The "2022 BRICS Friendship Cities and Local Governments Cooperation Forum" has successfully been held in China on an on-site and digital platform. Leaders of the BRICS countries met at the forum to enhance friendly exchanges and pragmatic cooperation for BRICS countries to forge high-quality partnerships for a new era of global development and common growth.
The forum is being held on Tuesday afternoon by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, the China International Friendship Cities Association, the People's Government of Fujian Province, and the People's Government of Xiamen City.
Shen Yueyue, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, attended the opening ceremony of the 2022 BRICS Friendship Cities and Local Government Cooperation Forum and delivered the welcome remarks. Yuan Mindao, Vice President of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, presided over the forum.
Shen Yueyue said, "The leaders of the five BRICS countries held the 14th meeting in June this year and jointly issued the "Beijing Declaration", making strategic arrangements for the start of a new journey of BRICS cooperation. Local governments in BRICS countries have engaged in comprehensive cooperation in multiple fields, such as pandemic response, and have contributed to coping with risks and challenges. Friendship cities should stay committed to win-win cooperation, promote the sustainable, high-quality development of BRICS cooperation, and promote the common values of humanity."
H.E. Ivan Melnikov, first deputy chairman of the Russian State Duma and chairman of the Russian-Chinese Friendship Society,H.E. Zhao Long, governor of Fujian Province in China, H.E. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs of South Africa, HE Ambassador Lin Songtian, president of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, H.E. Siyabonga C. Cwele, ambassador of the Republic of South Africa in China, H.E. Siddharth Chatterjee, UN Resident Coordinator in China, H.E. Lidio Lopes, President of the National Union of Legislators and State Legislative (UNALE) in Brazil and many others distinguished guests delivered the speeches in the forum.
Ambassador Lin Songtian said, "The Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries is willing to continue to give full play to the important platform role of this forum, deepen friendly exchanges and mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields with local governments, especially sister cities, promote the unity and cooperation of the people of the BRICS countries, better serve the building of high-quality BRICS partners, and contribute to the promotion of the building of a community with a shared future for mankind."
Welcomed the forum as being conducive to expanding local government exchanges and consolidating people-to-people bonds among BRICS countries. Ivan Melnikov said at the forum that friendship cities should respect each other's independent choices and reject attempts to point fingers at others.
Representatives from BRICS countries also participated in the panel discussions on the topics of Friendship Cities Cooperation and Green Transition Development, and Open Innovation and Digital Development.
About 250 people, including representatives from 123 provincial and municipal governments of the BRICS five countries, eight friendly organisations, diplomatic envoys from relevant countries in China, and representatives attended the forum.
Over the past 16 years, the BRICS cooperation mechanism has become a model of inclusive and win-win cooperation in the world and an important platform for its members to promote mutually beneficial cooperation for common development. The BRICS countries have worked together to make BRICS cooperation a positive, stabilizing, and positive force in the world.