Joint Communiqué on the 4th Session of the South African-Swedish
The fourth session of the South African - Swedish
Binational Commission took place in Pretoria, South Africa, on 29 and 30 November
2005. The Binational Commission was co-chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister of
Sweden, Mr Bosse Ringholm, and the Deputy President of South Africa, Ms Phumzile
Bilateral talks were held between Deputy President Mlambo
Ngcuka and Deputy Prime Minister Ringholm in which they discussed the domestic
political situation in each country, regional developments, gender issues, HIV/AIDS,
trade and investment relations, the reform of the United Nations and the WTO.
The Binational Commission consists of three committees dealing with Political
Affairs, Economic Affairs and Social and Development Cooperation Affairs. Each
committee met separately and discussed a range of issues of mutual interest and
laid out the direction for Swedish - South African relations for the next few
Political Affairs Committee
It was agreed that the Policy
Analysis Unit of the Swedish Foreign Ministry and the Research and Analysis Unit
of the South Africa Department of Foreign Affairs would cooperate more closely
together. An invitation to hold formal discussions on this cooperation in Sweden
in 2006 was accepted by South Africa.
It was agreed that the Peace and Security
Working Group (PSWG), which was established during the 2003 BNC, had been very
useful in encouraging cooperation on a strategic level. It was therefore decided
to continue with the PSWG and that it would meet in South Africa in 2006 to follow-up
on the implementation of the decisions taken during the 2004 and 2005 meetings.
were given on the Defence Memorandum of Understanding Committee meetings of 2004
and 2005. Various issues were discussed and feedback was given on the work of
the MoU Committee's Working Groups. The next meeting would take place in South
Africa in 2007, and the Committee would work closely with the PSWG.
were given and discussions were held on the African Union, NEPAD, SADC, the EU
- Africa Dialogue, the EU - SADC Dialogue and the upcoming Nordic - Africa Foreign
Ministers Informal Consultations. It was agreed that Sweden and South Africa would
continue to interact on these issues and cooperate where possible.
in the Great Lakes Region, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Liberia, Somalia,
Sudan, Uganda, Zimbabwe and other countries in Africa were discussed. Briefings
were given on South African and Swedish views, engagements and activities with
these countries. It was agreed that South Africa and Sweden would continue to
share information on developments on a regular basis, both through the PSWG and
ad hoc discussions, and to work together where possible to assist in the resolution
of conflicts, provide assistance for humanitarian crises, and with post-conflict
reconstruction and development. Experience of trilateral cooperation in this regard
was viewed positively and continued cooperation would be investigated further.
discussion took place on the effects of the enlargement of the EU and the prospect
of future enlargement. Migration was discussed, both the measures being taken
in the United Nations as well as EU migration policy.
were held on multilateral issues, particularly following the September 2005 UN
Summit. The Leaders Network in support of UN Reform, the Peacebuilding Commission
and the Human Rights Council were all discussed. The active participation by both
Sweden and South Africa was emphasised and it was agreed to cooperate even more
intensively to urgently implement the decisions from the Summit. A briefing was
also given on humanitarian assistance and it was agreed that Sweden and South
Africa would explore possibilities of further cooperation.
held on the situation in the Middle East and Levant and note taken of both positive
developments and ongoing conflict situations.
Economic Affairs Committee
delegations agreed that joint efforts should be undertaken to improve the understanding
of the magnitude of the bilateral trade relationship, given the statistical difficulties
The Committee also agreed to launch cooperation on growth and
distribution. South Africa indicated its keenness to share with Sweden, as a strategic
partner, its Accelerated and Shared Growth Strategy paper in order to exchange
experiences. Sweden undertook to explore appropriate avenues for cooperation,
including through the possible involvement of the Swedish Institute for Growth
Policy Studies (ITPS). A joint approach to co-operation should be developed and
the Swedish Embassy and DTI should take stock of progress made no later than 31
Sweden and South Africa agreed to continue their valuable
dialogue as appropriate in the margins of the WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong
The Committee agreed to explore possible further tripartite cooperation
in the form of trade related technical assistance and capacity building within
the context of the ongoing WTO and EPA negotiations on the basis of concrete South
African proposals. Cooperation on technical barriers to trade and sanitary and
phyto-sanitary measures was identified as being of particular interest. A final
report on the Tralac project will be presented in May 2006.
agreed to extend an open mandate for constructive co-operation on trade and investment
promotion to the parties involved and looked forward to regular progress reports.
