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09/05/2023

Integrating youth of the Global South

Integrating youth of the Global South

Reporting from Johannesburg / South Africa

We are continuing to publish our interviews on the margins of the BRICS summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. To deepen insight into South African economic perceptions and expectations on the summit, the BRICS enlargement and trade in national currencies, we spoke to Asanda Luwaca. Luwaca is the Executive Chairperson of the National Youth Development Agency of South Africa, and has held the opening speech in the presidential session.

You have held a speech today in the reunion of the Presidents. You expressed a demand. Can you explain us that demand?

As the youth of South Africa as well as our youth representatives from the BRICS block, we have been making a caring call for the various heads of states to establish a BRICS youth council. We have a firm view that a council of this nature will ensure better coordination insofar as the implementation of the resolutions that will be taken in the summit are concerned. And more than that, it will also be to ensure that youth development through the establishment of this council is able then to cascade down to our respective countries.

Is your idea of a youth council also part of what is called the people-to-people diplomacy?

Well, definitely. It is part of, or I would say the people-to-people would be part of what would encapsulate the council in its entirety. But also what will become important is that should this summit take a resolution on the establishment of a youth council, the idea is to formulate or institutionalize the Council by having representatives from each of our member states who will then form part of the Council delegation and ensure that the work of Council is taken forward, including the establishing the terms of references, memorandums of agreements between our respective countries and the operational business of such a Council.

I’m very glad to have you here in this interview because there has been much talk during this summit about trade, investments, national currencies, multipolarity. What is the youth perspective on BRICS? What’s your take on, what’s your expectation on future BRICS work on youth, global youth, global southern youth?

Yes, I think one, it would be to ensure that young people are afforded the opportunity to participate in platforms that are at a global scale. So when we speak about our participation, it involves us forming part and parcel of, one, the decision-making, but then that will cascade into the implementation of those decisions.

We want young people to have access to opportunities, not just limiting them to the geographic location, but have a young person who resides in South Africa being afforded an opportunity to go study in China, for instance, or having a young person in India, exchanging in business opportunities or work opportunities. So I think what we want to underscore is the importance of accessibility and ensuring that platforms such as BRICS ensure that youth are able to afford access to the opportunities.

Culturally, in our countries in the Southern Hemisphere or in the global south, the youth partly has been very focused on, let’s say, North Europe and North America, culturally and also in terms of education, occupation work.

Would such a youth council also support more the South-South exchange. South-South integration?

Yes, definitely. It is, I guess, the fundamentals of the establishment of BRICS to ensure that economies of the South are able then to exchange in opportunities, network, have a cultural exchange. So precisely what we would want to do as a young person residing in South Africa would want to advance and educate for.

My last question: There are countries outside the door waiting to enter the BRICS. Would you have a message to them?

I would say we look forward to the resolution that will be taken. I think having just received or listened to the statements from the heads of states that there is an appetite for an expansion of the current BRICS block to incorporate other countries. So we look forward to that, and what becomes important then is how do we then ensure that the young people of those respective countries are equally integrated into what will be a BRICS plus or BRICS with the addition of those countries.

This interview was first conduct on behalf of TeleSUR TV.

Yunus Soner
Political Scientist, former Deputy Chairman of Vatan Party (Turkey) Soner has participated in diplomatic visits to China, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Russia, Venezuela, Cuba and Mexico, among others. He has conducted meetings with President Bashar Al Assad (Syria), President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Iran), President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (Mexico), Manuel Zelaya (Honduras) and Foreign Ministers, Ministers of Finances and Representatives of Parliament from various countries. He has worked on Turkish-Russian, Turkish-Syrian, Turkish-Chinese and Turkish-Egyptian relations as well as on Latin America. Soner has had media participation in various international media channels, among them Russia Today and Sputnik (Russia), CGTN (China), Press TV (Iran), Syrian TV, El Mayaddin (Lebanon) and Telesur (Venezuela) and Turkish media. He has been a columnist to Turkish daily newspaper Aydınlık
 

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