Joint Communiqué: Annual Political Consultations between
South Africa and Spain, Tshwane, 5 July 2006
Mr. Bernadino Leon Gross, the
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Spain, paid an official
visit to South Africa on 5 July 2006 at the invitation of Mr. Aziz Pahad, Deputy
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Africa.
Mr. Leon and
Mr. Pahad co-chaired the Plenary session of the third Annual Political Consultations
between South Africa and Spain. The plenary followed sector meetings held on 4-5
July 2006 that were convened to continue the discussions on different areas and
programmes for bilateral co-operation.
The delegations comprised senior
officials representing the following Ministries: Foreign Affairs, Trade and Industry,
Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Health, Provincial and Local Government, Arts
and Culture, Defence, Home Affairs and National Treasury.
expressed their satisfaction that relations between our respective countries and
people continue to grow and strengthen in all areas.
Both sides acknowledged
that these meetings had contributed to an encouraging convergence of views and
closer co-operation on foreign policy issues, and to an increasing number of official
visits enhancing political and economic ties.
Since the first consultations
meeting in February 2004 both countries have held different high level meetings.
For example, President Mbeki and Prime Minister Zapatero met at the Progressive
Governance Summit in Hungary in 2004, the Director-Generals met in Madrid during
February 2006, and the Spanish Secretary General for Co-operation visited South
Africa during June 2006.
The discussions were continued over an official
working lunch hosted by Deputy Minister Pahad during which the various sector
groups reported on the outcome of their deliberations.
The following are
the results of the discussions of the various sectors:
The parties confirmed that relations remained excellent. It was further acknowledged
that relations could benefit from further high-level visits and an expansion of
the economic sector. Spain reconfirmed the invitation to HE President Mbeki to
pay a visit to Spain during 2007.
The delegations exchanged points of view
on the outcome of the recent visit of the Spanish Secretary General for Co-operation
and Director of the Spanish Agency for International co-operation that has opened
new ways of bilateral co-operation in the fields of health, local government,
social development, and trilateral co-operation.
The Spanish side informed
of the preparations of the Spanish language training programme for South African
tourist guides to be launched in August, with a total duration of 3 years (2006-2009).
The programme is embedded in the South African efforts towards the successful
organisation of the 2010 World Cup.
The two sides welcomed the participation
of several new sectors to the political consultations as a further evidence of
the expansion of relations and bilateral co-operation.
parties recommitted to the ideals of creating a better world and in this regard,
to redouble efforts to end the scourge of poverty and underdevelopment. The parties
acknowledged that Africa represents the most urgent and critical challenge facing
the global community.
The parties exchanged views and positions on different
issues of the African Agenda. South Africa briefed Spain on the outcome of the
recent AU Summit, as well as progress on NEPAD.
Spain reiterated its support
to both the AU and NEPAD. The Spanish Government will continue to assess new avenues
for co-operation with Africa in an effort to deepen integration.
Minister Pahad provided an assessment of current developments and the role of
South Africa on the peace processes in the Cote d'Ivoire, DRC, the Great Lakes
Secretary of State Leon briefed South Africa on their current
diplomatic efforts to resolve the impasse in the Western Sahara. The parties agreed
to work together to support the UN multilateral efforts, including all relevant
UNSC resolutions, to find a peaceful and lasting resolution to the conflict.
Spanish Delegation briefed South Africa on the new Africa Plan of the Spanish
Government. The plan sets the Spanish relations with Sub Saharan Africa in a new,
deeper and more global framework, setting seven lines of action. It focuses on
contributing to the consolidation of democracy, peace and security as part of
the effort to address issues of poverty and underdevelopment, and as a measure
to improve co-operation to regulate migratory flows.
Secretary of State
Leon informed Deputy Minister Pahad that the Plan considers South Africa as a
priority country, and especially praises its role as an actor on conflict resolution
and post-conflict reconstruction. In this context, Mr. Leon also noted that the
Plan shares many of its objectives with South African priorities, and therefore,
a permanent co-operation between both countries would be an important instrument
for the attainment of the African Agenda.
The Spanish side also briefed
the South African side on the preparation for the Euro-Africa Ministerial Conference
on Migration and Development to be held in Rabat on 10 - 11 July, as well as on
the Spanish support to the Pan African - EU Ministerial Conference on Migration.
principals agreed to continue regular exchanges of information on the African
Agenda and the respective roles that each could play in enhancing EU-Africa relations.
was also agreed that co-operation on African issues should be expanded. In this
regard, the parties discussed the following trilateral co-operation projects:
The two parties
reflected on the numerous challenges facing the government and peoples of Sudan
and the DRC, and committed to collaborate in responding to these challenges. South
Africa tabled several project proposals for co-operation, which the parties discussed.
