GCIS IRPS Media Briefing by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Africa, Mr. Aziz Pahad, Pretoria 6 May 2005


· We have just emerged from celebrating ten years of democracy, a decade of freedom, for the South African people. This anniversary has enabled us to assess our progress both at home and in the international arena. While a great deal of work still needs to be done within South Africa in improving the quality of lives of our people, in bringing about economic growth and to meet the development needs of our continent, South Africa has made significant strides on the African continent and in world politics.
· The main pillars of our foreign policy thrust that we have identified and continue to work towards is the eradication of poverty and underdevelopment, the creation of peace and stability and the reform of global governance.
· Our quest for an end to racism and inequalities and the road we have embarked upon to a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa also determines our international quest for a more egalitarian world and an end to global inequalities that have divided the world into rich and poor and North and South. South Africa has established itself as an agent for people centred change in the world. Our vision is based on the premise, "A better South Africa, a better Africa and a better world."
· It is within this context that I would like to highlight some of our priorities within the three broad categories I have already identified.

A. Poverty Alleviation and Underdevelopment

In 2000, Nations of the world, realising that the majority of the people on our planet are poor and yet there exist in the same planet, enough resources to ensure that no child goes hungry, goes without access to health care, to education and to shelter amongst other things, they adopted the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

In September of this year, leaders of the world will gather once again at the United Nation's General Assembly, as they have over the past few decades, to debate the issues that confront the world and humanity and to make that evaluation.

By the time they gather in New York these world leaders would be informed of the outcomes of the review work done by significant sectors of the world's global intellectual class. I refer here to the various important panels that presented their work to the Secretary General in preparation for the forthcoming General Assembly. These panels brought together collectively hundreds of experts from various disciplines from the various regions of the world who produced thousands of pages of expert advise on the problems, challenges and solutions to the global issues of the day.

Included among these, is the Jeffrey Sachs report entitled: "Investing in Development, a practical plan to achieve the Millennium Development Goals", the Cardoso Report entitled: "We the peoples: civil society, the United Nations and global governance", the International Labour Organisation's report entitled: "A Fair Globalization: Creating Opportunities for All", the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Synthesis Report, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action Ten Year assessment report, the High-Level Panel Report entitled: "A more secure world: our shared responsibility", the Secretary General's Report that sought to bring all of the above together entitled: "In larger freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all," and the Common African Position on the proposed reform of the United Nations entitled: "The Ezulwini Consensus".

All of these reports speak eloquently and in volumes to the important global issues confronting humanity and as such it is only but incumbent upon our world leaders, and indeed on all of us, to be appraised of the analysis, findings, and recommendations of these important panels.

These reports tell us, what many of us know but what many of us may not want to know, allow me the opportunity to high-light just some of their findings:

· That we live in a globalised community and interdependent world in which globalization has set in motion far reaching change and challenges affecting everyone and in all spheres of life. In this sense, no country or people can claim to be islands onto themselves no matter how rich or powerful they may be.
· Increasingly as a result of rampant economic globalization the world has been cast into two contrasting villages, one in which the rich of the world are getting richer and more powerful and another in which the poor of the world are getting poorer and more marginalized. This ever-increasing gap between the have and the have-nots is occurring between and within countries and regions.

Out of the world population of six billion, almost halve have incomes of less than US$2 a day. In recent decades the poorest 5% of the world's population has lost more than a quarter of its purchasing power, while the richest increased its real income by 12%. The national per capita income of the twenty richest countries is 37 times larger that that of the twenty poorest, a gap which has doubled in size over the last forty years.

For Africa the debates once again brought into sharp focus the reality that Africa is a continent where poverty is on the increase. Over 40% of Sub-Saharan African people live below the international poverty line of US$1 a day. More than 140 million young Africans are illiterate. The mortality rate of children under 5 years of age is 140 per 1000, and life expectancy at birth is only 54 years. Only 58 per cent of the population have access to safe water. Africa's share of world trade has plummeted, accounting for less than 2%.
· FDI into Africa is negligible.
· In absolute terms, bilateral ODA flows to African economies have dropped in the last decade, from $25 billion to $16 billion [a 40% drop] and fell well short of the estimated $64 billion a year required to reach the Millennium Development Goals.
· According to a latest study of UNCTAD debt continues to impact decisively on our developmental efforts.

