Joint Declaration by Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and President Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, 4 March 2010
As part of his State Visit to the UK, President Zuma and Prime Minister Brown discussed a wide range of bilateral issues and shared international priorities. Talks between UK Ministers and their South African counterparts accompanying President Zuma also took forward joint work on a number of issues.
Bilateral Relations/International Institutional Reform
The UK and South Africa are determined to build on strong bilateral relations to advance a number of international and regional issues by working together bilaterally and across a range of international fora, including the G20, the UN and the Commonwealth. The UK and South Africa will continue to work together to reform global institutions tackling some of the world’s problems to make them more representative and more effective. In particular, the UK supports permanent African representation on the UN Security Council which will enable it to better address issues of peace and security across the globe.
The UK and South Africa co-operated closely in the run up to Copenhagen and have agreed that urgent action is necessary to take forward action toward a legally binding global agreement to limit temperature rises to 2 degrees. An important part of this work will be agreement on the financing of action to combat climate change. Both the UK and South Africa welcome the new High Level Advisory Group on Climate Finance and call for developed countries to provide finance from 2013. The two countries will also redouble their efforts on related technology, including the development of South Africa’s low-carbon growth and carbon capture and storage, both of which the UK will support.
The ultimate goal of a world free of nuclear weapons requires cooperation on a number of important international initiatives. The UK and South Africa therefore look forward to President Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit next month and progress in the international treaty framework to stop nuclear proliferation, control the number of nuclear weapons and approve a new international conventional arms trade treaty through the UN. There was recognition that Iran remained in breach of five UN Security Council Resolutions on its nuclear programme and, that in order to pursue a legitimate nuclear energy policy, it should engage positively with the international community and the IAEA.
As founder members of the G20, the UK and South Africa recognise the success of decisive G20 action in preventing a total breakdown of the world’s financial system and putting in place the building blocks for global recovery. Both countries agree that further policy action is necessary to make the transition from crisis response to strong and sustainable growth. It is particularly important to ensure that this framework supports poverty reduction, particularly in low income countries. At the same time the UK and South Africa will work together towards reform of the International Financial Institutions to make them more effective, accountable and legitimate.
Achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
Concerted action is needed to accelerate progress toward achieving the MDGs. The global economic downturn, climate change and the effects of HIV/AIDS have all affected the speed of progress. The UK and South Africa agree to work together through the G20 and UN to make 2010 the year of action on combating poverty, including by agreeing a global action plan on the MDGs at the UN Summit in September 2010. The UK also reaffirmed its commitment to support the fight against HIV/AIDS in South Africa and is supporting the public health system in a new £25m programme.
We recognise the central importance of gender equality to achieving the MDGs. The establishment of the new UN women’s agency will have a crucial role to play in focussing international efforts and increasing the UN’s impact on the lives of women and girls worldwide. We both support early progress in ongoing negotiations at the UN during 2010. We would like to see the new entity up and running as soon as possible. We want the Secretary General now to press forward with the announcement of the new Under Secretary General of the new UN women’s agency.
The UK and South Africa signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing the UK to provide £67 million to help the regional economic communities to improve transport infrastructure in eight countries. This will support Africa’s efforts to increase trade and develop economically in order to grow out of poverty. As part of this drive, South Africa agreed to prioritise the establishment of a One Stop Border Post between South Africa and Zimbabwe to reduce costs and bureaucracy associated with cross-border trade.
The UK and South Africa called on the Inclusive Government of Zimbabwe to complete as soon as possible the implementation of the Global Political Agreement. They also noted the importance of further economic progress and normalisation. Both countries called for an immediate end to the harassment, the repeal of repressive legislation and the establishment of the principles of free speech and free association. The Inclusive Government must also put in place the conditions for free and fair elections, which are essential if Zimbabwe is to have the future its people deserve. In this regard our countries will support the recently established State Commissions. South Africa is playing a leading role in encouraging positive developments in Zimbabwe, bilaterally and through SADC. The UK will continue to explore with South Africa possibilities for initiatives to encourage positive change and benefit ordinary Zimbabweans.
The UK and South Africa agreed to work with FIFA and the Global Campaign for Education in their 1 Goal campaign, aimed at harnessing the power of the 2010 FIFA World Cup for the benefit of education for all. The two countries hope this drive will ensure that other global leaders and institutions will back the commitment to ensure that the 72 million primary-aged children not currently receiving school education receive their basic human right to education.
People to People Links
Both the UK and South Africa welcomed the many existing initiatives to bring people in the two countries together and to work for mutual benefit. We welcomed the flourishing links, such as those between educational institutions, local government structures and NGOs. The UK and South Africa also agreed to work together to develop links between Further Education and Training colleges in order to help South Africa develop its skills base to help tackle unemployment with decent skilled work for all its people. The UK will also continue to support scholarships and visit programmes such as the Chevening Scholarships and British Leadership Visits, as well as work towards the establishment of a UK-South Africa Next Generation Forum to deepen the links between young people who will be our next generation of leaders.