Deputy Ministers Address to the
Women Ministerial Forum on Economic Empowerment, 6 March
2002, Cape Town
AN OVERVIEW OF THE NEPAD / AU PROCESSES, GOVERNMENTS
AND STRUCTURES INVOLVED
Distinguished colleagues / ladies / ministers
It is my great pleasure to be invited by this distinguished
audience to give an overview on two major initiatives
pertaining to the rebirth of the African continent.
These initiatives are the New Partnership for Africas
Development (NEPAD), and the transition from the Organisation
of African Unity (OAU) to the African Union (AU). I
am specifically requested to talk on NEPAD/AU processes,
governments and structures involved.
AFRICAN UNION (AU)
First, allow me to make a minor, but important correction
in the sequence of these initiatives. It is AU/NEPAD,
instead of NEPAD/AU. The process of transforming OAU
into the AU predates the NEPAD initiative. The Abuja
Treaty of 1991 initiated a transition from the OAU to
the AU. The process of transition was then sped-up by
the Sirte Declaration in 1999, which fast-tracked the
creation of the AU. The OAU Summit in Togo 2000 adopted
the Constitutive Act of the African Union as a treaty
establishing the AU. The OAU Summit held in Lusaka in
July 2001 approved the transitional period of one year
with effect from July 2001 to July 2002. Thus, South
Africa will host an Inaugural Summit of the AU in July
this year. This is an important occasion for our country,
because we are charged with a responsibility to ensure
that the Inaugural Summit becomes a success and it set
a tone for the success of subsequent ones.
The AU is aimed at consolidating the unity of African
states and people in order to palce Africa in a better
position to take advantage of the benefits flowing from
globalisation. AU will continue to purse Africas
resolve to deal with the legacy of colonialism, underdevelopment
and focus on meeting the needs of its people.
As we prepare for the hosting of the AU Inaugural Summit,
our immediate objective is to put in place the core
structures of the AU and to ensure a sound institutional
capacity. The following AU organs ought to be ready
for functioning when the Inaugural Summit takes place
in July this year: the Assembly of the Heads of State
and Government, the Executive Council of Ministers,
the Permanent Representative Committee of Ambassadors,
and the Commission for the provision of secretariat
services to the AU. The Rules of Procedure governing
the functioning of these organs are currently being
negotiated to ensure that they meet the goals and ideals
of the AU as set out in its constitutive Act. We are
also negotiating the restructuring of the Central organ
of the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management
and Resolution, which is vital to the functioning of
We are optimistic that we will host a successful AU
Inaugural Summit. However, your input into the process
of ensuring a successful and gender inclusive Summit,
as well as a successful functioning of a post-Summit
AU is crucial. Thus, I would be pleased to receive your
suggestions and recommendations on how to achieve this
NEW PARTERNARSHIP FOR AFRICAS DEVELOPMENT (NEPAD)
NEPAD is a holistic, comprehensive integrated strategic
framework for the socio-economic development of Africa.
The NEPAD document provides the vision for Africa, a
statement of the problems facing the continent and a
programme of action to resolve these difficulties in
order to achieve the vision. It addresses key social,
economic and political priorities in a coherent and
balanced manner. It is a call to the rest of the world
to partner with Africa in her won development on the
basis of her own agenda and programme of action.
NEPAD is a plan conceived and developed by African
leaders. It is a commitment that African leaders are
making to African people and to the international community
to place Africa on a path of sustainable growth and
development. It is intended to accelerate the integration
of the continent into the global economy.
NEPAD is a program of action for sustainable growth
and development agenda for Africa owned by the AU. It
was first conceived as the Millennium Partnership for
the African Recovery Program (MAP), a product of an
OAU mandate to the Heads of State and Government of
South Africa, Nigeria and Algeria to develop a development
plan for the continent. Later on Senegal proposed another
plan: OMEGA, for the development of Africa. The two
plans were merged, renamed a New African Initiative
(NAI) and adopted by the OAU Summit in Lusaka in July
2001. The name NAI was changed into NEPAD by the Heads
of State and Government Implementation Committee at
its first meeting on 23 October 2001 in Abuja. Henceforth,
NAI became known as NEPAD.
