Issue 38 | 18 January 2013
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South Africa took over the hosting of the tournament from Libya, which withdrew following the political turmoil during the Arab Spring.
South Africa was ready to host a successful 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), the Local Organising Committee (LOC) assured the continent on 11 January. The LOC said it had put in place plans that would ensure that every team and visitor to South Africa would be provided with an environment to enjoy the tournament and compete equally.
South Africa took over the hosting of the tournament from Libya, which withdrew following the political turmoil during the Arab Spring. Having hosted a spectacular 2010 FIFA World Cup, with the highest standard sporting facilities and infrastructure, South Africa was the logical choice to take over from Libya at such short notice.

The tournament will be played in five cities – Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Nelspruit and Rustenburg. All of them have upgraded or newly built stadiums.

Africa's showpiece soccer event kicks off on 19 January. The opening match will be played between Bafana Bafana and Cape Verde at FNB Stadium (which will be known as the National Stadium for the duration of Afcon) in Johannesburg.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) continues to serve as the primary vehicle for South Africa’s foreign policy to achieve regional development and integration within southern Africa.
President Jacob Zuma led the South African Government delegation to the SADC Extra-Ordinary Troika Summit in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on 10 January 2013. The summit considered reports on the recent developments in Madagascar, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe.

Tanzania is the current Chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation (SADC Organ), while South Africa and Namibia complete the Troika of the Organ. The Republic of Mozambique is participating in its capacity as Chair of SADC.

The Organ Troika Summit plus Mozambique provided an opportunity for the heads of state and government to be informed of the latest developments in relation to the implementation of the decisions of the last Extra-Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government, held from 7 to 8 December 2012 in Dar es Salaam.
The South African Government called on the Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to expedite the matter and to finalise it as quickly as possible.
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Marius Fransman, met with the family of Professor Cyril Karabus on 10 January 2013 in Cape Town. Professor Karabus, a South African citizen, who is an emeritus professor at the University of Cape Town and a specialist paediatric oncologist, has been in detention in Abu Dhabi in the UAE since 19 August 2012 in connection with a case dating back to 2002/03. He is currently out on bail.

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, has written a letter to her UAE counterpart, requesting that the UAE authorities deal with the case in an expeditious and fair manner as it is placing strain on the existing good relations between South Africa and the UAE in the field of medical cooperation.

During his meeting with the family of Professor Karabus, Deputy Minister Fransman briefed the family on the South African Government’s efforts to assist Professor Karabus. The Deputy Minister conveyed to the family that the South African Government was taking all the necessary steps to ensure that Professor Karabus receives a fair and just trial and that such efforts are taking place at a high level.
“Looking back, South Africa’s participation in the over 800 meetings held by the council during our tenure, we can boldly state that South Africa has made a positive and significant contribution to the international community’s efforts to prevent and resolve conflicts the world over.” – Ambassador Baso Sangqu
South Africa concluded its second term as an elected member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on 31 December 2012. The country’s leadership role and significant contribution to the work of the council on African issues, particularly on Sudan/South Sudan, Sudan (Darfur), Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Libya and its principled position on the Middle East and Western Sahara are well recognised. 

In addition, South Africa championed a landmark Security Council decision on strengthening the strategic cooperation between the UNSC and the African Union Peace and Security Council in Resolution 2033, building on the South African-sponsored Resolution 1809 of 2008. South Africa also promoted its positions with regard to the rule of law at national and international levels, post-conflict reconstruction and development, peace and justice, the role of women in peace and security (Resolution 1325) and the plight of women and children in armed conflict situations.
Other notable achievements during South Africa’s tenure include chairing the Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa and the 1540 Committee, whose mandate is to prevent non-state actors from gaining access to weapons of mass destruction. The country also co-led Security Council missions to Africa and led the conclusion of the peace mission in Timor-Leste, therefore consolidating the cause for self-determination of the Timorese people.
In preparation for the upcoming fifth BRICS Summit in Durban (26 to 27 March 2013), the Department of International Relations and Cooperation hosted a one-day, interactive BRICS Summit media workshop on 15 January 2013 in Pretoria. The workshop updated media representatives on the status of preparations for South Africa’s hosting of the summit.
BRICS is an acronym for the grouping of the world’s leading emerging market economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The BRICS mechanism aims to promote development cooperation, security and peace and establish a more equitable world.
The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award is presented each year on 9 January by the Government of India to individuals of Indian origin, living outside of India, who is of exceptional merit in their field, and who has contributed to the growth and prestige of India.
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Ebrahim Ebrahim, undertook a visit to Kochi, in the State of Kerala, India, where he received the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award on 9 January 2013.

The award was conferred by the President of India, His Excellency Sri Pranab Mukherjee, at the valedictory session of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Non-resident Indian Day) is celebrated in India on 9 January every year to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community in the development of India. The day was chosen to commemorate the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to India in 1915.
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