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UPDATE: Blue Planet organizer Galvin to attend BRICS counter-summit

Durban-based Blue Planet Project organizer Mary Galvin will be organizing a session on water at a counter-summit that will challenge a BRICS summit in that city from March 26-27. BRICS is an economic grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

BDlive reports, “Nongovernmental organisations and members of civil society critical of developments between emerging economies will hold their own summits alongside this month’s long-awaited Brics summit in Durban, as they are not convinced membership of the economic grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will benefit the working class in South Africa or in other Brics nations. …Organisations including the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s (UKZN’s) School for Development Studies said at a debate in Johannesburg on Thursday night that they would hold their own events during the first Brics summit to be held in Africa.”

“The UKZN School of Development Studies’ Prof Patrick Bond said there was little chance of South Africa’s membership of Brics serving to meet South Africa’s goals for global governance reform. ‘Why should South Africa expect this reform when two of the Brics nations oppose a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council for South Africa? There is also a sense of resentment towards the Development Bank of Southern Africa because the Southern African Development Community doesn’t have any power over it and the region needs its own bank,’ Prof Bond said. He said the UKZN School of Development Studies would hold a ‘counter summit’ and an ‘occupy Brics’ protest. Prof Bond also criticised decisions South African leaders have made, apparently in light of bilateral relations with some Brics nations, including denying Nobel laureate the Dalai Lama a visa to visit South African Nobel recipient Desmond Tutu.”

“Cosatu communications manager Norman Mampane said Cosatu would hold its own ‘below the Brics’ summit in Durban. The chief director of the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), Rasigan Maharajh, said engagements between Brics nations at a platform such as the summit needed to include civil society and not be reserved for political leaders and business.”

More to come.