Address by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, at the Budget Vote of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Cape Town 3 June 2004

Madame Speaker

President Thabo Mbeki

Deputy President Jacob Zuma

Members of the Portfolio Committee of Foreign Affairs

Members of the Diplomatic Corps

Honourable Members of Parliament

Distinguished Guests:

Let me at the onset acknowledge the leadership in international affairs shown by our President Thabo Mbeki and Deputy President Jacob Zuma.

I would also like to thank my Cabinet Colleagues for their insights and support. My gratitude goes to Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad for his efforts. I would like to welcome on board Deputy Minister Sue van der Merwe. I wish to thank the Portfolio Committee for their sterling work in the last year under Pallo Jordan and especially to welcome Professor Kader Asmal into his new and challenging role of Chair of this Committee. His sharp intellect and boundless energy will serve us well.

I would like to thank the Director General, Ayanda Ntsaluba, and his team in the Department for all their hard work, late nights and for giving so much to the cause of Africa and the wider world.
Ten years ago, when the new South African nation was born, its birth was met with smiles on people's faces and cries of joy all over the world. These were the expressions of men and women across the globe inspired by our struggle for freedom. South Africa had touched a chord deep within them. They had felt their own humanity challenged and believed they had no choice but to demonstrate their solidarity.

Through the decades of apartheid rule, a vast human energy, was unleashed by ordinary people who believed that an injury to one is an injury to all. They walked the road with us to our ultimate liberation. They became a global movement for change as they met, they marched and they mobilized others to fight for our cause.

Among those who fought for our freedom were those brave individuals who paid the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives so that South Africa could be liberated. In our neighbouring countries, our brothers and sisters lost their lives for they regarded our struggle as their own. These countries put at risk their sovereignty and very survival in order to act in real solidarity with us. The organizations of our continent and the world, notably the Organisation of African Unity, the Commonwealth, the United Nations, took a firm stand against apartheid.

Now, ten years later, once more, the world's people are celebrating with us. Today they celebrate because we have not betrayed them. They celebrate because year after year, we have remained committed to our principles. We have earned their respect and sustained their interest in South Africa, in reaching our goals of building a new non-racial, non-sexist and democratic and prosperous country.

To all those who have fought for our freedom, we reaffirm that we shall continue to work for humanity and not against it. We shall continue to do all we can so that Africa can be fully free, so that this continent and all its people are not marginalized from world progress. We shall continue to be committed to the cause of freedom of all, to stand up against inequality and injustice and to oppose destructive policies and practices that can destroy the future of the entire human race. We shall continue to be advocates for sustainable development that is people-centred so that the enormous global resources we possess translate into a better life for all the people of the world.

Hence our principled position that all countries should be treated as equal players in the world economy and in the political organizations of the world. Hence too our belief in multilateralism as a principle that informs our participation in international structures. Hence too our stand against global poverty and our participation in South-South co-operation so that we work collectively to bring an end to underdevelopment. Hence too our stand against weapons of mass destruction. Hence too our embrace of the Millennium Declaration adopted by the Heads of State at the UN General Assembly in 2000 and our working hard towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. Among these are goals that seek to halve the number of poor people in the world by 2015, to halve the figures for infant and maternal mortality, to reduce gender discrimination and to make progress in primary education for all. These goals are also reflected in NEPAD.

Thus, in this tenth year of democracy, as we look back at our achievements and also look forward to our continued work and to new tasks that lie ahead in the next decade, let us celebrate and commemorate our decade of freedom conscious not only of what we have accomplished as a new South African nation, but of what our brothers and sisters on this continent have done for us and of how the world's people have walked with us on the road to freedom.

As the great African thinker, Frantz Fanon, in The Wretched of the Earth, reminds us:
'Individual experience, because it is national and because it is a link in the chain of national existence, ceases to be individual, limited and shrunken and is enabled to open out into the truth of the nation and of the world.'

Our victory was a victory for the African continent and for all progressive forces in the world. Our victory was also a victory for ordinary people around the world who both desired and fought for an end to apartheid and who saw the coming of national liberation in South Africa as a profoundly personal and yet universal event. Ten years later the hopes of the world's people are still with the South African people and the full realization of the dream of African renewal.

