Minister Nkoana-Mashabane concludes successful Official Visit to the Republic of Serbia

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane today, 07 September 2011, returned to South Africa after a successful official visit to the Republic of Serbia. Minister Nkoana-Mashabane’s visit to Serbia was preceded by her Official Visit to the Republic of Bulgaria

During the visit, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane and her Serbian counterpart, Minister Vuk Jeremic, signed a Protocol on Consultations between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Republic of Serbia. The protocol is based on shared interests between the two countries, which include consolidation of peace and security, the establishment of democratic values and the observance of human rights as embodied in the United Nations Charter.

Through the protocol, the two countries have agreed on, amongst other things, cooperation on activities in the international arena, which include the strengthening of international peace and security, settling of regional conflicts and the solving of urgent economic and humanitarian problems.

The two Ministers also agreed to endeavor to establish a practice of regular consultations and to promote the development of ties between state organs and entities of the two countries.

During the visit, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane also addressed an event in Belgrade that marks the 50th Anniversary of the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) where she used the occasion to consult on the UN Climate Change Conference to take place in Durban from 28 November to 9 December 2011.

During her address at the NAM 50th Anniversary event, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane  said, “At the time of the end of the Cold War the Movement went through a period of self-examination in the realisation that the global situation had changed dramatically, with the old order having crumbled and the contours of the new order not yet defined.”

The Minister further said, “The eradication of the system of Apartheid was on the Agenda from the first summit meeting of the NAM.  South Africa today recognises the role of the Movement in ending that system, and arguably this represents one of the concrete and outstanding successes of the Movement in the past 50 years.

“In the multilateral context, South Africa responds to many of the new and existing challenges through the consensus positions of the NAM.  Our engagement with organizations of the South, such as the NAM, is therefore also aimed at strengthening multilateralism and South-South Cooperation”.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane concluded her address to the NAM by saying: “South Africa will continue to contribute to the strengthening of our Movement, discharging our historic responsibilities as a member. South Africa will be there, sitting behind its flag, when this Movement will be celebrating its next fifty years.”

Speaking as incoming President of the 17th Conference of Parties (COP17/CMP7) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said: “It is our wish that this Conference will become a platform for the world to take a significant step towards a future Climate Change regime. As an incoming COP President, we are undertaking informal consultations at ministerial, negotiators and stakeholders’ levels to facilitate a credible outcome that is equitable, fair, and inclusive.”

For further information contact Clayson Monyela on 0828067405

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
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www.dirco.gov.za

07 September 2011

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