Finally, with regard to world trade and economic development, the Millennium Project Report (MPR) provides the UN Secretary-General with the mandate to develop concrete action plans for the international community to reverse poverty, hunger, disease and underdevelopment affecting many countries, especially the African continent.

Various programmes have been identified to enhance implementation of the MDG's at the regional, national and international level.

The global partnership between developing and developed countries should be enhanced in order to address these issues. Strategies focusing on poverty alleviation should be long term and therefore focused on sustainable development and economic growth. It would be critical to promote coherence in the international development policy, to promote reform of international institutions, to encourage debt relief and to promote access to markets.
It is critical that African countries engage the international community on supporting cross- border investments in developing countries. In keeping with the above, NEPAD is the key socio-economic and sustainable development tool of the African Union. The United Nations has therefore adopted NEPAD as the framework for the UN's engagement with Africa.

· World Trade Organisation Negotiations
South Africa supports the Doha Declaration in view of its development and poverty alleviation measures. We must continue to demand better market access for all African countries in order to improve exports as well as promote economic growth for African countries. We will continue to support promotion of trade as this will undoubtedly increase foreign direct investment and simultaneously increase employment opportunities, which will assist in extricating poor countries out of poverty. We must continue to support the promotion and development of agriculture and it is hoped that progress will be made on agricultural liberalisation during the Round. One of the groups lobbying extensively for the promotion of agricultural issues is the G 20 of which both South Africa is a member.

Economic Diplomacy

In co-operation with the Department of Trade and Industry and other ministries, economic diplomacy is a central pivot around which to anchor all our efforts to address underdevelopment and poverty.
In this regard, there are many new economic opportunities in Africa, the Middle East and Asia which should be investigated and exploited by the South African private sector.

It is in this context that all visits of the President, Deputy President, Ministers and Deputy Minister's are engineered to further expand and consolidate economic diplomacy initiatives.

South Africa is also in the process of opening new missions in Africa and elsewhere in order to create the conditions for bilateral political relations to be enhanced by strong economic relations between countries.


Africa's response to its underdevelopment is NEPAD. Therefore, a priority of our foreign policy is to ensure the implementation of NEPAD priority sectors - infrastructure, agriculture, environment, tourism, ICT, health, human resources, and science and technology - be facilitated.
The Environment Initiative identified programmatic areas for priority intervention, namely:

· Combating land degradation, drought and desertification
· Conserving Africa's Wetlands
· Preventing, Control and Management of Invasive Alien Species
· Conservation and sustainable use of marine, coastal and freshwater resources
· Cross-Border Conservation or Management of Natural Resources - Freshwater, Forest, Biodiversity, Biosafety and plant genetic resources
· Combating Climate Change in Africa
· Cross Cutting Areas - Health and Environment, Transfer of environmentally sound
· Technologies, Assessment and Early warning for natural disaster

Tourism: NEPAD identified tourism as an important sector to addressing the current development challenges facing the African continent. Tourism is located within NEPAD's market access initiative. A NEPAD Tourism Action Plan has been developed which provides a more detailed framework for action at the national and sub-regional levels. The action plan proposes concrete interventions in the following focus areas:

· The creation of an enabling policy and regulatory environment - The development and implementation of policy that would expedite Africa's development through tourism.
· Institutional building - The strengthening and development of institutions at country, regional and continental level aimed at promoting tourism.
· Tourism marketing - Developing political support of the role of tourism in Africa's development, marketing of destinations and products and developing community awareness of the role of tourism in economic development.
· Research and development - The undertaking of research in order to promote the role of tourism in Africa's development.
· Investment in tourism infrastructure and products - The creation of tourism infrastructure and products that would promote economic growth and development.
· Human resource development and quality assurance- Ensuring a high quality of service to tourists through skilled staff and quality assured products.
Some of the tourism initiatives SA is actively participating in include:
· Okavango Upper Zambezi International Tourism Spatial Development Initiative (OUZIT)
· Coast 2 Coast Spatial Development Initiative


· Sub-regional groupings remain the building blocs of NEPAD.
· In this regard, the restructuring of SADC is largely complete. However, we have to fast-track the integration process.

