Media Statement

23 July 2019

Deputy Minister Botes concludes successful participation in the Ministerial Meeting of the Coordinating Bureau of the NAM

The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Alvin Botes, led South Africa’s delegation to the Ministerial Meeting of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement (CoB-NAM) in Caracas, Venezuela, on 20-21 July 2019. The Ministerial Meeting was preceded by the Senior Officials Meeting held on 18-19 July 2019.

Venezuela has been the Chair of the NAM since 2016 and its three-year chairship will conclude in October 2019 when the 18th NAM Summit takes place in Baku and Azerbaijan assumes the chairship until 2022.

The Ministerial Meeting, held under the theme: “Promotion and Consolidation of Peace through Respect for International Law”, met at a time when multilateralism is under threat due to increasing unilateralism and the dismantling of multilateral agreements. “It is important that our Movement continues to work together and take the lead in creating a just, peaceful and equitable world order and building global governance structures that are representative, credible and effective, based on partnership and cooperation,” said Deputy Minister Botes.

In a statement delivered at the Ministerial Meeting of the NAM Committee on Palestine, Deputy Minister Botes reiterated South Africa’s solidarity with the people of Palestine.

Speaking on behalf of the Africa Group during the opening and closing sessions of the Ministerial Meeting, the Deputy Minister announced that it will be Africa’s turn to take up the chairship of the Movement from 2022-2025. Following consultations, the name of the endorsed African country will be confirmed at the 18th NAM Summit in October. The Deputy Minister also thanked the Movement for the overwhelming support received during the meeting for Africa’s Common Position on Security Council Reform as contained in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration.

The Deputy Minister participated in a high-level meeting on the defence of the Charter of the United Nations held on the margins of the Ministerial Meeting with a view to addressing the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures, including attempts at regime change affecting some of the members of the NAM. South Africa condemned the illegal and unlawful economic blockade and sanctions on Venezuela and Cuba.

The Deputy Minister held bilateral talks with his counterparts from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe on issues of mutual interest. During these talks, Deputy Minister Botes and his counterparts discussed bilateral and multilateral issues, as well as the revitalization of the work of the Movement and enhancing intra-trade relations between NAM Member States.

The Ministerial Meeting was attended by 78 Member States of the Movement, four Observer States, 12 International Organizations and two invited guests (Russia and Turkey). At the conclusion of the Ministerial Meeting, outcome documents reflecting the deliberations of the meeting were adopted, namely, the Caracas Final Document which outlines the political, economic and social issues of the Movement, and the Caracas Political Declaration.

Through its participation at the Ministerial Meeting, South Africa continued to advance the principles and objectives of the Movement and recommitted itself to working with the NAM Member States in creating political, economic and social unity in addressing the challenges of the 21st century.

Whilst in Caracas, the Deputy Minister held bilateral meetings with the Minister and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela, as well as with the Venezuelan Ministers of Agriculture and Mining. The purpose of the meetings was to review the status of bilateral agreements and to further enhance economic cooperation between South Africa and Venezuela.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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