19 May 2022 | Story Dr Nitha Ramnath | Photo Flickr (Creative Commons)
Prof Anil Sooklal
Prof Anil Sooklal, Ambassador-at-Large: Asia and BRICS in the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

The Role of BRICS in Shaping the Emerging International Order

The University of the Free State (UFS) is pleased to invite you to a guest lecture titled: The Role of BRICS in Shaping the Emerging International Order, presented by Prof Anil Sooklal, Ambassador-at-Large for Asia and BRICS, Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Republic of South Africa. The guest lecture will be followed by a panel discussion, facilitated by Prof Francis Petersen, the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, with panel members comprising Prof Philippe Burger, Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, UFS; Prof Hussein Solomon, Senior Professor, Political Studies and Governance, UFS; and Ms Mosibudi Motimele, Lecturer, Political Studies and Governance, UFS.

Date: Wednesday, 1 June 2022
Time: 14:00-15:00
Venue: Centenary Complex, Bloemfontein Campus

Register for this event at https://events.ufs.ac.za/event/1552/registrations/1500/ before 30 May 2022

For more information about the event, contact Bonolo Makhalemele at MakhalemeleBL@ufs.ac.za or +27 51 401 2938.

Abstract: The current rules, based on international order and its structures, favour the Global North, its political and economic interests, as well as its values. BRICS, a partnership forum between Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, was established as a forum of like-minded, progressive emerging markets and developing countries committed to the need to restructure the global political, economic, and financial architecture to be more equitable, balanced, and representative. Over the past 15 years, the cooperation within BRICS has grown substantially across all three pillars of cooperation, namely political and security, financial and economic, and social/people-to-people cooperation. This cooperation has shown the depth of mutual interests and common values across the diverse membership of BRICS. However, there is significant pushback against an increased voice and representation for developing countries in norm-setting bodies and institutions such as the United Nations Security Council, the World Bank Group, and the World Trade Organisation. The response by the Global North to the situation in Ukraine demonstrates how the structures of the international system of global governance can be manipulated by the Global North despite the disproportionate economic and social impact on the countries and people of the Global South. The response by the Global North further highlights how conflicts and interests of the Global North are treated with an urgency and with resources that are not available to similar longstanding conflicts in the Global South. This lecture will examine the role that BRICS has played in shaping the current international order, critically examine the challenges and obstacles to BRICS’ ambitions for global economic and political governance reform, as well as discuss opportunities for BRICS to reshape the emerging international order, given broad developing country concerns about the abuse of the system by the Global North.

Bio of speaker:
Prof Anil Sooklal

Ambassador Anil Sooklal is the Ambassador-at-Large: Asia and BRICS in the Department of International Relations and Cooperation. He is also South Africa’s BRICS Sherpa, IBSA (India-Brazil-South Africa) Sherpa, and Focal Point for IORA (Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation. He is the holder of two doctorates from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. 

Ambassador Sooklal served as Deputy Director-General responsible for Asia and the Middle East in the Department of International Relations and Cooperation until 31 January 2022. He was also South Africa’s G20 Sherpa and FOCAC (Forum for China-Africa Cooperation) representative. 
He also served as South Africa’s Ambassador to the European Union, Belgium, and Luxembourg, from 2006 to 2012, and also at our missions in Geneva and New Delhi. 

Before joining government in 1995, he followed an academic career at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the University of South Africa (UNISA). Ambassador Sooklal has published more than 20 articles in both local and international journals. 
Ambassador Sooklal is the recipient of several fellowships and awards, including: 

• Internship in Human Rights, United Nations Centre for Human Rights, Geneva (Jul-Sep 1994) 
• Adjunct Professor of Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, China (since 2016) 
• Senior Adjunct Fellow: Research and Information Systems for Developing Countries (RIS), New Delhi (2018) 
• Member of Board: South-South Cooperation Council for Sustainable Development (Nov 2018) 
• Conferred the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award by the Government of India (Jan 2019) 
• Member of the Editorial Board: Journal of Indian Ocean Rim Studies 

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