Another element of our economic diplomacy is the negotiation of Free Trade Agreements
The TDCA which was finalised in May 2004 aims to promote an open, equitable, rule-based and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system that will benefit all countries in the pursuit of sustainable development, co-ordination and co-operation towards the successful completion of the Doha Development Agenda negotiations.

· SACU India and China FTAs
SACU Ministers gave a mandate to SACU in June 2004 to negotiate FTAs with India and China. In November 2004, during a SACU Ministerial meeting, it was agreed to launch negotiations with India and China during the 2nd semester of 2005. The preparations being undertaken for India and China are similar to those undertaken for the current negotiations. Government has already started extensive consultations with Nedlac (business and labour) and also possible study tours to be undertaken to India and China. Work is in progress".

· SACU-EFTA (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland)
Negotiations between SACU and EFTA have been largely non-controversial. SACU has considered EFTA's proposal to negotiate new generation trade issues such as trade in services, intellectual property, investment, competition, and government procurement. The next session is scheduled for April 2005 in Geneva. A key outstanding issue, however, is how to address EFTA agricultural exports, which benefit from subsidies (export subsidies/refunds, and other trade distorting domestic support). A principled position is to exclude such products from the benefits of the FTA until such time as the subsidies are removed. This is a sensitive issue on both sides and will need to be managed carefully to conclude substantive negotiations at our next meeting.
EFTA has proposed that, assuming negotiations are concluded in April 2005, all Trade Ministers would meet at the next EFTA Summit in Leichtenstein in June 2005 to sign the concluded agreement. This would allow SA to initiate processes of national ratification in the second half of the 2005 with possible entering into force in early 2006.

Attempts to revive the talks have been ongoing and were taken forward when former USTR Ambassador, Robert Zoellick, visited the region in December 2004 to meet with SACU Trade Ministers.

South Africa hosted the 2nd IBSA Ministerial Trilateral Commission in Cape Town from 10-11 March 2005. The Ministerial segment focussed on political dialogue amongst the three countries. The Ministers' discussions also focussed on how IBSA programmes and projects could be strengthened and concretised. An additional highlight of the 2nd Trilateral Commission was the launch of the IBSA Business Council, which will pave a way for closer co-operation amongst the business enterprises of the three countries.
This Commission also saw the inclusion of two additional sectors in the IBSA sectoral working Groups. Ministers approved the Work Programme of the IBSA Working Groups and also issued the Cape Town Ministerial Communiqué.

The Asia-Africa Summit held in Indonesia from 18 - 24 April 2005 represents a critical step towards the implementation of a New Asian - African Strategic Partnership. The attendance by 85 Asian and African countries at the Conference is a demonstration of the political will and commitment to forge a new strategic partnership between the two continents. Among the documents produced during the Conference was the Declaration on the New Asian African Strategic Partnership (NAASP). The Asia Africa Strategic Partnership, will place emphasis on the promotion of trade and the development of infrastructure and transport sectors between African and Asian countries.

· G77 (South Summit)
The Second South Summit of the Group of 77 (G77) and China will take place in Doha, Qatar from 14 to 16 June 2005.

· Africa Commission
The report of the UK Commission for Africa was released on 11 March 2005. The report reiterates the key messages that NEPAD has been advocating in the past three years vis-a-vis substantial enhancement of resource inflows, debt cancellation, and fostering the realization of the Doha Agreement, particularly in creating greater market access to African countries.

· G-8 Summit
We enter a challenging period as Africa in particular and the South in general, as we engage the developed countries of the North on issues of development. South Africa, together with a number of others, will engage the G8 at Gleneagles in Scotland in July this year. As developing nations, we are striving for a more equitable, far and just international system. We should therefore use this meeting as a platform to develop views on finding for NEPAD, debt issues market access within the framework of the Doha agenda, and official development assistance.