Fanon also makes the point that:

"The consciousness of self is not the closing of a door to communication. Philosophic thought teaches us, on the contrary, that it is its guarantee. National consciousness, which is not nationalism, is the only thing that will give us an international dimension…. the building of a nation is of necessity accompanied by the discovery and encouragement of universalizing values. Far from keeping aloof from other nations, therefore it is national liberation which leads the nation to play its part on the stage of history. It is at the heart of national consciousness that international consciousness lives and grows. And this two-fold emerging is ultimately the source of all culture."

Over the past ten years, our involvement in world affairs has been premised on the view that the strength of our nation depends on the strength of the entire Continent. Hence too, our efforts in consolidating an African agenda, in co-operating with the African diaspora and in working together with other partners to create a better, more humane and people-centred world.

The trip I have just returned from epitomises what our focus has been and what it will be for the coming years. We shall remain focused on striving for peace, stability, democracy and people-centred sustainable development on the African Continent, bringing an end to poverty and in contributing to an equitable world order where there is harmony between the world's people. The launch of the Peace and Security Council was a historic moment giving us a framework for conflict prevention, management and resolution and for peacekeeping and peace building.

The beneficiaries will be the African people, especially the African women and children who will be able to sleep soundly in their beds and to lead secure lives confident that potential and existing conflict will be dealt with comprehensively and decisively. We are pleased that South Africa has been honoured as a founding member of this Council and elected to a three-year term at a meeting of the AU Executive Council.

Work is also continuing apace to consolidate a Common African Defence and Security Policy (CADSP) which was adopted at the 2nd Extraordinary Session of the AU Assembly in Sirte, Libya in February this year.

The opening of our Mission in Mali is part of our broader plan to be in every country in Africa, which is our priority continent. We are now represented in 32 countries and there are still 20 outstanding. It is also part of our commitment to strengthen the partnership and bilateral co-operation with African countries. To this end, we are separating our work in Africa into two major sections, the bilateral work with its own Deputy Director General and the multilateral work with its own Deputy Director General. The Burundi Mission is a wonderful example of the New South Africa and what we stand for, nationally, continentally and globally. Driven by our desire for peace, to save lives we took over the facilitator's responsibility after the death of President Mwalimu Julius Nyerere. 300 000 lives had been lost.

When a protection force was needed for returning exiles and the UN was not able to help South Africa sent that force. When a peacekeeping force was due and the UN was not ready, South Africa as part of an AU force sent men and women there together with Mozambique and Ethiopia.

Our force consisted of men and women of different races. A true mission for peace. Having transformed our defence force from being a symbol of the reign of terror on the region into a protection force, a peacekeeping force. Maybe our media and opposition will again ask how much does it cost, who is going to pay and what is in it for us.

For us, the saving of human lives, stopping wars and contributing towards peace, democracy, human rights and development cannot be reduced simply to rands and cents. What is in it, for us, is peace. Can we ever imagine where we would be if the African Continent had asked all those questions and decided it was too costly to help us and there was nothing in it for them. If those housewives, poor working class people all over the Western countries had the same attitude and did not engage in the solidarity work, did not boycott SA products, did not sacrifice some of their grocery money for us.

If those students and children in Mongolia and all over the world did not sacrifice their pocket money to organise free Mandela campaigns. If those workers and shareholders did not get their companies to disinvest. The people in the neighbouring countries and front line states did not do what they did because of what it cost. Our freedom, our dignity, our humanity could not be reduced to dollars and cents. What was in it for them? It was our freedom, their humanity.

I have just returned from the launch of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, the opening of our new mission and the meeting of the Human Security Network in Mali. During this trip, I also had the honour to be in Burundi during the Recapping Ceremony to change the mandate. Present, were both men and women soldiers - a truly non-sexist African force. Mozambican, Ethiopian, South African and others participated as the AU flag was lowered and the UN flag was hoisted.

The ceremony also witnessed the appointment of General Mgwebi as the first South African to command a UN peacekeeping force. This was a demonstration of our commitment to multilateralism at all levels. It also demonstrated our commitment to humanity. We shall continue in that path. Human life is priceless. Over the past ten years, we have integrated South Africa into the world as a responsible member of the international community of nations.

We have conducted ourselves in international affairs in a manner consistent with the ideals and values enshrined in our Constitution, in particular the promotion of democratic governance founded on the pillars of non-racialism and non-sexism. We have established ourselves as a force in contributing to the global effort for sustainable peace and people-centred socio-economic development based on a firm belief in multilateralism and rules based international order. We have expanded the horizons for our citizenry who can now freely travel and exploit the opportunities across international boundaries. We have established ourselves correctly as a truly African country.

Madame Speaker,

We are part of Africa and of the South and therefore the priorities of Africa and developing countries are also our priorities. In this regard we have prioritised the strengthening of continental and regional structures especially the AU and SADC.

The AU Commission commenced work in September 2003 and South Africa has contributed to the drafting of the vision of the AU and mission of the Commission, including the strategic framework, which will serve as a basis for the implementation of a four-year programme. The challenge we face as government is to identify those with the appropriate skills to fill positions in the AU as well as to devise a strategy for the engagement of ordinary South African citizens and African citizens who are not in government employ to participate in the Affairs of the AU.

This year has seen the historic operationalisation of the Pan African Parliament. We are pleased to inform this House that South Africa participated in the successful inaugural session of this Parliament on 18 March 2004 in Addis Ababa. The establishment of this key political organ of the African Union is a crucial step towards Africa possessing its own political future. As South Africa, we have expressed our interest to host the permanent seat of the Pan African Parliament. We believe that we have what it takes to do this. We await the decision of the AU in July.

As the other organs of the African Union are established, we shall be able to say with confidence that we are making concrete progress in addressing all aspects of our people's lives.

We have ratified the Protocol on the African Court of Human and People's Rights. The process to nominate judges for this Court is underway. South Africa has also signed both the protocols to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights, on the Rights of Women in Africa as well as the Protocol on the African Court of Justice.

Clearly, the successful implementation of continental processes will be dependent on government and people working hand in hand in a committed partnership for a better life. An all-African consciousness should emerge as people work together and see the tangible benefits of this co-operation between communities and countries manifest in improvements in their every-day lives.

It is also with this in mind that we have focused attention on the African Diaspora and are paving the way for engagement with the Diaspora in a sustained, structured, coherent way that will be of mutual benefit. Thus the Caribbean Conference on the Diaspora that we are organizing as part of the 10 year celebrations later this year presents us with an important opportunity for consolidating our relations and our common commitments to development. This event is expected to lead to a possible global conference on the Diaspora.

Our efforts in forging links with the people of the African Diaspora are also because of our shared experiences and the need to unify African people despite their alienation from the lands of their ancestors. We have suffered as they have suffered for being black in the world under the system of colonialism and neo-colonialism. Our common pride in the achievement of Africa is also what binds us and the new hope for an African renaissance, which is already being translated into reality by the African people.

As Michael J.C. Echeruo writes in an essay entitled "An African Diaspora: The Ontological Project" (in the edited collection, The African Diaspora: African Origins and New World Identities):

"The members of a diaspora must have once had a home of their own, a nation, if you like, but nevertheless a covenanted forever home, a site from which they may be (for a while excluded, but which is theirs, inalienably. This home, this land is not important only as a physical place; it is even more important as the source, root, final location for a determinable lineage….The power of the idea lies in the principle of it: that a return is possible forever, whenever, if ever. It is this possibility - this inalienable right to wish a return, to reclaim connections to a lineage, however fractured, that makes one individual a part of a diffuse and disparate collections of persons we call the diaspora. Moreover, that retrospective capacity makes brothers and sisters of all who are authorized, or who claim the right to the lineage. Such capacity, above all else, permits us to be African."

It is this sense of a wider African community, identity and expression of solidarity that gave impetus to our participation in the bi-centenary celebrations with the people of Haiti and our concern with the future of this country. It is also this that has allowed us to accede to the request to accept President Aristide into our shores. President Aristide dared to speak for the poor of Haiti. He dared to ask for compensation to correct a historic injustice.

