KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS CDE ELIAS SEKGOBELO MAGASHULE DURING THE BRICS POLITICAL PARTIES PLUS DIALOGUE HELD IN PRETORIA SOUTH AFRICA.
KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS CDE ELIAS SEKGOBELO MAGASHULE DURING THE BRICS POLITICAL PARTIES PLUS DIALOGUE HELD IN PRETORIA SOUTH AFRICA.
SHERATON HOTEL, TSHWANE
- The Programme Directors
- The President of the African National Congress and the Republic of South Africa Cde Cyril Matemela Ramaphosa
- Members of the ANC National Executive Committee present here
- The Chairperson of the ANC Subcommittee on International Relations Cde Lindiwe Zulu and all other members of the subcommittee present
- The leader of the delegation of the Communist Party of China Cde Song Tao
- The leader of the delegation of Bharatiya Janata Party, the
- BJP of India Cde Mahesh Poddar
- The leader of the delegation of the United Party of Russia (to participating in the dialogue through Skype and could not attend because of the Congress taking place)
- The party of Brazil gave an apology (there is change of government after the recent elections and the party leadership is busy handing over to the new leadership) The leader of the delegation of the founding member of BRICS, the Workers Party of Brazil Cde Senator Gleisi Hoffman
- The leader of the delegation of the founding member of BRICS, the Indian National Congress, Cde Bhubaneswar Kalita
- Leaders of delegations of political parties from the African Continent
- Leaders of delegations of the former Liberation Movements of the Southern African region (MPLA,FRELIMO, SWAPO, ZANU- PF, CHAMA- CHA MAPINDUZI)
- Leaders of the delegations of all our leagues from the former liberation movements of the South African region, the Veterans, women and the Youth leagues.
- Leaders of delegations of political parties from the Latin American region
- Leaders of delegations of political parties from the Middle East region
- Leaders of delegations of political parties from the Far East Asian region
- The leadership of the revolutionary Alliance present, SACP, COSATU and SANCO.
- All our invited guests
- Members of the media
- Comrades and compatriots
It is our great honour and privilege, to take the opportunity of this rare historic moment of the BRICS political parties plus dialogue, to welcome you to South Africa. We indeed welcome you back home to the cradle of mankind, the country which you yourselves have helped to reorganize through solidarity and internationalism.
In his prophetic terms, the late President of the ANC and the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Chief Albert John Mvumbi Luthuli observed that
” there will be enormous and peaceful changes in South Africa before the end of the century. People of all races would eventually live together in harmony because no one white, black or brown wants to destroy this beautiful land of ours. Women must play an increasingly important role in all areas of the life of the future. They were and remain the most loyal supporters in all our struggles. The big powers will eventually turn away from all of Africa, so we must dedicate ourselves from solving our own problems”.
President Chief Albert Luthuli was one of the architects of the Freedom Charter, the blue print document which is the guiding torch of our struggle for a peaceful and a humane world, adopted during the historic gathering of the Congress of the People held in 1955.
The Freedom Charter sets out the basis of the better world we want for all humanity:
“There shall be peace and friendship,
South Africa will be an independent state, which respects the rights and sovereignty of all nations,
South Africa shall strive to maintain world peace and the settlement of all international disputes by negotiation and not war and that peace and friendship amongst all our people shall be secured by upholding equal rights, opportunities and status for all”
For those of us who live in the united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa, we keep his memory alive because we live in the home that was designed and built by him. On behalf of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress and its membership and the entire of the people of our country, from our Headquarters Chief Albert Luthuli House, we welcome you all to your own home South Africa.
We are grateful to host you in our country during the important year in the calendar of the struggle of our people for national liberation. The year of the centenary anniversary celebrations of two of our outstanding leaders of the struggle of our people, the Father of our Nation Tata Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and the Mother of our Nation Mama Albertina Sisulu.
The two leaders belonged to a galaxy of heroic men and women of our country who dedicated their own lives for the freedom and dignity of our people. As a nation, we will forever be inspired by their selfless contribution towards the noble cause of our struggle for the emancipation of the people of the world.
The last rostrum of the BRICS political parties plus dialogue was held last year during the month of June at Fuzhou in the People’s Republic of China under the theme” Pooling Wisdom and Efforts Towards Common Development and a Brighter future”. The focus was how to pool together the reservoir of our wisdom, learning from one another, to fulfill the tasks ahead for the aspirations of our common humanity.
More than fifty political parties from the vast spectrum of the human race representing more than two thirds of the world population, gathered at the historic site of the ancient Chinese Archipelago. Its profundity was the impetus of the growing momentum to renew our common effort for the building of a new better world for all our people.
A Common Agenda and the 4th Industrial revolution
This year we are gathered here in the Capital city of Tshwane,Gauteng Province, South Africa, under the theme” Towards Building a Common Agenda, Inclusive
Development and Multilateralism in the 4th Industrial Revolution”. The theoretical debate itself represents a great quantum leap in opening the horizons of knowledge in our protracted journey for the better future of human society.