· UN Summit on the Review of the Millennium Development Goals
In September 2005 leaders of the world will gather at the United Nations to once again discuss and review the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals as defined in 2000.

· 7th Progressive Governance Summit
South Africa will host the largest Summit of Socialist Democratic Leaders who represent progressive governance of the 21st century from 8-9 October 2005.
South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Germany, Hungary, India, Korea, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Uruguay are members of the Progressive Governance Forum.

· Consolidation of the African Agenda
Now we have seen the success of peace efforts on the Continent, the holding of successful elections in many parts and conscious efforts at upliftment and human resource development as part of post conflict reconstruction in order to build a new and a secure Africa that can sustain itself and a more caring world.
We have participated in the rapid changes in what some have called the incredible pace of change from the Organisation of African Unity to the African Union and its institutions. Africa is where it is today because its leaders have come up with a development programme, NEPAD, that has the potential to succeed and to further fast track the pace of progressive change.
We shall continue working towards strengthening the African Union and its Structures. In this regard, we are guided by the firm belief that a strong united Africa is both in the interests of the people of our continent as well as our own.
In July last year in Addis, the Heads of State and Government of the AU member states also reaffirmed their commitment to the principle of gender equity as enshrined in the Constitutive Act. This reaffirmation is important because there can be no sustainable development in Africa without the leadership and full participation of Africa's women.

1. Support the Pan-African Parliament
The third session of the Pan-African Parliament started on 29 March and ended on 11 April 2005. The main issue at this stage is the need to recruit suitable personnel for the parliament. In this regard, DFA and provincial legislatures have been approved to assist.
2. Establish AU Financial Institutions
The Financial Institutions that will be set up to provide funding for projects and programs are:
The African Central Bank, assigned to the Western Region of the AU
The African Monetary Fund, assigned to the Central Region of the AU, and
The African Investment Bank, assigned to the Northern Region of the AU
3. Engage the African Diaspora
The South Africa, African Union, Caribbean Diaspora Conference was held in Kingston, Jamaica from 16-18 March 2005. The theme of the Conference was "Towards Unity and United Action by Africans and the African Diaspora in the Caribbean for a Better World: The Case of South Africa". Over 250 delegates from Africa and the African Diaspora in the Caribbean participated in the Conference.

The Programme of Action adopted at the Conference is that:
· The AU and CARICOM should continue to develop a concrete mechanism for the institutionalisation of the relations between the two bodies
· The African and Caribbean governments should explore and develop concrete measures for promoting linkages between the two regions in the following priority areas: trade and investment; science and technology; education; culture; travel/transportation and youth exchanges
· African and Caribbean organs of civil society should explore and develop concrete measures for promoting linkages and collaboration between the two regions
· Africa and the Caribbean, through their regional organisations, should explore ways of harmonising international diplomacy in particular by utilising the forthcoming UN Millennium Review Summit and the World Trade Organisation Doha Development Round, to advance the agenda set out in this Declaration

1. Mobilise support for the rationalisation of Regional Economic Communities
The rationalisation/synchronisation of REC's with the five AU geo-strategic regions is a critical issue. The Protocol on Relations between the AU and REC's needs to be finalised and presented to the next Summit in July 2005.
A. Peace, Security, Stability And Post-Conflict Reconstruction In Africa
We are acutely conscious that there can be no people-centred sustainable development if there is no peace and stability in Africa. This is why we have prioritised conflict resolution.

· Democratic Republic of Congo
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the transitional government is making commendable progress with the implementation of the Global and All-Inclusive Agreement. The DRC has entered a critical phase in the transitional process, namely the phase of preparing for elections and finalising the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) process.

In so far as elections are concerned it is crucial that outstanding legislation be passed expeditiously and the necessary funds be availed for conducting the elections. At the moment plans are afoot for voter identification and registration.

Concerning the DDR process thousands of combatants voluntarily laid down their arms at the end of March 2005, and a sizeable number of these were able to make use of reintegration programmes and jobs promised to them. More still needs to be done in this area to ensure that all combatants are disarmed and reintegrated into Congolese society.

