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Former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki. (Photo: X//ORF)
Former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki. (Photo: X//ORF)

'Cape Town Conversation' begins, former South African President addresses inaugural session

ANI | Updated: Nov 25, 2023 02:07 IST

Cape Town [South Africa], November 25 (ANI): India and South Africa share a common vision of a peaceful, prosperous and inclusive world where the voices and aspirations of the Global South are heard and respected, said former South African President Thabo Mbeki at the annual think tank event 'Cape Town Conversations' here.
In his keynote address at the inaugural session of the 'Cape Town Conversation' here on Friday, Mbeki highlighted the importance of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and added that the "Global South need to get together on what to be done by 2030 for SDG."
"The Foundation of G77 plus China shows Global South interest in international trade. In September, UNGA assessed SDG, and only 15 per cent of the targets were achieved and would need 3-4 trillion dollars to realise SDG. This again gives challenges to the Global South. Global South need to get together on what to be done by 2030 for SDG," he added.
Speaking further, he welcomed everyone to the event and said, "It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to Cape Town Conversation, a unique platform for dialogue and cooperation among the countries of the Global South. This is a testament to the strong and enduring partnership between ourselves and India, which dates back many years and has been enriched by centuries of cultural, economic and political interactions."
"Together, we share a common vision of a peaceful, prosperous and inclusive world where the voices and aspirations of the Global South are heard and respected. We are gathered here today at a critical moment in the history of the world, during which we are witnessing a renewed drive for a multipolar world order and genuine multilateral cooperation based on the UN Charter," he went on to say.
The former South African President underlined that the Cape Town Conversation has brought everyone together in order to make a contribution to the very necessary and continuing effort of the Global South to advance its interests globally.
"As we know, there are others who are used to unipolar world order and the exercise of uncontested hegemony. It is self-evident that there would be contests between the two tendencies--the striving for a multipolar world order on the one hand and the impulse to maintain a unipolar order on the other," he said, in his address.
Meanwhile, Samir Saran, the President of the Observer Research Foundation and Chair of Think20 India Secretariat also spoke at the event and said that the year 2023 will be remembered for two things, which includes India's G20 Presidency and South Africa's BRICS presidency.
"This conversation is Ubuntu meets 'Vasudev Kutumbkum' that is the world as one family. 2023 will be remembered for 2 events -South Africa Brics presidency and India's G20 presidency. India's G20 presidency defied dodgy multilateralism. This year BRICS presidency and India's G20 presidency made it clear to discuss the matter of the Global South."
"Cape Town Conversation is the place where the Global South will speak to the G20, will advise and sometimes even lead the G20 in finding solutions. This is the place where we all unite," Saran said further.

Day 1 of the 'Cape Town Conversation' event comprised of three sessions: An 'Inaugural Session', a 'Plenary Session', followed by an inaugural dinner and a third session called the 'Red-Eye Session.'
The keynote speakers, according to an ORF release, were Navdeep Suri, Distinguished Fellow, Observer Research Foundation; Ebtesam Al-Ketbi, President and Founder, Emirates Policy Centre; Victoria Panova, Vice Rector, Higher School of Economics; Fabio Veras Soares, Director, Head of International Policy Centre for Inclusive Development (IPCid), The Institute of Applied Economic Research; and Moderator: Sarah Mosoetsa, CEO, Human Sciences Research Council.
During the plenary session, Ebtesam Al-Ketbi, the President and Founder of Emirates Policy Centre expressed gratitude over making the UAE join BRICS.
"It can work with a unipolar world, but with a multipolar world, we can achieve more...We are not abandoning West, but it is a balance...UAE trying to be an active member by bringing new ideas," Al-Ketbi said.
On UAE's expectations from BRICS, Al-Ketbi further went on to say, "Financial system and how BRICS can overcome that. Every country has a right to trade in their own currency."
Meanwhile, Navdeep Suri said, "The reason for disillusioned promises by the West, a stark example is the Covid pandemic... whereas India tried in its G20 presidency with the objective that the voice of the Global South must be heard."
"In January this year, we hosted the Voice of Global South Summit for the first time and then the G20 Summit was held in which African union joined and became a permanent member. It is a remarkable opportunity to come up with innovative solutions," he said.

'Cape Town Conversation' is taking place from November 24-26 in the coastal city of Cape Town, South Africa.
Cape Town Conversations serves as an annual South Africa-based platform that brings together key stakeholders and new voices. It is designed as a common platform where established and emerging actors convene for a global conversation on contemporary issues of global governance --identifying new challenges, ideating possible solutions and shaping the world order of the future. (ANI)