Closing Remarks by Minister Nkosazana
Dlamini Zuma at the 2004 SA-UK Bilateral Forum, Cape
Town 25 - 26 August 2004
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw
Distinguished Members of the UK and South African delegations
Ladies and Gentlemen:
We have reached the end of another meeting of our Bilateral
Forum. Now it is time to part with the good friends
we have made over the years and also to bid farewell
to new acquaintances whom we may only have met at this
year's meeting. But the ending itself of this meeting
ought to be seen as the seeds of a new beginning.
As William Blake reminds us in his much-quoted lines
from his Auguries of Innocence, it is our task as humanity:
"To see a World in a Grain of sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
and eternity in an hour."
It is this bold and brave outlook on the future of
the world in which nothing is impossible and in which
everything has potential to succeed that moves us to
build common ties and to travel this road of friendship
together. We share a history and a present since the
demands of the present age call upon us to act decisively
and yet wisely in the world.
For out of this gathering, possibilities emerge and
are identified. Concrete projects that have been agreed
upon will now see the light of day and this represents
something wholly new that we can take to our people.
This meeting also bears testimony to the continuation
of existing plans that have been further sharpened and
strengthened as a result of our discussions.
Within every discussion, there is the possibility that
new times demand of us new actions. Thus, in our Forum,
the seeds of a new beginning have also been planted
and our task now is to see that they are nurtured so
that they grow and flower.
Our Bilateral Forum ensures that we also share a sense
of the future through exploring ideas that have bearing
on the world at large. It is as part of our planning
for this future that we agree to participate in common
programmes that will be to the mutual benefits of our
I believe that our meeting this year has made solid
progress and that there has been both an advance and
an enhancement on what we have accomplished up until
Thank you all for your reports. I am very pleased that
so much has been achieved.
For the first time, we have had meetings between our
respective Ministers on matters of arts, culture and
sport and they have made progress in a number of projects
ands in developing links between our various industries.
Matters of trade, defence and health have received
attention and here too agreement has been reached on
concrete areas of co-operation.
As a result of these discussions, as South Africa and
the United Kingdom, we can say with confidence that
we share a view that the problems of poverty and underdevelopment
in the world as well as the reality of conflicts and
instability need a multilateral approach in thinking
and indeed in implementation. For the sake of the children
of Africa, of Europe and the world, let us intensify
our efforts to address these problems and give them
the attention they deserve.
I am pleased that our joint efforts will also be focused
on improving Africa's position in the world. Your support
in working towards more favourable trade relations through
exploring ways to improve private sector participation
in Africa's development is appreciated. This will assist
in enabling African countries to be able to play a more
meaningful and productive role in the world economy
and to increase the quality and quantity of their exports
and these will improve the lot of Africa's people.
Your commitment to furthering the cause of Africa within
the EU is most welcome and a timely intervention, especially
as regards assistance in strengthening African institutions.
I would like to extend my profound appreciation to
all participants, from both South Africa and the UK
and to thank you for your dedication in ensuring that
this partnership achieves the objectives that we set
out for it.
It is clear that we can look forward to a full joint
programme in the year ahead, and that there are many
areas in which we have a common agenda to take forward.
It must be emphasised, once more, that if the Forum
is to realise its full potential, then the two High
Commissions and all relevant Departments should do the
necessary ground work to follow up on all the possibilities
for co-operation identified during our meeting.
In conclusion, I would like to remind us all that this
meeting is as much about tangible outcomes as it is
about forging common dreams together. Let us not lose
sight of the fact that humanity does dream and that
it is the innocence of these dreams that matters despite
the hardships around us, the dreams of those who have
not given up, but dare to hope and still believe that
they can do so much more than they are now in improving
the human condition and in understanding that our task
as people of this world is to arrive at a common destination.
It is my hope that there will be more continuity in
participation at future Forums than there has been in
Let us look forward to next year's UK-SA Bilateral
Forum and to hear what has been done to build upon the
work of yesterday and today and to plant the seeds of
a new tomorrow.
Let us continue to build common dreams together.
I thank you.