Joint Communiqué issued on the occasion of the State Visit to Jamaica by His Excellency Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma President of the Federal Republic of South Africa, 6th August 2012
At the invitation of The Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller, ON, MP, Prime Minister of Jamaica, His Excellency Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, paid a State Visit to Jamaica on the 6th of August 2012. The President was accompanied by Her Excellency Nompumelelo Ntuli Zuma, First Lady of South Africa and a delegation that included the Hon. Collins Chabane, Minister in the Presidency responsible for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Hon. Marius Fransman, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, other high ranking Government officials, as well as representatives of the media.
The visit allowed for the participation of His Excellency Jacob Zuma, in Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of Independence celebrations as well as for the further enhancement of bilateral relations and the continuation of high-level dialogue and cooperation between the two Governments.
President Zuma was received upon arrival by Prime Minister Simpson Miller as well as members of her Cabinet. On the South African side the President was received by His Excellency Mr. Marius Fransman, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, and Her Excellency Mrs. Mathu Joyini, South Africa’s High Commissioner to Jamaica.
The President paid a courtesy call on His Excellency the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen, ON, GCMG, CD, Governor General. This was followed by courtesy calls on the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller, ON, MP, Prime Minister and Mr. Andrew Holness, MP, Leader of the Opposition.
President Zuma and the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller proceeded to co-chair a bilateral meeting on matters of mutual interest to Jamaica and South Africa. These included the areas of cooperation in arts and culture, science and technology, sports and recreation, air services, defence and security, trade, social development and public works. They also had an exchange of views on their respective countries’ current political, economic and social conditions and on the strides made by Jamaica since its independence in 1962.
Prime Minister Simpson Miller and President Zuma discussed a range of international issues, with specific emphasis on climate change, sustainable development, the challenges faced by Highly Indebted Middle Income Countries, and reform of the International Financial Institutions to enhance the participation of developing countries in decision-making.
Prime Minister Simpson Miller expressed her pleasure at being able to host President Zuma in Jamaica during the celebration of the country’s 50th Anniversary of Independence. She noted that the Independence celebrations would culminate in the Grand Independence Day Gala at the National Stadium, which the President was scheduled to attend.
President Zuma thanked Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller for the invitation extended to him to pay a State Visit to Jamaica and to participate in the 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations. On behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, President Zuma conveyed congratulations and best wishes to Jamaica for reaching the 50th Anniversary of their independence. The President expressed gratitude to the Government and people of Jamaica for support to South Africa, in particular, the role played by Jamaica in the political and diplomatic processes to end apartheid in South Africa. He commended Jamaica for continuing to promote the interests and aspirations of South Africans through excellent cooperation and active expression of solidarity and support.
President Zuma congratulated the Prime Minister for the high calibre of Jamaican athletes and the track record maintained by the country in the 100metres race. The President mentioned this field as a potential area of collaboration between Jamaica and South Africa.
Prime Minister Simpson Miller congratulated President Zuma on the centenary of the African National Congress. Discussions were also held on the Global African Diaspora Summit which South Africa hosted in May 2012 and on the recent commemoration of the Nelson Mandela International Day.
In response, President Zuma expressed his appreciation to Prime Minister Simpson Miller for sending a High-level representation to the Global African Diaspora Summit, under the leadership of Senator Arnold Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. The President also recalled with satisfaction the collaboration by Jamaica, South Africa and the African Union to organise the first Caribbean Diaspora Conference in 2009.
President Zuma congratulated Jamaica for joining the community of nations that observe Nelson Mandela International Day through service to others. Referring to former President Nelson Mandela’s commitment to the welfare of children, President Zuma acknowledged the role played by the Prime Minister in the launch of Nelson Mandela International Day and its special focus on children as beneficiaries of the 67 minutes of service.
The Jamaican delegation at the bilateral meeting included Senator the Honourable A.J. Nicholson, Q.C., Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, Minister of Finance and Planning, Hon. Peter Bunting, Minister of National Security, Hon. Lisa Hanna, Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, Minister with responsibility for Information and several other Government officials.
The South African delegation included the Hon. Mr. Marius Fransman, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Hon. Mr. Collins Chabane, Minister in the Presidency for Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation and Administration, H.E. Mrs. Mathu Joyini, South African High Commissioner to Jamaica, and several other Government officials.
In reviewing the state of bilateral relations, Prime Minister Simpson Miller and President Zuma reaffirmed their strong commitment to enhancing collaboration through the promotion and implementation of specific programmes in the fields of arts and culture, following the signing of the Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Arts and Culture in 2009. Both sides reaffirmed that the collaborative efforts presently being undertaken in relation to music, as well as the culinary, visual, literary and performing arts serve to reinforce the friendship and understanding of the traditions of their peoples.
It was noted that a number of additional draft agreements and Memoranda of Understanding were presently being negotiated between both countries in the fields of Sports and Recreation, Scientific and Technological Cooperation, Defence and Security, Social Development, Bilateral Air Services and Public Works. These Agreements willserve to foster mutual cooperation, exchanges and best practices in the respective fields.
Prime Minister Simpson Miller and President Zuma also recognized the increasing number of collaborative activities which were being pursued in the field of higher education and training by universities in South Africa and Jamaica. Reference was made to the University of Pretoria’s recent collaboration with the University of Technology, University of the West Indies and the MICO University.
Both leaders acknowledged the need for a Memorandum Of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of Education and Training and undertook to work towards the conclusion of such an Agreement.
Prime Minister Simpson Miller and President Zuma also recognized the potential for greater trade relations between Jamaica and South Africa. Noting the large trade imbalance between the two countries, both leaders stressed the importance of promoting vigorous and mutually beneficial bilateral trade and emphasized the need for Jamaica to expand exports to South Africa. In that regard, both countries could further their cooperation through the sharing of best practices and their experiences in enhancing trade promotion
Prime Minister Simpson Miller noted that Jamaica and South Africa also had excellent relations in the international sphere. Both countries shared membership of the Commonwealth, the G-77 & China and the Non-Aligned Movement, and cooperated in various other international fora, including the United Nations, the African Caribbean and Pacific Group, and the G-90 at the World Trade Organization.
Prime Minister Simpson Miller spoke to the need for reform of the UN Security Council so as to create a more democratic, representative and transparent institution. She pointed to the need for permanent representation from other regions, including Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean and noted the aspiration of African countries such as South Africa, in having a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
The Prime Minister reiterated Jamaica’s commitment to having a Permanent Memorial erected at a prominent place at the UN Headquarters in New York. Appreciation was expressed to the President for South Africa’s contribution to the Permanent Memorial Fund and for the role it has been playing in ensuring that the Permanent Memorial becomes a reality.
Prime Minister Simpson Miller congratulated South Africa on its successful candidature for the post of Chairperson to the African Union Commission. She lauded the fact that Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma was also the first woman to Chair the organization. The Prime Minister noted the importance of the AU for the development, peace and security of the African continent.
Prime Minister Simpson Miller and President Zuma held discussions on the global nature of climate change and its negative impact on sustainable development. Reference was made to the recent UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) Summit which was held in Brazil in June 2012. The Prime Minister spoke of the vulnerabilities faced by Small Island Developing States in the face of climate change which threatened their very existence. The outcome of the Summit was noted, as was the fact that countries had renewed their political commitment to sustainable development had agreed to elaborate a set of sustainable development goals, and had established a high-level political forum on sustainable development.
In his response, President Zuma agreed with the Prime Minister and, referring to the outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP17), held in South Africa in December 2011, pointed out in particular the decision to strengthen the adaptive capacities of the poorest countries and those most vulnerable to the impact of climate change.
Prime Minister Simpson Miller referred to South Africa’s enhanced international profile, having secured a place in the G20 and in the BRICS group of emerging economic powers. She spoke to the challenges faced by Highly Indebted Middle Income Countries in accessing concessionary financing facilities and that reform of the International Financial Institutions was necessary to enhance the participation of developing countries in decision-making.
Jamaica would therefore depend on partners such as South Africa which had an influential role in the G20, to continue to lobby on behalf of Highly Indebted Middle Income Countries.
President Zuma committed to raising the issues of concern to developing countries in fora such as the G-20.
Prime Minister Simpson Miller and President Zuma spoke to the Commonwealth, noting both their countries’ commitment to the principles of the organization and the important role that the Commonwealth plays in maintaining peace and security amongst its Member States. Reference was made to the need for the reform of the Commonwealth to make it more robust in terms of the promotion of democracy, good governance, transparency and the rule of law.
The Prime Minister congratulated President Zuma on South Africa’s successful hosting of the recent Global African Diaspora Summit in Johannesburg on 25thMay 2012. She referred to the Summit’s deliberations on the role the African Diaspora could play inthe economic advancement of Africa, as well as its Diaspora.
The Prime Minister noted that the Summit had provided an opportunity for Jamaica to pursue meaningful engagement with other countries of the African region and recalled that Jamaica had hosted the first African Diaspora engagement in 2009.
Prime Minister Simpson Miller pointed to the recent celebration of the International Day of Nelson Mandela, noting that a number of charitable projects for children were undertaken in Jamaica, in commemoration of Mandela’s dedication of 67 years of his life to the service of humanity.
Following their discussions, the President and the Most Honourable Prime Minister participated in a joint press briefing.
The President visited the Bob Marley Museum.
During the President’s visit he attended the Independence Day Gala at the National Stadium, where he received a Royal Salute.