President Thabo Mbeki Postpones Visit to Congo-Brazzaville to Attend African Union Summit, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Thursday, 4 August 2005

Libreville - South African President Thabo Mbeki, accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, will attend the African Union's (AU's) Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government scheduled for Thursday, 4 August 2005 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

President Mbeki, earlier today arrived in Gabon on a two day state visit which will wind up on Wednesday 3 August 2005. The scheduled state visit to Congo-Brazzaville has now been postponed on account of the Extraordinary Summit of the AU.

The AU Heads of State and Government Summit has been convened to ratify recommendations of the AU -G-4 (India, Brazil, Japan and Germany) Ministers held in London recently on the question of the extension of the veto for new permanent members as well as an additional seat for Africa in the proposed reformed UN Security Council.

In this regard, Foreign Ministers of the AU and G-4 in London last week, agreed on the need for the veto be dropped from the AU resolution and the proposed fifth non-permanent African seat (the 26th non-permanent seat) be rotated among the three developing regions - Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Ratification by the AU Heads of State and Government will thus open the way for a jointly sponsored resolution by the AU and the G4 at the UN General Assembly. The implication is that Africa will now call for two permanent seats, one extra non-permanent seat whilst sharing an additional seat with other developing regions in the reformed UN Security Council.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853.
Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
2 August 2005


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