Johannesburg: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa Wednesday lauded India for the successful moon landing of Chandrayaan-3, saying it is something to rejoice about for all BRICS partners.
The Chandrayaan mission remained the focal point of Ramaphosa’s welcoming remarks as he hosted a cultural performance and state banquet in Midrand on Wednesday evening BRICS nation leaders.
Also present at the occasion were a host of other leaders from across Africa and Global South who have been invited to participate in the all-day BRICS-Africa Outreach and BRICS Plus Dialogue on Thursday.
Ramaphosa quoted Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, “We are in a palace which has no end, but which we have reached. By exploring it and extending our relationship with it, we are ever making it more and more our own.” “This and many other achievements enable us to move forward to prosperity, to progress and to peace,” he said.
At the banquet, Ramaphosa said,”Tonight is a night when we have even more reason to celebrate as BRICS partners. A few hours ago this afternoon, India made history as the first country to successfully land a lunar module on the south pole of the Moon.” “We congratulate Prime Minister Modi, the government and people of India and the Indian Space Research Organisation on the success of the Chandrayaan-3 mission,” he added.
Ramaphosa said that pushing forward the frontiers of scientific endeavour was integral to human progress.
“In anticipation of this great achievement, Prime Minister Modi proposed at our BRICS Summit this afternoon that BRICS should set up a Space Exploration Commission where, as BRICS countries, we can share knowledge and experiences. The more we learn about this world we live in and beyond, the greater our capacity to improve it and to elevate the human condition,” the President said.
He said the BRICS group of countries incorporates the peoples, cultures and traditions of more than three billion people. “We are united by our common vision and common goals,” Ramaphosa said.
“Our diversity is our greatest strength, and tonight you will get to experience the rich tapestry of cultures, traditions and food of South Africa,” the president said as he explained that the cuisine on offer was prepared by head chef Wandile Mabaso, a world class chef who pairs classical French techniques with the flavours of South Africa.
“He is joined by Xolani Mancotywa, a qualified beverage steward and chef who has reimagined traditional African cuisine and authentic African fine dining. Your culinary journey of South Africa follows a cultural journey across our nation’s diverse cultures,” he said.
Ramaphosa likened South Africa’s interweaving of many different cultures, traditions and languages as the foundation of an inclusive nation to be reflective of the nature and purpose of BRICS, which, he said, values partnership and cooperation in a spirit of openness and solidarity.
Ramaphosa concluded with his expectation of the dialogue to follow.
“As BRICS and all of Your Excellencies who have joined us tonight from many countries – we will all tomorrow articulate how we will foster change in the world for the benefit of all the peoples of the world,” he said.