Parliament, Wednesday 16 October 2019 - National Assembly Speaker and leader of the South African delegation to the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s (IPU) 141st Assembly, Ms Thandi Modise, today addressed the forum of speakers of BRICS countries in Belgrade-Serbia.

Speaker Modise says South Africa has pledged to ensure universal access to quality health care as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by 2025, through among others, the introduction of the Universal Health Insurance (NHI) system. She said with a heavy burden of disease the ideals of economic growth and development would be stifled, as health is the most important aspect of human life.

Individual speakers of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa outlined their country plans to strive for universal access to quality health by 2030, and levels of collaboration necessary to realise the noble goals and healthier and more productive nations. Speakers acknowledged that indigenous knowledge of health and practices are critical and should be part of the mainstream in efforts to fight the disease burden. Speaker Modise also appreciated the contributions of the Chinese and India traditional medicine and technological advancements in helping to build a healthy society in South Africa.

Speakers from BRICS Parliaments, met as a standard framework, on the sidelines of the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s 141 Assembly currently held in Belgrade – Serbia from 13 to 17 October 2019. The IPU’s 141st Assembly is expected to wrap up its business tomorrow with various statutory organs of the IPU presenting draft resolutions and decisions for endorsement by the general assembly plenary before the end of business on 17 October 2019. Since day one, 13 October 2019, statutory structures of the IPU met to thrash out critical matters affecting peoples of the world, and they included: The Forum of Women Parliamentarians, Forum of Young Parliamentarians, and Standing Committees responsible for Peace and International Security, Democracy and Human Rights, as well as Sustainable Development Finance and Trade.

(Attached for your convenience are audio clips of Speaker Modise: Download link - )

For media enquiries or requests for interviews with the Speaker and other delegates of South Africa to the IPU, please call or WhatsApp: Manelisi Wolela +381 66 560 5819 

Issued by the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa 
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