25 March 2021
Statement on the occasion of the Meeting of the Annual Consultations between the Republic of South Africa and Canada held on 25 March 2021
On 25 March 2021, Ambassador NN Losi, Acting Director-General of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and Deputy Minister Marta Morgan of Global Affairs Canada co-chaired a virtual meeting of the 13th South Africa – Canada Annual Consultations.
The meeting recalled the historical relations and fraternal bonds between the two countries which were forged during the struggle for liberation in South Africa, for example, the historic visit to Canada by former President Nelson Mandela in 1990 and his address to the Parliament of Canada, as well as Canada’s valuable contribution to the establishment of a new Constitution in South Africa based on human rights, equality, democracy and respect for diversity.
The meeting further exchanged views about a variety of continental and international developments of mutual concern and underscored the need for the two countries to continue their close collaboration in advancing multilateralism and to support the United Nations and the African Union in addressing regional and global challenges, including peace and security, climate change, human rights, and to promote shared and inclusive growth. The two countries discussed peace and security matters, including South Africa’s recent term on the UN Security Council as well as Canada and South Africa’s current term on the UN Peacebuilding Commission. They also acknowledged their shared support for the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda and agreed to work with other member states on the roadmap to strengthen the implementation of the WPS agenda.
South Africa shared information about the role of President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his capacity as African Union (AU) Chairperson, in 2020, in steering the AU’s continental response against COVID-19, as well as on South Africa’s tenure as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. President Ramaphosa continues to champion the continental fight against the pandemic on behalf of the AU.
The co-chairs acknowledged the immense suffering and economic devastation brought about the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly the significant setback suffered by African and low-income countries. South Africa and Canada pledged to work together with other likeminded countries in ensuring fair and equitable access to vaccines by developing countries.
The two countries agreed to continue using platforms such as the G7 and G20 to advocate for increased support to spur global economic recovery and build on the G20 Support to COVID-19 Response and Recovery in Developing Countries in Africa and LIC and Small Island States. The meeting also noted the forthcoming Summit on Financing for Development, organised by the United Nations Secretary-General and the Prime Ministers of Jamaica and Canada, to be held on 29 March 2021, and to which South Africa has also been invited.
The meeting further took note of the ongoing cooperation in areas such as strengthening democratic governance in South Africa, mining and minerals, environment, green technologies, arts and culture, and agreed on new areas of cooperation focusing on combatting violence against women and girls, ensuring women’s economic and financial inclusion and support for women entrepreneurs. The meeting took note of the 2nd Joint Committee meeting on Science Technology & Innovation Policy (ST&I) Exchanges which took place virtually in December 2020, where both Parties shared presentations and knowledge on the respective economic post-pandemic recovery plans with a focus on the role of ST&I.
The meeting further noted progress in the finalisation of the Modernised Audio-Visual Co-Production Treaty, which has great potential for enhanced cooperation in the film industry. In the area of the environment, the parties looked forward to the finalisation of the implementation plan for the MOU to enhance Environmental Cooperation and agreed on close consultation in preparation for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26). Note was also taken of the potential for enhanced cooperation in the mining and mineral processing sector, including geoscience, joint exploration initiatives and the participation of junior and mid-tier miners.
The parties also took note of the opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement and the 4th Industrial Revolution and agreed to strengthen cooperation in e-commerce and the digital economy. South Africa expressed interest in pursuing partnerships with Canada to strengthen capacity for vocational training and institutional partnerships to support the University Capacity Development Programme (UCDP).
The co-chairs looked forward to the next meeting of the Annual Consultations to be hosted by Canada.
25 March 2021
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road