Madame Speaker,

Our second major African focus in the coming months is implementing in full key socio-economic programmes, particularly NEPAD and the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan. South Africa continues to interact with key continental and international partners and stakeholders to access support - financial technical and institutional - for the implementation of NEPAD. Heads of State, including President Mbeki, participate actively in these processes.

The African Peer Review Mechanism is nearing finalisation. This is an important development as Africa addresses its own priorities and needs and begins to measure its own progress. South Africa will be reviewed in the first quarter of 2005.

South Africa has also been involved in the restructuring process of SADC. We are eager that there should be an acceleration of the rate of implementation of the new SADC organisational structure and to strengthen the SADC Secretariat. More needs to be done to expedite these processes as well as to strengthen governance and capacity in the regional bloc so as to improve performance.

Honourable Members,

A brief word on the DRC. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo we have welcomed the announcement on 8 May 2004 that all the components of the Transitional Government had reached agreement on the Provincial Governors and Deputy-Governors. This agreement on the appointment of Governors and Deputy Governors will assist the transitional process to regain momentum. Furthermore, the Road Map, released by President Kabila on 19 April 2004 consisting of a calendar of different steps of the transitional process, including the finalisation of a draft constitution should end in the organisation of free and fair elections in September 2005. While these are steps in the right direction, the South African government however, is concerned with the deteriorating security situation in Eastern DRC and deems it urgent to start the integration of all the forces and the formations of one national defence force. We are keen to assist.

South Africa has hosted various delegations from Burundi, including President Ndayizeye.during the past week. President Mbeki has been invited by President Museveni as the Chairman of the Regional Peace Initiative on Burundi to the Regional Summit on Burundi in Dar-es-Salaam on 5 June 2004
South Africa remains seized with assisting and through the SADC and the AUin improving the situation of our neighbours, especially Zimbabwe and Swaziland, so that the entire region experiences peace and stability and works towards the prosperity of all our people.

South Africa chairs the AU Post-Conflict Reconstruction Committee for the Sudan. A team of African experts will be dispatched to Sudan to assess the requirements for post-conflict reconstruction. South Africa will also continue to support the Inter-governmental Authority on Development's (IGAD) initiatives to bring peace and stability to Sudan. We welcome the signing of a comprehensive agreement between the GoS and the SPLA in trying to address

Our commitment to South-South co-operation will guide our work in the coming years. In Asia with whom we share historical and political ties, we shall prioritse the enhancemnt of trade and investment opportunities between the two regions. In this regard, the President's address at the ASEAN summit in November 2002 led to an initiative by Indonesian President Sukarnoputri for the forging of a New Strategic Partnership between Asia and Africa with the specific aim to foster closer co-operation between Asian and African regional and sub-regional groupings.

We are also both renewing and consolidating our relations with the countries of Asia, inspired by the spirit of the Bandung Conference in which Asian and African countries first agreed to work together to build a better world nearly 50 years ago which led to the establishment of the NAM. The first Asia-Africa Sub-Regional Organisations Conference (AASROC I) sponsored by South Africa and Indonesia took place in Bandung, in July 2003. These ongoing Conferences will culminate in an Asia-Africa Summit Meeting in Bandung, Indonesia, on 25 April 2005 - fifty years after the Asia-Africa Conference held in Bandung in 1955.

The Summit will then adopt a programme of action through which Asia and Africa will interact.
While South Africa's interaction with Asia was very limited prior to 1994, we are pleased that since then, relations in all spheres have grown exponentially. Asia now accounts for 27% of South Africa's total foreign trade, with Japan, India and the PRC ranked among the 10 largest economies in the world.
President Mbeki, accompanied by a large government and business delegation, undertook a highly successful State visit to India from 15-19 October 2003. Apart from bilateral co-operation, the visit also afforded the opportunity to exchange views on multilateral cooperation and in particular South-South cooperation and to discuss with India its ongoing commitment to and support for the promotion of the NEPAD.

