Joint Communiqué on Conclusion of the Republic of South Africa / Uganda State Visit

  1. At the invitation of His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, His Excellency Thabo Mbeki, President of the Republic of South Africa, paid a two-day State Visit to Uganda from 12th - 13th December 2005. H.E. President Thabo Mbeki was accompanied by Mrs. Mbeki, Ministers, senior government Officials; and representatives of the South African business community.

  2. During his stay in Uganda, H.E President Mbeki addressed Ugandan's Parliament and interacted with members of the business community.

  3. In a cordial atmosphere, their Excellencies held fruitful discussions and reviewed bilateral, regional, continental and international issues of mutual interest and concern.

  4. On bilateral issues, their Excellencies expressed their satisfaction with the cordial relations existing between the two countries and emphasized their determination to further strengthen and expand cooperation in all fields of human endeavour. H.E President Mbeki commended H.E President Museveni and the Government of Uganda for the achievements made in economic development and political reform processes in Uganda.

  5. H.E President Mbeki further commended Uganda's enormous agricultural potential and indicated South Africa's interest to invest in Uganda in various areas including agro-processing and manufacturing.

  6. While addressing the business community, H.E President Mbeki underscored the contribution which will be played by the private sector to successfully implement the Joint Permanent Economic Commission and urged the business communities of the two countries to give the Commission full support.

  7. H.E President Museveni in turn commended the achievements of the South African Government with its efforts to promote regional and international peace and security and common understanding among peoples.

  8. Their Excellencies noted further that possibilities exist for mutually beneficial economic relations based on partnerships between Uganda and South Africa. President Museveni highlighted the specific challenges that Uganda faces in the areas of infrastructure, transport and energy as part of the challenge of redeeming the cost of doing business in Uganda.

  9. Their Excellencies the Presidents expressed their commitment to have specific overall oversight and periodic review of the work of the Joint Permanent Economic Commission. A designated Ministry in each of the countries will act as the focal point driving the work of the Commission.

  10. Their Excellencies the two Presidents emphasized the need for joint small, medium and large-scale investments. The two Presidents witnessed the signing of Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding in the socio-economic sectors. The following Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding were signed:

    a. The Joint Permanent Economic Commission,
    b. the Agreement on Police Co-operation,
    c. Memorandum of Understanding on Diplomatic Consultations,
    d. the Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral co-operation in the field of Sport and Recreation,
    e. the Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Co-operation.

  11. During the bilateral Ministerial Meeting, the Ministers agreed to continue with consultations in identified areas of cooperation including trade and investment, agriculture, energy and infrastructure, housing and construction, education, investment financing, Foreign Affairs cooperation and Information Communication Technology.

  12. The Ministers also reiterated the need for commencement and early conclusion of the outstanding Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding, including those relating to: Economic Cooperation; Phyto-sanitary Measures; Zoo-sanitary Measures; Policy Formulation, Training and Enforcement; Social Development; Bilateral Air Services; Externalisation of Labour; Customs Administration and Customs Cooperation.

  13. On regional issues, the two Presidents welcomed the positive developments in Burundi, and Somalia, which led to the formation of the National Government in Burundi and the Transitional Federal Government in Somalia. In the same vein, their Excellencies the two Presidents reiterated their support to the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in the Sudan.

  14. Their Excellencies also expressed their support to the transitional political process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo which should lead to successful elections. In the same context, the two leaders also called for urgent and full disarmament and demobilization of all armed groups in the eastern DRC.

  15. The two Presidents welcomed the recently concluded Presidential elections in Liberia and expressed the hope that this would bring lasting peace and stability to the country. On Cote d'Ivoire, the Presidents encouraged the leadership and the rebels to resolve their differences peacefully. They further re-iterated their support for the peaceful resolution in Ethiopia/Eritrea boarder conflict.

  16. On continental issues, their Excellencies the two Presidents noted the challenges the African Union encounters in maintaining and sustaining peace, stability and security on the African Continent. In that regard, the two leaders stressed the need for the strengthening of the AU in the area of peace support and conflict resolution on the continent. They called for a speedy and complete creation of AU's relevant organs and structures so as to meet its challenges.

  17. On the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), the two Presidents re-iterated that this is the vehicle for Africa's economic recovery and self-reliance and called upon the African countries to uphold and implement its recommendations.

  18. On international issues, their Excellencies, the two Presidents underscored the importance of co-operation between Uganda and South Africa in international fora. In this regard, they agreed to establish a close working relationship on matters of mutual interest, especially in the consolidation of international peace and security, human rights, socio-economic and political co-operation.

  19. The two Presidents renewed their call for the reform of the United Nations Security Council to afford the African Continent a fair representation and to make it democratic, effective and accountable.

  20. On disarmament, their Excellencies the two Presidents called for global and complete nuclear disarmament. They re-affirmed their commitment and support to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. They further re-affirmed the right of all developing countries to acquire and develop nuclear technology for developmental purposes.

  21. The two Presidents condemned acts of international terrorism, trading in illicit drugs and proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons. They called on all nations to co-operate in combating terrorism, trade in illicit drugs and small weapons.

  22. The two Presidents noted with concern the widening economic gap between the developed and developing countries and emphasized the need for South-South co-operation. They urged the developed countries to remove agricultural subsidies; as well as tariff and non-tariff barriers imposed on developing countries. They called for international action to mitigate the negative effects of globalisation on developing countries especially the least developed among them.

  23. They noted with concern lack of progress in the build up to the WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong and expressed the hope that even at this late stage progress can be registered particularly in the area of Agriculture.

  24. His Excellency Thabo Mbeki, in his key note address to Parliament expressed deep gratitude to H.E. President Museveni, the Government and the entire people of Uganda for the enormous support and contribution to the liberation of South Africa from the yolk of Apartheid; and contribution to the emancipation of the African people.

  25. The Parliament of the Republic of Uganda passed a resolution paying special tribute to H.E President Mbeki for his statesmanship, his personal contribution and that of the Government of South Africa to regional and continental stability as well as pursuit of Africa's interests in the global arena.

  26. At the conclusion of his visit, H.E. President Thabo Mbeki expressed appreciation for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to him and members of his delegation by H.E President Museveni, the Government and people of Uganda during their stay in the country. He further pointed out that this hospitality reflected earlier warmth expressed to the people of South Africa when the Government of Uganda accommodated ANC cadres as part of its contribution to the liberation struggle in South Africa. President Mbeki expressed the gratitude that South Africa will always have for this gesture of African solidarity.

  27. President Thabo Mbeki extended an invitation to President Yoweri Museveni to pay a return visit to South Africa. President Museveni gladly accepted. The dates of the visit will be communicated through diplomatic channels.

Done at Kampala on the 13th day of December 2005

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