18 November 2013
President Zuma returns from his working visit to Sri Lanka
His Excellency President Jacob Zuma last night, 17 November 2013, returned from his two day working visit to Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he attended the Commonwealth Heads of State and Government Meeting (CHOGM) on 15-17 November 2013.
The theme for CHOGM, was "Growth with Equity: Inclusive Development." The theme highlights the importance of equity in economic development in view of the disparities in the distribution of wealth and economic benefits and recognises that inclusive development promotes and contributes towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
President Zuma said the theme resonated very well with South Africa's National Development Plan (NDP), which aims to eradicate poverty and inequality by 2030.
With regard to the United Nations' Post-2015 Development Agenda, President Zuma recommended that: "We must build on progress accomplished thus far, and take into account regional programmes. Poverty eradication, addressing income inequalities and job creation must remain the overarching objectives of the Development Agenda beyond 2015."
President Zuma also participated in the Dialogue between the Commonwealth Heads of Government and Youth Leaders. President Zuma stated that South Africa welcomed the establishment of the Commonwealth Youth Council and congratulated its elected leadership, which will ensure that youth matters are taken forward in an organised manner. President Zuma urged Commonwealth Leaders to continue championing the aspirations of the youth and ensure that their voice is represented in Commonwealth actions at national and international levels.
At separate bilateral meetings President Zuma also met President Mahinda Rajapaksa, of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the leadership of the Tamil National Alliance to discuss the role that could be played by South Africa in assisting the people of Sri Lanka resolve their problems through engagement.
South Africa has been a member of the Commonwealth since the end of Apartheid in 1994 and has actively participated in the deliberations and work of the organisation.
President Zuma was accompanied by Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation and Mr Obed Bapela, Deputy Minister in the Presidency.
The full CHOGM 2013 Communiqué is obtainable on http://www.chogm2013.lk/index.php/chogm-2013/final-communique/
For further information please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO on 082 884 5974
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