Joint Communiqué at the conclusion of the Meeting of the Joint Commission of Cooperation (JCC) between the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Uganda, Pretoria, South Africa, 9 November 2012
At the invitation of the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, the Honorable Mr Henry Okello Oryem, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uganda, in charge of International Affairs, accompanied by three Ministers and a Senior Officials delegation, paid a working visit to the Republic of South Africa on 9 November 2012. The main purpose of his visit was to jointly chair with Minister Nkoana-Mashabane the inaugural session of the Joint Commission of Cooperation (JCC) between South Africa and Uganda.
The JCC was preceded by a Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) on 8 November 2012 during which the status of bilateral cooperation between the two countries was discussed and a report prepared for consideration and adoption by the Ministers.
During their official talks, the two Ministers reviewed a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. They expressed great satisfaction at the longstanding warm and fraternal relations that exist between the two countries.
On bilateral co-operation, both Minister Nkoana-Mashabane and Minister Okello Oryem underscored the strong bonds of friendship that exist between the two countries, founded on shared values of mutual respect, commitment to democracy, good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights.
The two Ministers expressed their mutual satisfaction with the current state of bilateral cooperation, as conducted within the framework of the Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) and emphasized their determination to further strengthen and expand cooperation between the two countries.
The two Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the deepening bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the fields of trade and investment, security, social development and public works. The Ministers welcomed the decisions to broaden cooperation to new sectors, including tourism, human settlements, health and higher education.
The two Ministers were pleased to witness the signing of the Agreement on Cooperation in the fields of Water and Environmental Resources and the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in Defence. The MoU and Agreement will further consolidate and expand the bilateral cooperation between the two countries. They were pleased, further, to note that a MoU on Cooperation in Transport Related Matters has been negotiated and shall be signed in the near future.
Both Minister Nkoana-Mashabane and Minister Okello Oryem reiterated their commitment to improving and strengthening political and economic relations by enhancing cooperation between the business communities of the two countries as well as increasing trade and investment. Diplomatic consultations between the two Foreign Ministers will be held on a regular basis to review progress on the implementation of jointly agreed arrangements.
In the same vein, both countries agreed to encourage people-to-people contacts through scientific and educational exchange programmes and tourism. In this regard, the Ministers were pleased to be informed that a submission requesting approval for funding from the African Renaissance Fund for the support of projects between the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) in the development of the essential oils industry in Uganda in cooperation with South African counterparts was currently under consideration.
The two Ministers also exchanged views on issues of mutual interest particularly related to peace, security and stability on the Continent and discussed the political and security situations in various countries, including inter alia Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, and Eastern DRC.
Minister Okello Oryem briefed Minister Nkoana-Mashabane on political developments in the East African region, particularly with regard to regional integration. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the consolidation of the African Agenda and reiterated their commitment to working together in promoting Pan-Africanism, peace and stability in the region.
In this regard, they congratulated the people of South Sudan and Sudan on the agreements reached between the two countries on security and economic issues on 27 and 28 September 2012 in Ethiopia. South Africa and Uganda furthermore encouraged the two countries to work for the peaceful resolution of outstanding issues such as the final status of Abyei, border demarcation, issues that will benefit all parties involved.
On Somalia, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane commended Uganda for the leading role it has played within the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in supporting the Mogadishu Roadmap which has led to the end of the Transition Period in Somalia and resulted in the elections of the new Speaker, President and Prime Minister. South Africa and Uganda will continue to co-ordinate initiatives in support of the security and political processes in Somalia and identify joint projects that will have an immediate impact for the socio-economic development of the people of Somalia.
Minister Nkoana-Mashabane furthermore expressed South Africa’s appreciation for and strong support of the lead role taken by Uganda as chair of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) in hosting three Summits in an attempt to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Eastern DRC. In this regard the Ministers reiterated the need for the ICGLR and SADC to continue working closely to assist in solving the current tensions.
At the conclusion of the Working Visit, Minister Okello Oryem, on behalf of the Ugandan delegation, expressed his heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to Minister Nkoana-Mashabane, the Government and people of the Republic South Africa for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to him and his delegation during the visit and extended an invitation to the Republic of South Africa to attend the next Joint Commission for Cooperation meeting, to be held in Uganda on mutually agreed dates.
9 November 2012
Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation