Valentina Matvienko: BRICS is able to shape a positive, forward-looking agenda

The Federation Council Speaker took part in the 8th BRICS Parliamentary Forum.

Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko took part in the 8th BRICS Parliamentary Forum, whose central theme was Tapping the Potential of Legislatures in the Name of High-Quality BRICS Partnership.

The forum was held via videoconference. Its participants included Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council Konstantin Kosachev and Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs Grigory Karasin.

Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko noted that BRICS was a dynamically developing association based on a shared commitment to equitable dialogue values.

“BRICS has a huge potential. This association is able to shape a positive, forward-looking agenda and find collective responses to numerous challenges and threats of our time,” Valentina Matvienko said.

The Federation Council Speaker voiced proposals on how to develop BRICS in the future and use the parliamentarians’ capability to improve the efficiency of the direct multilateral dialogue between the legislators of the five major and influential states.

Specifically, Valentina Matvienko believes that it is necessary to move forward in imparting to BRICS a qualitatively new parliamentary dimension.

“In this context, we welcome the efforts to institutionalise the parliamentary interaction within the Five, including the work to follow the coordination of the draft protocol on the BRICS Parliamentary Forum to its logical end,” she said. According to Valentina Matvienko, they could use as a basis the available track record of other inter-parliamentary associations, such as the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum.

“We also think it necessary to conduct a consolidated campaign at international venues, such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union, whose next session is scheduled for October of this year,” the Speaker said.

In her opinion, the idea to impart a clearly expressed parliamentary dimension to BRICS deserves to be highlighted and additionally discussed by committees on international affairs. “This will make it possible to raise the level of our interaction in all key areas. Most importantly, this will be a long-term proposition.”

Valentina Matvienko is convinced that BRICS has everything that is needed to become one of the bulwarks of the newly configured world order, a bulwark of true multilaterality.

“We are genuinely interested in creating an inclusive political and economic architecture and boosting representation of non-Western countries. We are committed to abiding by international law, preserving the central and coordinating role of the United Nations, and keeping the civilisational wealth and diversity,” Valentina Matvienko said.

She expressed certainty that the BRICS countries could make a significant contribution to stabilising the global economy and to the post-pandemic revival.

“The interminable use of political leverage of pressure and the introduction of unjustified sanctions has put the global economy on the verge of a recession. We see the way out of this predicament in respecting the interests of all participants in global trade, including the developing countries and emerging markets. , It is important to work steadily within the BRICS framework to strengthen trade and economic collaboration based on the Strategy for Economic Partnership 2025. The agreement on mutual administrative assistance in customs affairs will also provide an additional incentive to cooperation,” Valentina Matvienko stressed.

In this connection, the Federation Council Speaker suggested that the legislators of the Five discuss concrete measures aimed at boosting the economic capabilities of BRICS.

She also mentioned the considerable potential inherent in the financial and investment cooperation between the Five. “The New Development Bank and the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement are a good example of practical cooperation. They have proved their efficiency by contributing to the implementation of many projects. And they continue to strengthen their international positions.”

Valentina Matvienko singled out the initiatives to expand settlement in national currencies and create an international reserve currency based on a basket of BRICS national currencies among the promising areas in the development of these financial institutions.

“I believe that parliamentary interaction can also make a contribution to implementing these initiatives that are fully in accord with the spirit of the times,” the Federation Council Speaker stressed.

She also focused on the importance of affordable vaccines and medicines. “Russia has repeatedly advanced these initiatives at many parliamentary venues. We welcome the launch of the BRICS Vaccine R&D Centre, the intensification of efforts to create a Comprehensive Early Warning System to deal with the risk of infectious disease outbreaks, and the signing of a memorandum of understanding on medical product regulation. We support the initiative to establish a BRICS medical association.”

“We have many other promising areas of cooperation apart from healthcare, including agriculture, energy, information technologies, digital economy, artificial intelligence, and transport,” Valentina Matvienko said.

She focused on promoting women’s agenda. “Since 2020, businesswomen have successfully developed joint multilateral projects sponsored by the BRICS Women’s Business Alliance,” which was inaugurated at the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum in St Petersburg.

“BRICS proposes a unifying agenda for the entire international community. It favours a collective search for responses to key global challenges. This effort requires the involvement of a large number of partners. I think that legislators should make proposals on intensifying and expanding cooperation on this track. In this context, we could consider the possibility of inviting lawmakers from other countries to join our discussions,” the Federation Council Speaker said.

Taking part in the 8th BRICS Parliamentary Forum were State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China Li Zhanshu, Chairperson of South Africa’s National Council of Provinces Amos Masondo, Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of South Africa Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula, President of the Federal Senate and of the National Congress of the Federative Republic of Brazil Rodrigo Otavio Soares Pacheco, and Chairperson of the Standing Committee on External Affairs of the House of the People of the Parliament of India Prem Prakash Chaudhary.