The announcement by the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR), on 31 March 2005, that they would unconditionally abandon the armed struggle and return to Rwanda, has boosted prospects for security in the Eastern part of the DRC and broadly in the Great Lakes Region. This development will without doubt contribute towards the easing of tensions between the DRC and Rwanda.

Furthermore, pursuant to South Africa's commitment to assist the DRC to advance to elections in the second half of 2005 and with post conflict reconstruction and development, key departments namely, DHA, DPSA, DPLG, DFA, DOD, SAPS and the IEC are engaging their DRC counterparts on a series of issues, including governance and administration. These departments deployed personnel in the DRC following the conclusion of a needs analysis for the holding of successful elections in the DRC.

South African Troop Deployment as at Friday, 6 May 2005:
· 1338 Troops supporting the UN Mission in the DRC
· 28 SANDF Members supporting DRC government with regard to the integration of the armed forces


The referendum in Burundi took place on 28 February 2005.
The CENI (Independent Electoral Commission) has not yet announced the final election timetable as the Electoral Code and the Communal Law still needs to be approved by the Senate (despite its approval by the National Assembly on 11 March 2005).
It is our hope that the Senate will approve the Electoral Code and Communal Law to enable CENI to announce the election timetable. South Africa will participate in monitoring the parliamentary elections by sending an observer mission.

South African Troop Deployment as at Friday, 6 May 2005:
· 924 as part of the UN Mission
· 378 offering VIP Protection under the auspices of the UN

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement which ended Africa's longest running civil war was signed in January this year.
The situation in Darfur remains a cause for concern. However, it is expected that talks to resolve this situation will be restarted under the leadership of Nigeria soon.

Role of South Africa

South Africa is the current Chairperson of the AU Post Conflict and Reconstruction Committee (PCRC) on Sudan.

The UN Security Council on 24 March 2004 unanimously adopted Resolution 1590(2005) on the creation of a peacekeeping operation in South Sudan. The resolution establishes a UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) for an initial period of six months. UNMIS would consist of 10 000 military personnel and 715 civilian police personnel. The primary purpose of UNMIS would be to support the implementation of the CPA. The mandate of UNMIS includes monitoring and verifying the cease-fire agreement, assisting with the establishment of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration programmes and promoting national reconciliation and human rights.

The UN would not be deploying troops to the province of Darfur. Resolution 1590(2005) requires that UNMIS should liaise and co-ordinate its activities with the AU Missions in Sudan (AMIS) deployed in Darfur. The resolution requires that the Secretary-General report to the Security Council within 30 days on ways in which UNMIS could reinforce the peace effort in Darfur through appropriate assistance to AMIS, including logistical support and technical assistance.

Capacity Building

The Department of Foreign Affairs, together with the University of South Africa (UNISA) co-hosted a training programme for the SPLM cadres in Pretoria from Tuesday, 29 March to Sunday, 10 April 2005. This is the second phase of the project, the first of which was launched in New Site, Kapoeta County from Saturday, 5 to Friday, 11 February 2005.

South African Troop Deployment as at Friday, 6 May 2005:

· 294 as part of the UN Mission
· 18 Police personnel as part of co-operation programme

Cote d' Ivoire

President Mbeki was requested by the Chairperson of the African Union and ECOWAS in November 2004 to assist the people of the Ivory Coast find a political solution to their ongoing challenges.

In pursuance of this mandate, President Mbeki has held numerous discussions with leaders of various political formations in the Ivory Coast in South Africa and the Ivory Coast within the framework of the Linas-Marcoussis and the Accra III Agreements.