NEPAD has the following goals: to promote accelerated
growth and sustainable development, eradication of poverty
and to stop the marginalisation of Africa in the global
NEPAD is based on the following principles and objectives,
among others: ensuring African ownership, responsibility
and leadership; making Africa attractive to both domestic
and foreign investors; unleashing the vast economic
potential of the continent; achieving and sustaining
an average gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate
of over 7 per cent per annum for the next 15 years;
promoting the role of women in all activities; promoting
sub-regional and continental economic integration; developing
a new partnership with industrialised countries and
multilateral organisations on the basis of mutual commitments,
obligations, interest, contributions and benefits and
strengthening Africas capacity to mobilise additional
external resources for its development.
NEPADs plan has three pillars: conditions for
sustainable development, sectoral priorities and mobilisation
of resources. Conditions for sustainable development
are based on three initiatives: peace, security, democracy
and political governance initiative; the economic and
corporate governance initiative, and subregional and
regional approaches to development. There are six (6)
identified sectoral priories: bridging the infrastructural
gap, human resource development initiative, agriculture,
the environment, culture, and science and technology
platforms. The mobilisation of resources is concerned
with the capital flows and market access initiatives.
NEPAD aims to achieve the following outcomes: sustainable
economic growth, development and increased employment;
reduction in poverty and inequity; diversification of
productive activities, enhanced international competitiveness
and increased exports.
Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee
is charged with the responsibility to implement NEPAD.
This Committee is chaired by the Nigerian President,
Obasanjo. The Committee is composed of 15 OAU member
states from the five OAU regions. The Committee includes
the five initiating states: South Africa, Algeria, Senegal,
Nigeria and Egypt. There are three states from each
The Implementation Committee is divided into two components:
the Steering Committee and the Secretariat. Steering
Committee consists of personal representatives of the
five initiating presidents. Its task is to develop terms
of reference for identified programs and projects. It
also oversees the Secretariat.
The Secretariat has a full-time small core staff based
at the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) in
Midrand. It has liaison and coordination function. It
manages administrative and logistical functions. It
also outsources work on technical detail to lead agencies
or continental experts.
SPEECHES DEPUTY MINISTER AZIZ PAHAD
DATE : 10 MARCH 2002
EVENT : SOUTH AFRICAN ZIONIST CONFERENCE
COUNTRY : SOUTH AFRICA
TITLE : ADDRESS BY MR AZIZ PAHAD, DEPUTY MINISTER OF
FOREIGN AFFAIRS TO THE SOUTH AFRICAN ZIONIST
CONFERENCE: SUNDAY 10 MARCH 2002
Mr Chairman, the Honourable Mr Abe Abrahamson,
Your Excellency Mr Sallai Meridor, Chairman of the
Your Excellency the Ambassador of Israel, Ms Tova Herzl
Mr Yechiel Lekhet, Chairman of the Jewish National
Chief Rabbi of South Africa, Mr Cyril Harris
The Honourable Tony Leon MP, Leader of the Official
Ladies and Gentlemen
I would like to thank you for the opportunity to address
your 45th Conference today on the topic of South Africas
relations with the State of Israel.
As we meet this afternoon, events are unfolding which
will have a profound effect on our international relations.
I refer here to the Inter Congolese Dialogue, events
in Angola after the death of Jonas Savimbi and the elections
Some seven years ago, South Africa's Foreign Minister
Alfred Nzo told a similar gathering to this one, that
Jews in South Africa should be able to practice their
Zionism, religion and culture without hindrance or questions
being raised about their patriotism and love for South
Africa. As Minister Nzo expressed it, Jews are free
to love South Africa, their homeland and also to love
Israel, the Jewish State, and to manifest freely their
support for the well-being of the peoples of South Africa
and the Jewish people of Israel.
Secondly, Minister Nzo recognised that there is a close
linkage existing between the state of relations between
South Africa and the State of Israel. Associated with
this, he acknowledged that good relations between both
states naturally provide an enhanced sense of well-being
to the Jewish community in South Africa.
He also made it clear that continuation of the conflict
between Israelis and Palestinians would threaten international
peace and indeed even South Africa's own domestic tranquility.
Therefore, it was vital for South Africa to support
those hopeful efforts started in Washington in September
1993. This, among other things, has compelled us to
build strong links with Israelis and Palestinians at
Governmental and non-governmental level.
I would like to take this opportunity today to once
again repeat that these central principles of policy
enunciated by the late Minister Nzo, are as applicable
today as they were at that time.
Let me give you the assurance today that South Africas
policy, in respect of its relations with Israel and
its support for the achievement of a Palestinian State,
are predicated upon the fundamental principle of unequivocal
and unchanging support for the right of the State of
Israel to exist with defined borders, in full peace
and security with its neighbours.
