals.