The Forum of Young Parliamentarians of the BRICS Countries has taken place in St Petersburg. St Petersburg University was chosen as an expert platform where legislators met with professors and students. They discussed the issues of safety and security in the digital environment and the development of education and business. They also exchanged opinions.
Russia is chairing the BRICS group in 2020. As a part of this commitment, Russia plans to organise a series of summits and meetings with politicians and diplomats of the participating countries throughout the year. The Forum of Young Parliamentarians of the BRICS countries was one of these events. It was organised with the support of the State Duma and the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation. The participants included young people under the age of 40 representing the parliaments of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
During the Forum, St Petersburg University hosted a meeting with professors and students of the University, where the participants discussed: the development of the digital economy; youth entrepreneurship development programmes; environmental problems; cooperation in the framework of BRICS Network University; and the development of academic exchanges. During the round table, students of political science and future specialists in international relations were able to ask questions and share their views with the parliamentarians. The round table in St Petersburg University was attended by: a member of the State Duma Committee on Transport and Construction, Dmitrii Ionin; and a member of the Chamber of Young Legislators under the Federation Council, Dmitrii Bubnov; senators of the Federal Senate of the Republic of Brazil; First Secretary of the Political Department of the South African Embassy in the Russian Federation, Sekome Collen Mohuba ; and other distinguished guests.
Prior to the event, the Forum participants had a chance to see the collections of the Mineralogical Museum, visit the Dmitri Mendeleev Museum Archive, and take a guided tour of the Twelve Collegia building.
In 2016, St Petersburg University joined the project ‘BRICS Network University’. The University also implements a unique master’s programme ‘BRICS Studies’. The council of the degree programme is headed by the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, Sergei Ryabkov.
The opening of the plenary session ‘Global Security and Breakthrough Development in the Digital Age: a View of Young Parliamentarians’ took place on the first day of the Forum, before the round table at St Petersburg University. The major discussion topics were: legislative incentives for the development of breakthrough information technologies and start-ups; social policy and the elimination of inequality in the times of the fourth industrial revolution; as well as the prevention of confrontation and a new arms race, including in space and in biotechnology. The agenda also included questions of the development and harmonisation of the BRICS common educational space. The University students who attended the meeting at the invitation of parliamentarians took part in the discussion as full participants.