This fundamental position has been the long-standing
policy of the ANC, both in exile and now in government.
It has not changed and it will not change in the future.
South Africa maintains full diplomatic relations with
the State of Israel. Both nations have ambassadors serving
in the respective countries and I want to say that the
extent of our diplomatic dialogue is not only substantial
and cordial, it is also good!
Despite our public differences over Israel's military
policies in respect of the Palestinians, the character
of our diplomatic exchange and the substance of relations
between the two countries, remains strong, extensive
and broad ranging and there has been no change in that
from 1994 until today.
In respect of the diplomatic dialogue and exchange with
the Government of Israel which I have just mentioned,
I want to assure you that this does not stop at extensive
contact between Ambassador Herzl in South Africa and
South African Ambassador Marx in Israel, with officials
of the respective Departments of Foreign Affairs, it
also consists of the highest possible levels of contacts
between both Governments.
There is ongoing exchange between President Mbeki and
President Katzav, Prime Minister Sharon and Deputy Prime
Minister and Foreign Minister, Shimon Peres. The last
such personal contact being as recent as President Mbekis
visit to New York last month.
The Government of South Africa cares deeply about the
need for peace and security for the Israeli and Palestinian
peoples. That is why the South African Government has
devoted considerable time, effort and resources to try
and keep the hope for peace alive for Israelis and Palestinians
in this terrible time of crisis.
It was precisely the commitment to this principle of
keeping the hope for peace alive between Israelis and
Palestinians which prompted President Mbeki to invite
Israeli and Palestinian leaders, who have shown an unswerving
commitment to an unconditional dialogue about peace
between both peoples to South Africa to attend the Spier
Peace Retreat at the beginning of January.
The South African Government does not share the view
of Israels Prime Minister, Mr Ariel Sharon, that
"only after (the Palestinians) are beaten will
we be able to hold talks."
The South African Government has never believed that
an army can defeat by military might, the striving of
a people for freedom. This is the fundamental point
of difference in approach between the Government of
South Africa and the Government of Israel on the extent
to which the use of armed force can be deployed to try
and restore peace and security against the wishes of
dogged people committed to their own liberation.
Equally, the South African Government does not believe
that the Palestinian people will achieve their dream
of liberation and the dignity of statehood, through
brutal and horrendous acts of terrorism committed against
the citizens of Israel in their streets, suburbs and
South Africa has been as unequivocal in its condemnation
of the military policies of the Government of Israel,
as it has been of Palestinian terrorist attacks against
the citizens of Israel.
We have not been alone in adopting this position. For
example, the United States, Israels staunchest
ally, has had repeated cause to express its deepest
concern to the Government of Israel about the desperate
consequences of its ongoing escalation in the use of
massive military force against Palestinian institutions.
Most recently, Secretary of State, Colin Powell commented
that "Prime Minister Sharon has to take a hard
look at his policies and see whether they will work.
If you declare war on the Palestinians and think that
you can solve the problem, by seeing how many Palestinians
can be killed I dont know that, that leads
us anywhere." This view is also widely shared as
the position of the European Union, major Western powers
and in the United Nations.
The South African Government believes that peace cannot
be achieved in this type of conflict through the application
of overwhelming military force nor can it be achieved
under prevailing conditions, through demands that negotiations
and dialogue about peace can only commence in the absence
of hostilities and violence. Too many people on both
sides of this conflict are dead and maimed to hold on
to this unrealistic and unachievable principle.
In this regard, it cannot be forgotten that our nation
faced a similar challenge and we dealt with it differently
and successfully. In the period between the release
of former President Nelson Mandela, at the beginning
of February 1990, until the first democratic elections
in April 1994, more than 10,000 South Africans died
in politically motivated violence in this country. Where
would this nation have been today, if that requirement
had been set as a basis for the political dialogue that
enabled this countrys leaders to achieve a negotiated
and peaceful settlement to our problems?
A policy which demands a total end to all violence before
negotiations can begin, is ultimately a policy which
places in the hands of the men of violence, the right
to veto any discussion and engagement on an agenda for
It is for this reason that we are pleased to note Prime
Minister Sharon's commitment to commence discussions
with the Palestinians without a continued insistence
on seven days of calm. We are also heartened by the
American decision to return General Zinni to the region
and the EU response to try and move discussions forward
once again. We are equally supportive of efforts to
enhance the prospects for the Saudi Arabian proposal.