Once again we congratulate the people of India for the exemplary manner in which they conducted their recent elections. We look forward to continued co-operation with the government of India.
South Africa has also been active in the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) process and the Forum on China - Africa Cooperation, in Addis Ababa.

Our consolidation of relations with Asia is also complemented by the ties we are strengthening with our friends in South America and the Caribbean. Of strategic importance was the establishment in June 2003 of the South Africa, India and Brazil trilateral Dialogue Forum. Following upon the initial meeting in Brasilia, the IBSA Heads of State held a Summit in New York at UNGA 58 and agreed on areas of co-operation, which include, UN reform, trade negotiations and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.

This was further taken forward in the first Trilateral Joint Commission in India where we adopted an extensive plan of action with clear objectives and timeframes. This includes projects in the areas of transportation, tourism, trade and investment, energy, defence, infrastructure, science and technology health and the ICTs. The significance of IBSA is that it cements South-South co-operation in a framework of their own making and it thus has a strong potential for elevating and enhancing the agenda of the South in the international arena.

We shall be stepping up our co-operation with South American countries both as SA and as the Continent. Our co-operation with Cuba will continue and so too will our trilateral co-operation in health. In addition to the trilateral co-operation with Mali, we have now commenced with a trilateral involving Rwanda.

We have expanded our bilateral relations with China but we need to concentrate on intensifying and expanding them to reach their full potential.

Honourable members,

We welcome the coming into full force of the Trade, Development and Co-operation Agreement (TDCA) with the European Union (EU). This coupled with the expansion of the EU will extend the scope of our trade and co-operation with Europe.

We shall also be giving priority to strengthening our co-operation with the Russian Federation through our joint commission. As we celebrate ten years of freedom in South Africa, our thoughts go out to those in other countries who are still struggling for self-determination and against foreign occupation. Relations with countries in the Middle East tend to be overshadowed by events in Israel/Palestine and Iraq.

In an photo-essay entitled "Palestine: Home as a Prison", Randa Shaath writes that: "The border is not only a physical/political divide - it also stands for economic separation." "For successive generations of Palestinians, the borders that define their space - where they can live, work, and move - keep shrinking. They have no control over the shift that defines their existence."

(from the book Borders and Beyond: Photographs and Essays published by Pro Helvetia The Arts Council of Switzerland and the Swiss agency for Development and Co-operation)
The South African Government has been consistent in calling for the immediate implementation of the 'Road Map', without preconditions in order to achieve a comprehensive and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine. Real progress will necessitate compliance by both parties with obligations as outlined in the Road Map without any preconditions, as non-compliance with the expected obligations only serves to undermine efforts for a rational solution.

South Africa has consistently called on all parties to the conflict in Israel and Palestine to demonstrate responsibility in avoiding actions that could add to an already volatile situation. During 2003/04 South Africa continued to engage Israelis and Palestinians in the search for peace in the Middle East, consistent with President Mbeki's Spier Initiative of 2002 that aimed to share South Africa's experience with peace making.

An issue of increasing concern is Israel's continued construction of the separation wall. Basing it on the premise of security, Israel is justifying the Security Wall by saying it is an act of self-defence. The continued construction of the separation wall runs contrary to the will of the international community as reflected in UN General Assembly Resolution A/ES-10/L.10 of 21 October 2003.

The South African Government does not believe the construction of the so-called security wall represents a legitimate security measure. South Africa's presentation of a written legal position, as well as our participation in the proceedings before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague on 23 February 2004 is a logical consequence of our principled position in respect of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, namely that all efforts to resolve this matter through negotiations must be supported.
The South African Government will host a two-day United Nations African Meeting on the Question of Palestine followed by a one-day civil society event in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

The situation in Iraq continues to receive our attention. Post-war, South Africa has focused its efforts on supporting and promoting a multilateralist approach and a central role for the UN in the transition in Iraq. The restoration of sovereignty to the Iraqi people is a goal South Africa shares with many countries. South Africa agrees that peace, security and development in Iraq can only be achieved with and by the Iraqi people themselves.