The present historical epoch is the era of the 4th industrial revolution as there were others before, the first, the second and the third, as society moves from the lowest economic formation to the highest, not withstanding the historical facts that society has always been organised in terms of how it produces its food and how it allocates the fruits of those who labour.
The history of human civilization demonstrates that global economic map has always been in the state of becoming and as is never finished, but in the process of its becoming the new does not obliterate the old.
In the early stages of development of human society, there was an agrarian revolution which led to the second industrial revolution. The new demands of the agrarian revolution gave birth to industrial revolution which in the order of things was about innovation and therefore accelerating the pace for human efficiency and productivity.
The third was the epoch of the information superhighway (information technology) which has brought the 4th industrial revolution as society advances forward. The 4th industrial revolution has new technological capabilities of producing machines which posses human intelligence hence called artificial intelligence.
The demands of the third industrial revolution has ushered the world of humanity into the new trajectory of the 4th industrial revolution. This new frontier continues to define the historical necessity of the improvement of productive forces through stages of the development of human society.
Over the years there have been major breakthroughs in the order of the productive relations which have unleashed significant improvement of the living standards of the millions of the people of the world. Therefore the new era of the 4th industrial revolution is a continuation of another paradigm shift reshaping the course of human history.
The more society moves forward, the greater the advancements, the greater scope and depth to deepen our understanding of the material conditions we find ourselves. All human endeavors in the frontier of new technologies, business models, social organisation and industries have made renewed reconnection in the links of the preceding generations.
What is important is how do we manage the negative impact of the artificial intelligence on the bulwark of the unskilled and semi skilled workforce around the world especially in the developing countries. The dominant view is how to ensure that we transform the new epoch of the 4th industrial revolution to serve the needs of the overwhelming majority of the people of the world.
Ours is the movement forward to follow the great footsteps of our common ancestors in our long walk to the top of the mountain peak of civilization. We are rejuvenating the great path of the ancient routes of trade and human relations which have made the world to be what it is today.
Since antiquity major trade routes have been developed to transport goods from places of production to the places of commerce. Scarce commodities available only in certain geographical location of the world such as salt, spices, gold and copper, were the driving force of converging the nations of the world together and at the same time becoming the breeding grounds of new ideas, knowledge and culture.
The famous Silk route that linked the major ancient civilizations of China and the the Roman Empire, the spice route which brought flavor from the East Indies to the major industrial centers of Europe, The Incense route which domesticated camel making supply of Frankincense and myrrh (products of trees to make perfume) from the Arabian peninsula of the present Yemen and Omar to Roman, Greek and Egyptian empires.
The precipitous Tea- Horse route supplying tea from China to India, the Salt route that expanded trade from Rome into the Adriatic coast, the Trans- Saharan Trade route from North Africa to West Africa supplying gold and cooper into the Arabic peninsula and the Tin route supplying bronze and Iron from the Northern Europe into the Mediterranean peninsula.
Even if the discovery of the Americas and the passage to the East Indies by the Cape of Good Hope are the two greatest and the most important events recorded in the history of mankind. The new voyagers of discovery at the time were the continuation of these great historical strides of human development.
The debate is of time in memorial, even today, some of the economic historians of the world are still arguing as to when the first global economic trade was born. Even the Greek philosopher Plato states in his writings that people established themselves around the seashores of the Mediterranean Sea, like the frogs which do the same around the water.
Unity of developing countries
Together we share a proud history of ideological work that has sought to clarify the reading of our individual histories, interpretation of our present and our aspirations and utopia. This is the bond which has kept the unity of the developing and emerging countries together during the difficult dark period of oppression, domination and mechanization of imperialism.
The expanded influence and sphere of the BRICS Political Parties Plus has become an important platform to reposition all progressive forces of the world to renew their bonds, strengthening solidarity, deepening ideological cohesion and consolidating governments cooperation on the basis of mutual respect, territorial independence and sovereignty. BRICS has become the hope of progressive internationalism and solidarity for all of humanity.
The momentum resonates with the spirit of the South to South Cooperation of the historic Afro- Asian Solidarity Conference held during the year 1955 in Bandung Indonesia, of ensuring that the progressive of humanity continues to be a powerhouse within the arena of the global socio economic relations. Indeed the coming together of the Brics political parties plus of the countries of the African continent, South East Asia, Latin America, Euro Asia and South Asia is a tremendous achievement for the fulfillment of all our endeavors for human progress.
We see prospective opportunities in the outreach programme of rebuilding the old lines of solidarity across the oceans in the shared commitment to change the world for the well-being of humanity. In these outreach programmes we see the possibilities of rebuilding revolutionary programmes such as the Organization of Solidarity amongst the peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America (OSPAAL) and the Afro- Asian Peoples Solidarity Organisation (AAPSO).
The BRICS Political Parties Plus is an important platform to fashion the idea of an economic power block championed by one of the founding fathers of the African liberation movement
President Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, of the United People’s Republic of Tanzania, of adopting a new international economic order. Our effort of fashioning the new world order is occasioned by the realities which are abundantly clear that the post Second World War order has not worked for all and has not worked for the people from the developing and emerging countries.
