Closing Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the
Republic of South Africa, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, at the South Africa-Africa-Union-Caribbean
Diaspora Conference, Kingston, Jamaica, 16 March 2005
Ladies and Gentlemen:
have reached the end of a historic occasion for the people of the Caribbean and
As brothers and sisters on different continents bound by the
same umbilical cord that gave us not only a common past but a shared destiny,
we have spent the past three days strengthening our connections through a very
stimulating, frank and enriching discussion about ourselves and the world around
We have reflected on our common past, our different experiences, the
demands of the present, and together we have dreamt about our common destiny.
We have deliberated on a range of issues - from the question of reparations
to poverty eradication, from debt cancellation to peace and security. We have
discussed health, culture, the environment, gender equality, economic co-operation,
trade, knowledge sharing, integration, South South co-operation, to mention but
I think it would be right to conclude that we have to take our destiny
into our own hands. We have to be united and undertake united actions in a number
of crucial areas. That in President Fidel Castro's words, we should globalise
solidarity. Our strength is in our unity and through unity in action.
due to its internationalist outlook, understands this more than anyone else because
they have been at it for a long time. South African can attest to the value of
solidarity because we are the benefactors of the solidarity of the people of the
Duty challenges us to support and defend the rights of those
who are still struggling for self-determination in the Caribbean and in Africa.
should be high on our agenda. We should strengthen South South co-operation and
work together among ourselves to make our world a better place.
the African Renaissance to become a reality, we must do what needs to be done
ourselves. Nobody will do it for us.
Accordingly, we are determined to
send a message of hope to the African continent and the Caribbean that through
unity in action, our historic mission must and will succeed.
If we started
seriously co-operating among ourselves and between ourselves, our partners will
interpret us and understand that we are determined to develop our regions and
that we need partners for development.
Otherwise they will treat us as
inferior and stick to the donor-beggar paradigm. We cannot afford for this to
The young Rastafarian artists last night reminded us of the past
glory of Africa and they asserted correctly that we must not be slaves from the
cradle to the grave.
It remains for me to thank all of you for your participation
in this Conference. We accordingly apologise for the mistakes and omissions made
in the course of the Conference- and commit ourselves to improving on this in
We shall depart the Caribbean and the land of Marcus Garvey
and Bob Marley with fond memories, inspired and knowing full well, that we are
We would like to invite you to Africa and South Africa
in two years time.
I thank you.
Issued by Department of Foreign
19 March 2005