The Spanish have indicated their eagerness to collaborate with South Africa in
establishing this co-operation in the proposals. Further discussions and consultations
will continue between capitals.
both parties were already active in, inter alia, the DRC, Mozambique and Angola,
especially in respect of maternal and child health issues, it was agreed that
the two parties would study the possibility to collaborate in their health programmes
in those countries.
Spain and South Africa stressed
the importance of effective multilateralism and the indispensable role of the
United Nations in solving global problems. The parties emphasised that the United
Nations should be strengthened through reform to enable it to better deliver on
its mandates. They agreed that reform should also lead to the democratisation
of the key institutions of the United Nations in order to allow the participation
of more countries in decision-making.
The parties also acknowledged the
need for closer co-operation in dealing with the pressing international concerns
of conflict resolution, peacebuilding, human rights, sustainable development and
the elimination of poverty.
The Spanish side briefed the South African
side on the evolution of the Alliance of Civilisations Initiative, launched by
the President of the Spanish Government, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero,
and endorsed by the UNSG. DM Pahad reiterated the South African commitment with
the initiative that South Africa had formally joined through its Permanent Mission
in New York. The parties recognised that South Africa could play an important
role in the implementation of the future Plan of Action that aims to bring different
cultures and societies closer. Both sides praised the role that Archbishop Desmond
Tutu is playing as member of the High Level Panel that is tasked with drafting
the Plan of Action.
Both parties exchanged views on the evolution of relations
between South Africa and the EU, currently under discussion. South Africa and
Spain welcomed all efforts to increase the level of dialogue and co-operation
between both sides, especially committing to work towards the 2nd EU - Africa
Summit in Lisbon, ideally under the Portuguese Presidency of the EU in 2007.
Minister Pahad and Secretary of State Leon exchanged views on issues regarding
the Middle East. The parties exchanged views on their assessment of the current
challenges of the Iran nuclear programme. In this regard, the parties agreed that
the preferred option would be for the matter to be addressed through the mandated
body, the IAEA. In this context both parties commended the efforts of the G3 +
3 and the High Representative, Mr. Solana. They also called for further negotiations
and a continuation of diplomatic efforts.
The parties also reflected on
the escalation of violence in the Palestinian occupied territories. Both sides
reiterated their support for all efforts to attain a just, global and lasting
peace based on a two State solution.
two sides acknowledged a new increase in the bilateral trade, which had increased
by approximately 25% in 2005. This was in addition to significant increases in
2004 and 2003.
The parties agreed on the need to take advantage of new opportunities
arising in the South African market, especially against the background of the
coming 2010 World Cup.
Both sides recognised the need to increase the promotional
activities, and to this end the Spanish side informed of the preparations for
the High Level Business Forum to be held in South Africa on 25 and 26 September,
organised by the Spanish Secretary of State for Tourism and Trade. The Forum will
bring together some of the top ranking businessmen of both countries to exchange
experiences and explore new opportunities.
South Africa briefed the Spanish
delegation on the current BEE regulation, as well as the ASGISA and JIPSA initiatives.
Both parties acknowledged the importance for the signing of the Agreement
on Non- Double Taxation between the South African Minister of Finance, Mr. Trevor
Manuel and the Spanish Secretary of State for Finance, Mr. Carlos Ocaña
y Perez on 23 June 2006 in Madrid.
parties discussed the finalisation of the South Africa - Spain Memorandum of Understanding
on Defence Co-operation, as well as new instruments for regulating defence-related
The South African delegation briefed their Spanish
counterparts on the structure and reform of the South African National Defence
Force, as well as on their efforts for peace keeping in Africa, with special attention
on the DRC. The Spanish delegation informed about the current presence of Spanish
soldiers in the EU contingent for support to the electoral process in the DRC.
bilateral activities to take place include the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding
and other instruments, the establishment of a Defence Committee, exchange visits
and collaboration in projects with defence-related industry. Both parties expressed
their satisfaction concerning the results and looked forward to closer co-operation
in the future.
The parties discussed issues of
illegal immigration and exchanged information on the sharing of experiences and
best practices. The meeting held at the Home Affairs Lindela Deportation Centre
gave the Spanish delegation an overview of the facility and its operations. The
parties discussed challenges experienced with illegal immigration and the exploitation
of systems by undocumented migrants.