The new trajectory of the post Second World War order is a mantle bestowed upon us by centuries of struggle against imperialism, colonialism and neoliberal globalization. This is a process which has manifested itself with the characteristic features of replicating the centre periphery and reproduction of the richer few and poverty, disease and underdevelopment for the overwhelming majority of the people of the world.
To shape society we need to think about the origins of what is now passing, we need to think about the origins of globalization, its promise, its rise and gradual collapse from the mid nineties. If we do not focus on that majestical appearance, rise, hesitation and fall, we may not understand what has happened to us, whether good or bad and where we are now.
We need to look carefully at the other forces that are increasingly setting the pace today, from irregular warfare to NGOs, to invigorated nation states, from the reappearance of genocides, racism, gender stereotypes and hidden forms of inflations, to a new practical interest in ethics and positive forms of nationalism and citizenry. All we can attest is that much of this is exiting, some of it dangerous and but all of it is real.
The rising irresponsible nationalism might have been as a result of the influence from the nineteenth century economist Herbert Spencer who formulated the concept of the survival of the fittest capitalism which Charles Darwin eventually borrowed in his explanation of the evolution of the natural selection. Their firm believe together with Eugenics movement is that it is the duty of the economically strong to drive the economically weak to extinction, the drive which is the secret of the strength of capitalism.
Their notion is that all remedial sound welfare measures simply prolong and expand human agony by increasing the population which will simply die of starvation. The rising phenomenon of irresponsible nationalism believes in the extinction of the weakest which is against the world rhythm of building solidarity and internationalism of the 21st century.
To shape society we need to think about the origin of what is passing through the historical period of the development of human society. We have to wake ourselves from the doldrums of the dangers of some of the irresponsible nationalism spearhead by some of the powerful economies of the world.
The world is confronted by the wave of irresponsible nationalism which seeks to undermine the order of things. Therefore it is our task to build a global trade freed of narrow nationalism, interest and inhibiting regulations to derive more value added export.
Such balanced trade between nation states will in turn unleash broad economic tide of growth for the mutual benefit of all our people. The tidal wave will in turn rise all ships, including that of the poor, whether is in the developed or the developing world.
At the same time as society evolves through these stages of development there are swift changes which are equally impacting on its political, social and economic structure. An unseen and fearful revolution is taking place in the fiber and structure of society.
In today realities of the world, the nation states cannot wish away the global markets and equally global markets cannot wish away the nation states. What is there is to manage the potential friction of the two for maximum output and outcome.
Therefore we are gathered here to appreciate each other competitive advantages and not to complain about each economic potential. Ours is to facilitate trade for the maximum benefit of the majority of the people of the world.
The two have been collaborating harmoniously along side each other over centuries of human civilization. The harmonious relationship of the market forces and the nation state is the best form of pragmatism.
Our struggle into the new era of the 4th industrial revolution is amongst the important birthmarks of a society in the making. The future of our ideal society is at the mountain peak and we have carry one another to the mountain top with all the magnitude of our determination to create a better world for all.
It is for the best interest of the future generations to renew our bonds of solidarity and internationalism in this hostile world dominated by the greed of capitalism. There is a growing offensive to undermine the progressive movement across the world especially in the former colonies and semi colonies.
Therefore our task is to strengthen our people to people relations and share our experiences and lessons on how to build the capacity of our movement to respond to the challenges of our time. We also need to deepen our ideological and theoretical understanding for the common good of unity and cohesion of our movement and the people.
We need to foster our capacities on invest more on the future potentiality of our young generation. The young people are the future of humanity.
The African population is gradually becoming youthful and is therefore important that we inculcate in them the true traditions and culture of our movement. The liberation movement in general has abandoned its political responsibility of infusing political education and preparing our youth as future leaders of society.
We need to take advantage of the rising number of the population of young people in the continent and to equip them with requisite skills and create more economic opportunities through your much needed investment. We need to see more opportunities for investment to rebuild our continent which will help to create more decent jobs and fight poverty and underdevelopment.
Our women have suffered triple oppression, firstly as a gender, secondly as black and thirdly as workers. BRICS formations must be more exemplary in engendering its programmes for transformation.
The leadership role of women is a precondition for all our endeavors for the creation of a better world. Therefore our struggle without the involvement of women will always remain incomplete.
Our struggle is also about solidarity with the oppressed people of the world. We therefore call for the speedy resolution of the Palestinian question and the struggle for the independence of the SAHARAWI people.
We also call for the immediate end of the decade long economic blockade against the people of Cuba. The blockade is a crime against humanity
To achieve this ideal milestones we have to work for the transformation of the multilateral institutions such as the security council, world bank, international monetary fund, world health organization, world food organization and other related institutions. This is the only meaningful way to build the world of peace and prosperity.
These are the tasks we have set for ourselves to achieve. These are the tasks we want to achieve during our lifetime.
We hope you will have fruitful deliberations during the three days dialogue. We hope you will enjoy our warm reception and the beautiful Ubuntu of the people of our country.
Productivity is generated by knowledge and information, powered by information technology.
We thank you