The reasons for this are obvious. The South African
Government does not believe that the conflict between
Israel and its Palestinian neighbour and peace partner,
is either intractable nor inevitable. It had a beginning
and, with goodwill on both sides, it will have an end!
While we can argue whether this approach is right or
not, we cannot accept that a willingness on the part
of the Government of South Africa, to express publicly
its criticism of Israeli's military approach to defeat
Palestinian aspirations with military might, is either
anti-Israeli or anti-Zionist or indeed, anti-Semitic.
We do however, recognise that such a view is held and
was given greater impetus after the disgraceful events
surrounding the non-governmental organisation conference
which was held on the fringes of the United Nations
World Conference against Racism in Durban, during August
I wish to make it unequivocally clear that the South
African Government recognises that part of that component
was hi-jacked and used by some with an anti-Israeli
agenda to turn it into an anti-Semitic event. Recognition
of this, however, was precisely the reason for the refusal
of the worlds governments at that Conference to
accept the final statement of NGO proceedings into the
final document of the Conference.
Additionally, the South African Government as Chair,
worked hard to ensure an acceptable and honourable outcome
of the final document which avoided singling out Israel
for exclusive criticism in regard to the current crisis
in the Middle East.
So successful were our efforts in this regard, that
our President was personally thanked for South Africas
role in ensuring that outcome by the Deputy Prime Minister
and Foreign Minister of Israel, Shimon Peres. Mr Peres
went further and also expressed himself publicly in
I know from considerable exchanges I have had with the
leadership of the South African Jewish community, since
that event, that Jewish civil society organisations
from around the world who experienced the shocking manifestations
of anti-Semitism we all saw on CNN, etc have another
It must be understood however, that the South African
Government cannot be held responsible for atrocious
behaviour by some extremists, who abused the constitutional
right to freedom of speech afforded to all persons in
South Africa. It is important to recall that many of
these people were self-invited, mandated by no one other
than themselves and funded by generous government grants
from the Western democracies. We also have to take account
of the fact that the media often see in such extremist
behaviour, the story of the day and resultantly give
such people publicity they do not deserve. There does
thus need to be a greater focus on media responsibility
in publicising and over emphasising such extremism.
The South African Government, as a host to such events,
has certainly learned lessons from this bad experience.
This said however, the South African Government cannot
accept the proposition that, the inability of UN structures
to control the behaviour of anti-Semitic extremists
at a fringe event of the Conference, automatically defines
the outcome of the inter-Governmental proceedings
the main event of the Conference as a failure,
or as anti-Semitic.
This does not mean however, that note has not been taken
of the deep concerns expressed by South African Jewish
leaders about the unacceptable manifestations of anti-Semitism
which were present during these fringe of Conference
proceedings. In fact, as a Government that is committed
to an unmitigated countering of any racist agenda, we
are well aware that anti-Semitism very often rears its
ugly head as among the first types of racism that appear
in modern societies. It is, therefore, the first form
of racism which has to be countered, whenever and wherever
The Presidents invitation to the Israeli peace
camp to join him and the Palestinian peace camp in a
three day retreat, focussing on how to advance the agenda
for peace between Israel and Palestine, speaks volumes
about the commitment of this Government to ensuring
that Israelis may live side-by-side in peace and security
with their Palestinian neighbours.
This retreat afforded those not inconsiderable elements
in Israeli society which, despite the present crisis,
have taken the opportunity to put, what most South Africans
perceive to be, Israels best foot forward - the
search for a political solution to the ongoing suffering
on both sides in the present conflict.
This government and this nation believe in the power
of peace makers to make a difference. We believe in
peace makers' ability to change conflict into conciliation
and mutual recognition of each side's inherent dignity.
We do not believe in bombardment, whether by helicopter
gunships, tanks, Kalashnikov rifles or human bombs.
The South African Government, for this reason, unequivocally
supports those in Israel who pursue an unconditional
agenda for peace. This is not a narrow commitment to
an Israeli political party, it is a commitment of support
to all elements in Israeli society who believe that
peace can be won back from the ruins and tragedy of
present events. This is our hope and vision for Israel
In this regard, I have to mention before ending, that
the South African Governments diplomatic dialogue
and exchange with the Government of Israel and the Palestinian
National Authority, is unequivocally predicated upon
conveying this message over and over again.
In all our public statements, South Africa has never
taken a step backwards from the sanctity of the policy
statement which I commenced this address with. Namely,
the right of the State of Israel to exist within defined
borders, in peace and security with its neighbours.
