BRICS Summits

2013 Durban Summit: Documents

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2013 Durban Summit: March 25-27, South Africa

The 2013 Durban Summit, officially the 5th BRICS summit, was held from March 25 to 27, in Durban, South Africa. This was a significant event as it was the first BRICS summit hosted on the African continent, symbolizing not only South Africa’s role within the BRICS group but also highlighting the increasing importance of African economies in global affairs.

Under the theme “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialization,” the summit focused on strengthening ties between BRICS nations and African countries. The agenda underscored a collective desire to pursue sustainable growth and development, with an emphasis on integrating and industrializing African economies as part of the broader objective of promoting economic prosperity and reducing poverty worldwide.

South African President Jacob Zuma played host to his counterparts: President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India, and President Xi Jinping of China. Notably, this was President Xi Jinping’s first BRICS summit after assuming office, marking a new era in China’s engagement with the BRICS nations.

Key outcomes and discussions at the summit revolved around the following:

– Establishment of the BRICS Development Bank: One of the key agreements reached at the Durban Summit was the plan to establish a BRICS-led development bank, envisioned as an alternative to international financial institutions like the World Bank and the IMF. Although the details were yet to be finalized, the commitment to creating the New Development Bank (NDB) represented a significant move towards greater financial independence and collaboration among emerging economies.

– Enhancing Intra-BRICS Cooperation: The summit provided a platform for deliberating on how the BRICS countries could improve cooperation in various fields, including finance, business, education, and technology.

– Fostering Ties with Africa: Aligning with the theme, Durban’s summit laid particular focus on exploring avenues for enhancing partnerships between BRICS nations and African countries. This exploration included discussions on infrastructure development, knowledge exchange, and capacity building, with an eye toward boosting Africa’s economic integration both regionally and globally.

– Dialogue of Continents: For the first time, the summit featured a BRICS Leaders-Africa Dialogue Forum Retreat, where the BRICS leaders engaged with African heads of state and government. This initiative sought to bring more African voices into direct conversation with BRICS nations, enriching the dialogue on development and cooperation.

The summit concluded with the signing of the eThekwini Declaration and Action Plan. The declaration captured the BRICS countries’ commitments and aspirations, including the advancement of the NDB, and acknowledged the shared challenges and opportunities that the member countries and African nations face. It reinforced the importance of market inter-linkages, and trade facilitation and outlined the action plan for continued cooperation in realms ranging from financial services to climate change.

The 2013 Durban Summit’s significance lay not only in its concrete steps towards institutional development, as seen in the progression of the NDB, but also in its strategic positioning as a bridge between the BRICS nations and Africa, seeking mutually beneficial economic and social development paths and opening new avenues for South-South cooperation.

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