Deputy President Jacob Zuma arrives in Mauritius

South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma arrived today - Wednesday, 12 January 2005 - in Port Louis, Mauritius ahead of the United Nations High-level Segment of the International Meeting on the Comprehensive Review of the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) scheduled for Thursday - Friday, 13-14 January 2005.

Deputy President Zuma is accompanied by Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism, Joyce Mabudafhasi. On Friday, 14 January 2005, Deputy President Zuma will co-chair the round table discussion, "Capacity Building and Technology Transfer."

The plight of the SIDS has been highlighted by the effect of the Tsunami disaster on islands like the Maldives and this will form an important part of the agenda.

The Barbados Programme of Action (BPoA) remains the basic blueprint for the sustainable development of SIDS. The United Nations General Assembly, through the adoption of Resolutions A/RES/57/262, A/RES/58/213 and A/RES/58/213B, endorsed the World Summit on Sustainable Development's (WSSD's) call for a full and comprehensive review of the implementation of the BPoA and decided that an International Meeting for such a review be convened in Mauritius from 10 to 14 January 2005. As custodian of the WSSD, South Africa closely follows the plight of SIDS and the sustainable development of these states.

SIDS continue to face major challenges in their development efforts due to problems associated with the depletion of their non-renewable resources; limited natural resources, including fresh water; isolation from international economies and markets and rising sea levels as a result of climate change.

During the last preparatory meeting in New York, the Group of 77 and China presented new proposals on implementation that cover finance, science, monitoring and governance. These proposals will be comprehensively discussed in Mauritius.

Deputy President Jacob Zuma returns to South Africa on Saturday, 15 January 2005.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853
Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
12 January 2005


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