The future of the world is dependent on all the people of the world actively participating in their political and economic future. The key to sustainable development and world prosperity lies not in the silencing of suffering and the relegation of the poor to the periphery of economic power, but in cultivating an authentic space for the citizens of the world to give voice to their pain and outline their progress plans, to express their desire to end poverty and war, to restore the dignity of millions of people and to be accorded equal status in the world community. Only in this way can we succeed in creating an egalitarian society and a caring, truly people-centred world.

Our challenge over the next 10 years is to be a positive force in support of the entrenchment of multilateralism; the reshaping of the international trading and financial regimes to support development; and the advocacy for global peace.

It is as a result of the dramatic developments last year arising out of concerns about Weapons of Mass Destruction that we witnessed the resort to armed intervention and war in Iraq which created great anxiety about the future role of the UNSC in maintaining and preserving international peace and security.
The United Nations urgently needs to be reformed. The Security Council is losing its status as an agent for our collective security.

It is fast becoming a tool for the agenda of certain powerful countries. If this continues it is going to become increasingly difficult for the rest of UN members who feel marginalized to carry out the obligations emanating from the Security Council. If this happens it will be a sad day for the international governance and true multilateralism. We have to avoid that situation by all means, so the powerful countries have to revisit the way they use the Security Council.

The UN Secretary General has appointed a special panel to examine the threats and challenges to collective security and peace and we look forward to the report of the panel in December 2004.

The issue of WMD has taken on a new importance and it is important that we do everything possible to achieve their total elimination. Their very existence constitutes a major threat to humanity. It is for this reason that we are also in favour of the non-proliferation of WMD. We believe that all concerns regarding biological, chemical and nuclear weapons must be addressed within the specialist-established structures and where necessary the relevant instruments and machinery should be strengthened.

In order to make the world a safer place and prevent proliferation those who possess nuclear weapons must begin a committed step-by-step process for the elimination of their nuclear arsenals.

South Africa places great importance on the NPT, which also guarantees the rights of members to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. In all these matters we will continue to work on the basis of principle and in accordance with international law and multilateral treaties and agreements. We shall work relentlessly for the success of the 2005 NPT Review Conference.

Honourable Members,

The economic progress of the world is dependent on developing nations and regions being allowed an opportunity to participate as equals in the global economy.

However, multilateral trade negotiations in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have encountered a series of difficulties culminating in a failure to reach concrete outcomes at the 5th Ministerial Conference in Cancun in September 2003. Since Cancun, several developments have taken place including important initiatives by the US and the EU to put the negotiations back on track but lack of political commitment continues to prevent progress.

With the view to improving our economic relations, South Africa is engaged in negotiating a number of Free Trade Agreements (FTA). In addition, SACU is engaged in similar negotiations with Mercosur, USA and the EU.
We also contin
ue to seek to remove impediments to sustained economic growth that exist in the international financial architecture, in the development policies of the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs), and in the development aid policies and practices of bilateral donors. The removal of their barriers is essential so to enable poverty reduction in developing countries, African economies and South Africa.

Our participation in world affairs includes our continuing work on sustainable development, the development of a National Plan of Action against Racism that is to be lodged with the United Nations and our work in the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

Honourable Members,

This expanding and burgeoning international agenda requires us to strengthen the capacity of the Department of Foreign Affairs through further recruitment and training, a Human Resource Development Strategy appropriate to the new demands as well as the implementation of more robust performance management systems among other interventions. The repositioning of the Foreign Service Institute, our Diplomatic Training Facility is to get underway. We are expediting our efforts in the arena of improving economic diplomacy and as a starting point all serving and future diplomats' competence on trade and investment is to be enhanced through training.

We are pleased that in this selfsame year that we celebrate our democratic achievements, South Africa has been granted the privilege of hosting the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

True to the ideals of world equality and development, of the necessity for an end to poverty and the assertion of human dignity we shall continue to roll up our sleeves and with renewed energy build a better Africa and a truly remarkable world.

I thank you and I ask this House to help us in our endeavours by voting to approve the budget of the

Department of Foreign Affairs for this financial year.
Issued by Department of Foreign Affairs
P/Bag X152
3 June 2004.

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