Equally, we have never sought to justify or "water
down" our utter condemnation of any terrorist outrage
committed against the civilian population of Israel.
These are immutable pillars of our policy.
This does not mean however, that we do not hear and
do not see, increasing voices of dissent in Israeli
society about the consequences of Israeli occupation
of Palestinian territories or the futility of attempts
to achieve military solutions.
No nations security can be predicated upon the
occupation and suppression of another nation.
In this regard, I want to quote from an article entitled
"The Wars Seventh Day" which appeared
in Israels daily Haaretz newspaper, a week ago.
These are not the ravings of a far-left wing "peacenik"
but the views of a highly respected Israeli jurist,
Mr Michael Ben-Yair, a former Attorney-General of the
State of Israel, who served during the prime ministership
of the late and great, Yitzchak Rabin.
"The Zionist dreams realisation and the Jewish
peoples national rebirth
achieved because of
tanks, planes or other
aggressive means. The State of Israel was born because
the Zionist movement realised it must find a solution
to Jewish persecution and because the enlightened world
recognised the need for that solution.
"The Six Day War was forced upon us; however, the
wars seventh day which began on June 12, 1967,
has continued to this day. It is the product of our
"The Six Day Wars seventh day has transformed
us from a moral society sure of the justice of Israels
creation, into a society that oppresses another people,
preventing it from realising its legitimate national
We cannot ignore the fact that the so-called "Four
Mothers Movement" which was established on
the 4th March 1997 which played a key-role in bringing
about Israels withdrawal from its futile 18-year
war in Southern Lebanon, has now reconstituted itself
as a movement called "The Seventh Day"
the day that will follow and complete the Six Day War,
35 years after it began.
We cannot ignore the daily growing conscientious objectors
movement in Israel, now more than 300 soldiers, leaders
of elite battalions who question the morality of the
Defence Forces of a democratic nation oppressing the
people of another society.
We cannot ignore the public response of the Council
for Peace and Security, a group of over 1,000 top-level
reserve generals and colonels from the IDF, from the
Shin-Bet and Mossad, who have committed themselves to
mount a public campaign for an Israeli withdrawal from
all of Gaza and most of the West Bank "whether
there is a cease-fire or not."
We cannot ignore the fact that recent rallies in favour
of peace, called by the peace camp in Israel, have been
attended by up to 15,000 people. A far cry from the
half a million people who demonstrated against the War
in Lebanon in the 1980s, but a creditable and
meaningful beginning at a time when Israeli civilians
are being brutally killed in ever growing numbers on
the streets of their cities.
We cannot ignore the fact that Israelis are living in
a state of siege and growing insecurity. We are, however,
greatly encouraged that there are growing numbers of
Israelis who are saying there is another way. From this
we see that the hope for peace is growing in Israeli
society even in the midst of the current terrible cycle
of violence. When an editorial writer can write "that
a gruesome equation of blood is being created, an equation
that is spinning into an escalation neither side can
halt. A murderous Palestinian terrorist attack produces
an escalating Israeli response, which, in turn, produces
another horrible act of vengeance and the whole bloody,
vicious cycle goes on and on," this shows that
Israelis increasingly understand that the cycle of violence,
terrorism and bombardment bring no security and that
there is another alternative.
This growing movement towards support once again for
negotiations about peace, will also give strength and
encouragement to Palestinian leaders who desire a peaceful
solution and help to isolate the extremist men of violence.
Chairman, we have no peace plan for Israelis and Palestinians.
But South Africa has an abiding faith and commitment
to assist both societies to draw on their deepest resources
of common humanity and re-build a renewed hope for peace.
This vision cannot be achieved through an exclusive
support for one side of a conflict. It can only be based
upon a commitment to the dignity and right of both Israel
and Palestine to exist in peace and security, side by
side. This hope and commitment is as mutually dependant
for success or failure on the response of one society
as it is on that of the other. After all is said and
done, the similar sentiments of Yitzchak Rabin and Nelson
Mandela are as true today as when they were uttered
nearly a decade ago. "You make peace with your
enemies not with your friends. Peace makes enemies into
For the sake of Israeli and Palestinian children, we
must intensity our efforts to ensure that negotiations
based on the Tenet Proposals and Mitchell Plan can start
without further delay.
The pre-requisite for a prosperous State of Israel living
within defined and secure borders and in peace with
its neighbours, is an independent Palestinian State
committed to its own peace and prosperity side by side
with its neighbour Israel.
I thank you.