On 22-24 October 2020, Moscow hosted the 12th BRICS Academic Forum, organized by the Russian National Committee on BRICS Research within the framework of Russian BRICS Chairmanship.
An annual Meeting of the BRICS Think Tank Council (BTTC) was held on the sidelines of the Forum.
The BRICS Academic Forum is a major platform for interaction between experts representing academic communities from the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). The Forum aims to encourage academic exchange and to strengthen the dialogue between government and academia.
The event was attended by over 200 delegates from Russia, Brazil, India, China and South Africa, including leading researchers from the national coordination expert centres and research, educational institutions and public organisations. The discussions were also attended by representatives of the relevant ministries and line agencies, business and media.
A video address was sent to the Forum participants by Sergei Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, and Mikhail Fradkov, former Prime Minister of the Russian Federation (2004-2007) and Director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies. The opening remarks were delivered by Victoria Panova, Managing Director of the Russian National Committee on BRICS Research and Scientific Supervisor of the BRICS Russia Expert Council. The opening ceremony was attended by Ganbold Baasanjav, Head of the UNESCAP Subregional Office for East and North-East Asia.
“The brightest ideas for the further development of BRICS are being born at the Academic Forums. It was our scientists who proposed creating the New Development Bank and the BRICS Network University. This expert track is a visionary format that developed even before the first BRICS Summit was held,” Victoria Panova pointed out.
The Forum’s plenary meeting was opened by Vyacheslav Nikonov, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Education and Science and Board Chairman of the Russian National Committee on BRICS Research.
“Some structures continue working even amid crises. Our values make us stronger. We have the freedom of choice: we can choose our own development path, and we can respect our civilisations, our countries and their history. We should view our partners as they are rather than as we want them to be. Every BRICS country is sufficiently strong to exist independently in this world, but we are much stronger together,” Vyacheslav Nikonov noted.
The Forum’s agenda included the most pressing development issues of the group, including stability and security, economic growth, promotion of investment cooperation, digitalization, sustainable development, energy, infrastructure, food and environmental safety, education and healthcare.
“One of the key messages from the Forum participants is that the BRICS countries should promote a new paradigm of thinking and developing international relations as well as to ensure transition from ‘I think’ to ‘We think’,” Victoria Panova said.
On 23 October, Rossiya Segodnya hosted a news conference on the outcomes of the BRICS Academic Forum attended by Victoria Panova, Natalya Stapran, Director of the Russian Economic Development Ministry’s Department of Multilateral Economic Cooperation and Special Projects, and Mikhail Kalugin, Head of the BRICS Office, Foreign Policy Planning Department, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.