Committee agreed to further explore the possibilities for deeper co-operation
between OTGS, DTI and other relevant promotion partners.
welcomed the South African proposal that a Swedish awareness event of an appropriate
form be organized next year to promote understanding of the Swedish market to
South African companies and vice versa. South Africa will present a proposal no
later than 31 January 2006.
The Committee noted the positive developments
on the South African Gripen programme and agreed to continue to monitor progress
It was agreed that Trade and Investment South Africa (TISA) should
work closely with the Embassy of Sweden /Swedish Trade Council to build on the
results of the recent trip undertaken by South Africa to Sweden
agreed that the parties should explore the content of further and deepened co-operation
in CSR, including through an additional meeting between experts, on the basis
of a concrete Swedish proposal. South Africa welcomed the invitation by the Swedish
Trade Minister to his South African counterpart to participate in a so-called
side event on CSR at the margins of the WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong.
Africa offered to present a concrete labour market forum proposal as a basis for
further action by the end of this year. Sweden expressed its willingness to organize
a working visit to Sweden to jointly take this work further. A possible event
with the participation of relevant decision-makers in South Africa was also considered.
It was agreed that a plan of action for bilateral cooperation in this area should
be finalized by 1July 2006.
As a follow up to the meeting in Stockholm in
September 2005 between Minister Mpahlwa and Minister Ostros, the delegations agreed
to intensify the preparations for an exchange of staff between the dti and the
Swedish Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Social and Development Cooperation
Both delegations expressed appreciation for the progress
made since the 2003 BNC.
Discussions were held on the Global Development
debate. There was mutual approach to a commitment to the Paris Declaration, UN
and WTO reform, the MDGs. Great emphasis was placed on the importance of working
closely to further South Africa and Sweden's joint vision. It was noted that South
Africa and Sweden work closely together at the multilateral level, i.e. with regard
to the World Bank and within the UN system. The need for reform of these institutions
Ownership of the development process by South Africa was
highlighted. The delegations agreed that there must be a recipient led partnership-in-development,
meaning ownership of the developing countries which demand and entail shared responsibility,
transparency and accountability.
A briefing was given on tripartite cooperation
and the African Renaissance Fund. The Committee agreed that the existing bilateral
relationship between South Africa and Sweden is the foundation for the future
tripartite cooperation in Africa. Tripartite cooperation should be further explored
and strengthened. The Parties will jointly establish mechanisms and strategies
to further tripartite cooperation
It was noted that a Country Strategic
Framework (CSP) of cooperation ending in December 2008 regulates the current development
aid relationship between South Africa and Sweden. It was noted that the CSP reflects
South Africa's development priorities namely:
- Improved service delivery
(especially at municipal and provincial level)
- Combating of HIV and AIDS
- Contribute to reducing poverty, vulnerability and inequality
- Advancement and emancipation of women
of opportunities for persons with disabilities
The CSP 2004-08 aims
at transforming the present development cooperation into a broader sustainable
partnership as well as strengthening existing and stimulating new partnerships.
was noted that the bilateral cooperation has the general character of a partnership
programme, where Sweden contributes towards the South African economic strategic
framework. As regards cost sharing, it was further noted that substantial progress
had been made since the 2003 BNC.
The Committee noted that institutional
cooperation has been consolidated over the last few years and should be encouraged,
as it entails a more viable equal partnership such as sharing of best practices
and increases the possibility of sustainability.
Several partnerships or
fora in the fields of health, arts and culture, science and technology and business
have been established as a result of the BNC and have shown tremendous growth
since the last BNC. Both delegations expressed satisfaction of the increase and
expansion of initiatives.
In order to make the cooperation more visible,
as well as known to potential stakeholders, Sweden and South Africa have embarked
on various information initiatives.
Pretoria, South Africa, 30 November
Issued by Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152