Joint Communiqué of the Sixth Session of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) between the Republic of South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo held in Pretoria from 27 - 30 October 2009
- At the invitation of H.E. Mr Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, H.E. Mr. Joseph Kabila Kabange, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, visited South Africa from 29 to 30 October 2009 on the occasion of the sixth Session of the South Africa-Democratic Republic of Congo Bi-National Commission (BNC) that was held in Pretoria, South Africa.
- H.E. Mr. Joseph Kabila led a delegation consisting of 12 Ministers and Senior Government Officials from various Ministries in the Democratic Republic of Congo involved in joint projects with South Africa.
- H.E President Zuma on the other hand was accompanied by 12 Ministers and Senior Officials from various Government Departments that are involved in joint projects with the DRC.
- The sixth session of the BNC consisted of a Summit between the two Heads of State on 30 October 2009 which was preceded by a Ministerial meeting on 29 October 2009. Senior Officials from both countries met from 27-28 October 2009 in preparation for the Ministerial meeting.
- The two Heads of State reviewed progress that has been made since the fifth Session in the implementation of existing bilateral projects. The two countries cooperate in several projects covering various fields including security sector reform, capacity and institution building and infrastructure development. In this regard the two Heads of State emphasised the need to further cooperate in areas of energy and agricultural sectors in particular.
- The two Heads of State expressed their satisfaction with the progress made in the implementation of the bilateral projects and committed themselves to working together to address their countries’ development challenges. In this regard, the two Heads of State reiterated the importance of the BNC as a mechanism to foster close cooperation between the two countries.
- They reaffirmed their commitment to improve and strengthen economic relations by encouraging cooperation among their countries’ business associations with a view to increase trade and investment between the two countries. To further improve business and investment climate, the two Heads of State reiterated the need to invigorate the joint business forum. In the same vein, both delegations agreed to encourage people-to-people cooperation through cultural, scientific and educational exchange programmes and tourism.
- The two Heads of State also discussed issues of mutual interest, including regional and multilateral cooperation, taking into consideration the DRC’s recent ascendancy to the position of Chair of SADC. To this end, South Africa reiterated her congratulation to the DRC for assuming the Chairpersonship of SADC and expressed her confidence in the DRC’s leadership. South Africa further expressed her readiness to work with the DRC during her tenure as Chair of the regional body. Both Heads of State reaffirmed their commitment to SADC regional integration.
- The two Heads of State also reflected on the latest developments in the area of peace and stability. In this regard, South Africa commended the DRC’s initiatives with her neighbours in addressing challenges of peace and development in the eastern part of the DRC.
- In this regard, the two Heads of State reiterated the importance of the Security Sector Reform (SSR) in view of the planned phasing out of MONUC.
- The two Heads of State expressed their commitment to African unity and integration within the framework of the Constitutive Act of the African Union.
- With regard to international matters, the two Heads of State reiterated their common view on the need to reform the multilateral institutions including the United Nations Security Council and the Bretton Woods Institutions.
- The two Heads of State welcomed the international efforts that seek to address the global financial crisis which has negatively affected developing countries in particular.
- H.E. President Joseph Kabila on behalf of the Congolese delegation and the people of the DRC expressed his appreciation to H.E. President Jacob Zuma and the Government and people of the Republic of South Africa for the warm welcome and the hospitality accorded to his delegation.
- In conclusion, both parties agreed that the next Session of the RSA-DRC BNC will be held in the DRC on a date to be determined through diplomatic channels.
Done in Pretoria
30 October 2009