· On 9 November, President Mbeki met with President Laurent Gbagbo in Abidjan;
· On 13-14 November, President Mbeki met with Alassane Outtara of the RDR and his delegation in Pretoria;
· On 13-14 November, President Mbeki met with the Secretary-General of the PDCI-RDA, Dr Alphonso Djedje with his delegation in Pretoria;
· This was followed by a joint meeting with the delegations of the RDR and the PDCI-RDA;
· On 19 and 20 November, President Mbeki met with Prime Minister Seydou Diarra and his delegation in Pretoria;
· On 19 and 20 November, President Mbeki met with the Secretary-General of the Forces Nouvelles, Guillaume Soro and this delegation in Pretoria;
· On 27 and 28 November, President Mbeki met with a delegation of the Parliamentary Section of the FPI, led by Simone Gbagbo; and
· President Mbeki then led a delegation of representatives from the AU Commission and AU Headquarters, the UN Secretary-General, ECOWAS, the Presidency of the EU from the Netherlands, the World Bank and IMF from 2-6 December 2005.
· Based on these various consultations, a Programme of Action/Roadmap was formulated and presented to the Ivorian leadership.
On 25 March we addressed the UNSC, where I highlighted the conclusions of the AU Mediation Team based on these various consultations with all roleplayers:

1. That, as mandated, it should seek a solution of the Ivorian crisis within the framework of the Linas Marcoussis and the Accra II and III Agreements;
2. That it should work out a Road Map with specific time frames, indicating a variety of steps that would have to be taken to put the Ivorian peace process back on course; and,
3. That all the Ivorian parties should agree to these propositions, and thus commit themselves to a peaceful and negotiated resolution of the Ivorian crisis.

In addition, I stressed that both the AU and the UN have an obligation to pursue the solution of the Ivorian crisis with sober minds, and resist the temptation to arrive at short-term solutions that disguise the real problems, and therefore create the basis for a more intractable crisis in future. In this regard, the AU Mediation team remains preoccupied with all these considerations, and works on the basis of the inter-connection between the short and long term interests of the Ivorian people. We also urged the UN and all those interested in the future of Cote d'lvoire, to not allow for an unbalanced approach among the short, medium and long term interests of the Ivorian people.

Following this address, President Mbeki hosted the key leaders of the Côte d'Ivoire (including President Gbagbo, Prime Minister Diarra, and opposition leaders Mr Ouattara (RDR), Mr Konan Bedie (PDCI) and Mr Soro (FN). These talks commenced on Sunday 3 April 2005 and were still continuing on 5 April. This was the first time all of these leaders had been around the same table since the signing of the Accra III accord in mid-2004. Of particular importance is the culmination of these talks in the signing of the Pretoria Agreement by all parties on 6 April 2005.

I again briefed the Security Council on 26 April 2005. On this occasion I reported on the report on the Pretoria meeting and the progress in the Ivory Coast since.

President Mbeki was asked to make a determination regarding Article 35.

In this regard, President Laurent Gbagbo last week made the historic announcement that Article 35 would be amended and in so doing, allow Alassane Outtara to stand for elections.

Other developments since the Pretoria Agreement:

DDR Process

As agreed in the Pretoria Agreement the Chiefs of Staff of FANCI and FAFN met on April 14th and have had several meetings since.

Heavy weapons have been withdrawn from the frontline and it was agreed that 1st May would be the commencement of the DDR Process.
FANC and FAFN with delegations of top military personnel were invited to South Africa to share our experiences regarding integration of the army.

Close Protectors Training
South Africa will be training 120 close protectors

Disarming of the militias
This process has started
We are confident that elections will be held by 31st October 2005.

Zimbabwe held her 6th Parliamentary election on 31 March 2005.
The elections were observed by the AU, SADC, and SA National Observer Teams, among other international, regional and African country observer teams. According to the AU, SADC, and SA National Observer Teams, the general electoral environment was peaceful, political rallies were well attended and violence free in the days building up to the elections.
On the whole, statements released by the AU, SADC and SA National Observer Teams concur that the Zimbabwean Parliamentary elections of 31 March 2005 were a credible expression of the will of the people.
Zimbabweans must resolve political differences to enable them to deal with the economic situation in their country.


Minister Dlamini Zuma is currently, in her capacity as chairperson of the AU Ministerial Committee on the Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development of the Comoros, leading a delegation of Foreign Ministers of Madagascar, Mozambique and Mauritius to the Comores.

