Cape Town, the host city of the two-day BRICS Media Forum, was on Wednesday described as a “place of great pain and a place of great freedom”.

This was according to Independent Media executive chairman and BRICS Media Forum co-chairman Dr Iqbal Survé when welcoming more than 180 delegates from around 120 media outlets across the BRICS countries and Africa on Wednesday. 

The two-day forum at the Westin Hotel was expected to be the biggest and coincided with Mandela Day. The forum took place outside of China for the first time, and also preceded the heads of state summit scheduled for July25-27.

“Because Mandela stood for the kind of world we want, Mandela symbolises all that is good in this world,” said Survé.

Survé said the year’s theme: BRICS Media Co-operation – Fostering an Inclusive, Just World Order, was one the forum had set for itself as the action plan for the five countries.

“We have the world watching our deliberations, our outcomes, our declaration and our action plans. Our BRICS Media Forum is not simply about media entities from the BRICS countries coming together and just exchanging ideas. It is about very practical ways to deepen the co-operation between our companies, our media companies and, of course, our countries,” he said.

The forum is co-chaired by Cai Mingzhao, the president of Chinese News Agency Xinhua News. During the forum, the five chairpersons of the BRICS countries discussed some pointers to be incorporated into the action plan, with which they will close the conference today.

Press photographers from the BRICS countries were tasked with presenting works that resonated with the BRICS Media Forum’s theme and that best reflect the spirit of Nelson Mandela, his life and works. Video: Louis Neethling

The forum was preceded with a photographic exhibition featuring contributions from news agencies from all five participating nations at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

Press photographers from the BRICS countries were tasked with presenting works that resonate with the forum’s theme and that best reflect the spirit of Mandela, his life and works.

Cai said the ninth BRICS summit in September last year was successfully held in Shaolin, China, ushering in the second golden period of BRICS co-operation.

“At the BRICS Media Forum held in July last year in Beijing, we had fruitful discussions on the topic of deepening BRICS media co-operation to promote fair and just international public opinion.

“Many concessions were reached, and after one year representatives of mass media from BRICS countries gathered here in Cape Town to promote and carry forward open, inclusive and co-operative talks to expand friendly co-operation among BRICS media, which will inject fresh impetus into BRICS co-operation.” he said.

Cape Times