Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane to co-chair the 6th South Africa-Cuba Joint Bilateral Commission, 01-02 December 2009.
Pretoria – International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane will co-chair the Sixth South Africa-Cuba Joint Bilateral Commission (JBC) with the Cuban Minister of Foreign Investment and Trade, Mr Marcelino Medina, from 01-02 December 2009 in Havana, Cuba. The Sixth Session of the JBC will be preceded by the senior officials meeting slated for 30 November 2009.
The South Africa-Cuba JBC was established in February 2001 as a co-ordinating forum for the periodic review of bilateral co-operation projects in identified areas of Economic, Scientific, Technical and Commercial co-operation and the extension of co-operation to new areas. Accordingly the Sixth Session of the South Africa-Cuba will review the existing bilateral agreements and explore possible new areas of cooperation.
During the Sixth Session it is expected that, in addition to the existing list of agreements, an agreement on Environment will be signed.
Cuba is one of South Africa’s most important strategic partners in Latin America and the Caribbean. The two countries have established and maintained excellent bilateral exchanges in a variety of fields of political and socio-economic activity. This is co-ordinated through two important mechanisms which are the Joint Bilateral Commission (JBC) and the Joint Consultative Mechanism (JCM).
The JCM also remains a useful forum in exchanging positions and views on a wide range of political and multilateral issues. Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim led the South African delegation to the 7th SA-Cuba JCM held in Havana in June 2009.
At an international level, Cuba and South Africa enjoy each others’ support on important multilateral issues. Cuba can continue to count on South Africa's unequivocal support to end the US-imposed economic, trade and financial embargo and to strive for a more equitable global system of governance. In addition, South Africa and Cuba also co-operate within other South-South international organisations such as the Non-Aligned Movement and the Group of 77 and China. Both countries have similar approaches to various issues collectively embodied in the South agenda, which includes increased cooperation amongst countries of the South and a redefinition of relations between the North and South.
Diplomatic relations between South Africa and Cuba were established on 11 May 1994 following South Africa’s transition to democratic order.
While in Cuba, Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane will use the opportunity to prepare for President Zuma’s State Visit to Cuba during the first half of the year 2010, which is expected to take relations to an even higher level.
For further information contact Chief Director for Public Diplomacy, Saul Kgomotso Molobi on 082 940 1647.
Department of International Relations and Cooperation
Private Bag X152
30 November 2009