In this regard the Committee will have discussions on the national reconciliation process with the political leaders of the Comoros, representatives of diplomatic missions and international organisations that are based in the Comoros.

The Committee will also assess the economic and the socio-political situation in the Comoros and examine in consultation with the Comorian authorities the conditions for the holding of a Donor's Round Table for the Comoros in Mauritius, later this year.

Other areas of post-conflict:
· Togo
· Swaziland
· Eritrea-Ethiopia
· Central African Republic
· Sao Tome and Principe

· Equatorial Guinea
· Liberia

In our endevours to support these peace processes and post-conflict reconstruction initiatives, South Africa will support and actively participate in the following structures of the African Union:

· Support the AU Peace and Security Council

The importance of the Peace and Security Council.
Concretisation of all elements, interalia
· the Standby Force
· Early Warning System
· Common Defence and Security Policy
The Peace and Security Council currently consists of: South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Mozambique, Cameroon, Congo, Kenya, Sudan, Libya, Ghana, Senegal and Togo.
1. Operationalise the Early Warning System
South Africa remains the leading country in SADC with regard to the establishment of a Regional Early Warning Centre. NICOC leads at a national and regional level. This will be followed by the construction of a Regional Early Warning Centre in Gaborone, Botswana.
2. Establish the African Standby Force
The AU released a report on 22 March 2005, which states that a 15 000 member peacekeeping force will be in place to deal with major crises by 2006. The report also stated that a more "robust" reaction force, which could be ready for deployment within 14 days, will be in place by 2010.
The AU is expected to present the report to the G8 by April 2005 and it is expected that funding will be requested from the AU for the African Standby Force (ASF).
3. Finalise the Common African Defence and Security Policy
The AU adopted the Non-Aggression and Common Defence Pact during its 4th Summit, which was held in Abuja, Nigeria at the end of January 2005. South Africa has yet to sign and ratify the Pact.


United Nations Reform
Needless to say, as an African country we have worked with other countries on the Continent, to shape and determine the Common African Position with regard to the United Nations reform as a whole. Consequently as an African country we shall pursue Africa's goal to be fully represented in all decision-making organs of the UN, particularly in the Security Council, which is the principal decision-making organ of the UN in matters relating to international peace and security. Consistent with the Ezulwini Consensus, we shall engage with global community to ensure that Africa has:

Not less than two permanent seats with all the prerogatives and privileges of permanent membership including the right of veto;
Five non-permanent seats;
Even though Africa is opposed in principle to the veto, it is of the view that so long as it exists, and as a matter of common justice, it should be made available to all permanent members of the Security Council;
That the African Union should be responsible for the selection of Africa's representatives in the Security Council.
The Ezulwini Consensus encompassed everything in the report, not only the reform of the Security Council.

We welcome the Secretary-General's Report and we are supportive of many, if not all on a qualified basis, of the recommendations and proposals he has made. We are confident that the Common African Position, especially the position I have just spoken to, can and must be accommodated within the ongoing debate and negotiations occurring at the United Nations.

We endorse the Secretary General's assertion that "we will not enjoy development without security, we will not enjoy security without development, and we will not enjoy either without respect for human rights", and commend him for shaping a common understanding on the need for the world to develop a vision of collective security based on a shared assessment of the current global threats and obligations needed in addressing these threats.

As a country committed to economic and social justice, we are firm in the view that the current path of globalization must change, that the benefits of globalization can be expanded and that the means and resources needed to create a better world for all are at hand. Consequently, we shall continue to actively engage with the community of nations, particularly with the fellow developing countries of the South to face the many challenges in realizing our collective hope to create a better life for all of our peoples.

We shall continue to ensure that greater effort is given by all, especially by the developed countries of the North, to attain the objectives, goals and programmes agreed to at the Millennium Summit. The attainment of the MDGs, the implementation of the programmes that emerged out of the World conference against Racism Xenophobia and Related Intolerances, the World Food Summit, the Financing for Development conference and the World Summit for Sustainable Development are all central to the challenge of the development of the countries of the South.

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

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