Issue 35 | 30 November 2012
 
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PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA CONGRATULATES PRESIDENT ERNEST BAI KOROMA OF THE REPUBLIC OF SIERRA LEONE

 

President Zuma assured President Koroma of the support and solidarity of South Africa as they continue with the task of rebuilding their nation after years of conflict.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
President Ernst Bai Koroma during his swearing-in.
 

President Jacob Zuma congratulated President Ernst Bai Koroma on his re-election and swearing-in, putting him at the helm of his country’s affairs. President Zuma also commended the people of Sierra Leone for the enthusiasm with which they turned out in their numbers to cast their votes.

President Zuma called on the people of Sierra Leone to maintain peace while they wait for the National Electoral Commission to finalise its work and announce the results of the legislative elections.

 
 

MINISTER MAITE NKOANA-MASHABANE HANDS OVER THE COP BATON

 

COP18 takes place as different continents have experienced extreme weather conditions. The general sense from delegates at the conference centre is for
urgent action in efforts to reduce earth-warming greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane during the handing over of the COP Presidency to President Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah of Qatar.

 
Outgoing President of COP17/CMP7 and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, addressed the COP18/CMP8 Conference during the Opening Session, at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha, on 26 November 2012.

The ceremony was attended by over 200 nations. Among the delegates in attendance were President Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah of Qatar and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Ms Christiana Figueres. Minister Nkoana-Mashabane handed over the COP Presidency to President Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah and addressed delegates by citing an African proverb highlighting the need for multilateral cooperation within the UNFCCC: “If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If you want to walk far, walk with others. ”These words were indicative of her journey as COP17/CMP7 President.

The Minister also launched her COP17/CMP7 Legacy project book – Thuto ya Batho: Teachings from our People. The aim of the project is to celebrate the resilience and adaptive capacity of women in developing countries and to create a focus on the need for and the existence of gender- differentiated climate change approaches – encouraging investment in this field. The publication draws on existing gender and adaptation case studies to demonstrate how the impact of women-led innovation and implementation is already being felt throughout the world, especially in Africa.
 
 
DEPUTY MINISTER EBRAHIM CO-CHAIRS THE FIFTH SOUTH AFRICA-CHINA STRATEGIC DIALOGUE MECHANISM MEETING
 
South Africa and the People’s Republic of China enjoy cordial relations which

are now at strategic partnership level.

The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Ebrahim Ebrahim, and the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, Mr Zhai Jun, co-chaired the fifth South Africa-China Strategic Dialogue Mechanism on 26 November 2012 in Pretoria.

The meeting took place within the context of the Strategic Dialogue Mechanism, which is an instrument at deputy ministerial level, through which the two countries consolidate and strengthen their relations as well as monitor the implementation of bilateral agreements.

South Africa and the People’s Republic of China enjoy cordial relations which are now at strategic partnership level. In this regard, frequent high-level visits take place, various agreements have been signed and the volume of trade has increased.

Among the issues discussed during the meeting were:
  • South Africa’s bilateral relations with China
  • strengthening cooperation on the African continent
  • reform of the global system of governance, and international and regional issues of common interest.

Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim and Vice Minister of Foreign
Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, Mr Zhai Jun.








 

SA LEADS AS HIV/AIDS TIDE TURNS

 

Exceptional leadership is coming from the world’s fastest-growing emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS); together, they contribute to more than half of all domestic spending on AIDS in low- and middle-income countries.

 
(From left to right) UNAIDS directors, Mr Bernhard Schwartländer, Mr Michel Sidibé and Ms Annemarie Hou.
 
According to a report released by the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), South Africa has scaled up its provision of state-sponsored antiretroviral therapy by 75% in the last two years, ensuring that 1,7 million people have access to the life-saving treatment.

The report also found that South Africa had taken the lead by increasing its domestic public investment in combating HIV and AIDS to US$1,9 billion in 2011 since 2006 – the highest investment by any low- or middle-income country.

Exceptional leadership is coming from the world’s fastest-growing emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS). Together, they contribute to more than half of all domestic spending on AIDS in low- and middle-income countries. Their momentum is unparalleled, having increased domestic public spending by more than 122% between 2006 and 2011.

In South Africa’s case, the increases in investment and treatment have contributed to a dramatic 41% cut in the country’s rate of new HIV infections since 2001 – falling by more than 50 000 in the last two years. The number of AIDS-related deaths also decreased, showing that antiretroviral therapy has emerged as a powerful force for saving lives, with South Africa seeing 100 000 fewer AIDS-related deaths in 2011 than in 2005.

According to UNAIDS, the latest data from countries in sub-Saharan Africa and around the world “tell a story of clear success”, with record numbers of lives being saved in the past six years, and more than half-a-million fewer people dying from AIDS-related illnesses in 2011. The national declines in HIV incidence in populations show that sustained investments and increased political leadership for the AIDS response are paying dividends. In particular, countries with a concurrent scale-up of HIV prevention and treatment programmes are seeing a drop in new HIV infections to record lows.
 
 
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