The forthcoming Euro-African Ministerial
Conference on Migration and Development, due to be held in Rabat on 10-11 July
2006, was noted by both parties. The importance of dialogue between Europe and
Africa on migration and immigration was acknowledged and both countries agreed
to engage on this and other related maters.
The parties also shared their
respective process with regard to integrated border control, nationally and within
their regions. The parties agreed to exchange information on training requirements
for official identity documentation.
Parties highlighted their enthusiasm on the Programme of Cooperation, to be signed
before the end of 2006. On the basis of the draft Programme of Co-operation on
Education and Culture presented by the Spanish side on the bilateral consultations
2005 held in Madrid, the South African Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) agreed
to forward a new proposal on this Programme.
Areas of implementation that
are of special interest were identified including:
- archives, with specific
emphasis on training in restoration,
- conservation of manuscripts, and
keeping and management of electronic records.
Both parties agreed
to facilitate the visit of experts in archives from one country to the other,
as foreseen in the 2005 Joint Communiqué.
The Spanish delegation
asked for a better diffusion of scholarships offered by the Spanish Ministry of
foreign Affairs and Co-operation and the Ministry of Education and Science, so
more and more South Africans can take advantage of these programmes.
would like to have an exchange of views during the next meeting pertaining to
multilateral issues as they are aware that South Africa is in the forefront in
the continent. Cultural diversity and the world Heritage Fund for Africa were
identified as areas for possible exchange of views and opinions. DAC shared views
on multilaterals and how they involved in the Declaration of the UNESCO Convention.
Relevant documentation of the Conference of Cultural Diversity to be held in South
Africa in September 2006 will be forwarded to the Spanish.
Spain about the implementation of cultural co-operation programmes in the third
African countries, using Arts and Culture as a conflict resolution tool. Spain
took interest in knowing about this issue.
It was agreed
that South Africa would henceforth participate in the advanced Seminars organised
by Spain under its VITA Programme for Africa wherein intense training is provided
in the areas of reproductive health, communicable diseases (including HIV/AIDS),
children's health issues and maternal health.
Having noted that several
regional Governments of Spain provide financial assistance on health and related
issues, it was also agreed that South Africa would identify regional/provincial
health institutions and non-Governmental organisations (NGOs) that could apply
for financing from various regional Governments of Spain.
In order to further
solidify bilateral co-operation, it was agreed that both parties would work to
create links and working relationships between the numerous health institutions
of both countries.
Having noted that Department of
Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) had several project proposals in respect
of bilateral co-operation, it was agreed that DEAT would forward a consolidated
project to the Spanish development co-operation authorities in regard to the following:
training programme for 2010 and beyond;
- sharing of best practices in
terms of tourism management; and
- tourism satellite account - systematic
measurement of tourism's contribution to South Africa's Gross Domestic Product
Having noted that the local Government
system of South Africa faced challenges in respect of, inter alia:
skills in numerous technical areas, particularly in rural and poor municipalities;
- financial accountability; and
- service delivery systems
was agreed that the two parties would engage in intense bilateral discussions
so as to identify a proposal in one priority area for South African local government
to be supported by the Spanish co-operation.
was agreed that a team of experts led by the National Treasury would undertake
a follow-up to Spain wherein they would engage in in-depth discussions with several
Spanish counterparts in respect of:
- how Spain successfully dealt underdevelopment
in rural areas, and
- how Spain's SMME (Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise)
programmes successfully managed to create jobs and foster local economic development
in under-resourced regions.
Science and Technology
two parties signed the bilateral Agreement on Co-operation on Science and Technology
in Madrid in December 2005. The two parties then agreed on posting the Call for
Proposals for the joint projects.
In South Africa the Call for Proposals
closed at the end of May 2006 and the National Research Foundation is currently
reviewing the projects proposals that were submitted.
Other issues in respect
of bilateral co-operation will be further discussed during the 3rd Joint Committee
on Science and Technology that is scheduled to take place during October this
year in Tshwane.
The Principals expressed confidence
in the growth of relations and collaboration between South Africa and Spain. This
co-operation should serve also to address issues affecting the international community.
Deputy Ministers reconfirmed the usefulness of the Annual Consultations Meeting
as a mechanism for dialogue and co-operation. They agreed to convene the next
Consultations in Spain in 2007.
Issued by Department of Foreign Affairs
5 July 2006