Statement by Her Excellency Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Africa to the Second South Summit, Doha Qatar 16 June 2005

Our Esteemed Host and the Emir of the State of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani;

Honourable Prime Minister of Jamaica, Mr PJ Patterson, Chair of the Group of 77 and China;

Excellencies, Heads of State and Government and Leaders of Delegation;

President of the 59th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, His Excellency Jean Ping, Foreign Minister of Gabon;

Distinguished delegates;

Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is an honour for me to address the Second South Summit of the Group of 77 and China on behalf of President Thabo Mbeki and the People of South Africa.

We wish to express our gratitude on the Government and the People of the State of Qatar for their hospitality. We also wish to thank the honourable PJ Patterson, for his leadership of the Group of 77 and China.

Honourable Chairperson,

Five years ago when we met at First South Summit in Havana, Cuba, we recommitted ourselves to a stronger multilateral system, a strengthened system of South-South cooperation, and sought new ways to intensify dialogue with the countries of the North.

Considering global developments since Havana, our meeting here today has taken on even greater significance. No one can doubt that the multilateral system is under great strain.

As President Mbeki stated in Havana, South-South cooperation must also encourage an extensive system of bilateral relations to strengthen our collective capacity to represent ourselves relative to the countries of the North.

"This should not simply be a matter of increasing our bargaining strength, it should also address the central issue of the elaboration of a word agenda for human centred development," said President Mbeki.

Since Havana, we have met in various capitals in an effort to build on this people-centred development agenda. For example, we convened in Johannesburg for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, in Doha for the WTO Development Round, and in Monterey to discuss Finance for Development.

Africa has developed NEPAD as its collective people-centred development programme. We have put together all of the ideas and what is now needed is the requisite resources to implement what we have agreed upon.

The human, financial and technological resources are the critical elements. Whilst we should look to the North for debt cancellation, increased development aid and the completion of the Doha Development Round, it is just as important to strengthen our own South-South Cooperation.

Among us, we have all the natural resources that we need for development-oil, gas, most of the strategic mineral resources, agricultural resources, some of the cutting-edge technologies especially in ICT and other areas. We have the human resources, and we have the markets as well.

What is crucial is that whilst co-operating with the North, we must strengthen South-South cooperation in order to turn these natural resources into wealth.

We can develop our human resources, share technology, invest and trade amongst ourselves. We also need to link the MDGs to the Beijing Platform of Action, which is an agreed programme to put women at the core of a people-centred development agenda. Tourism is very important for jobs, but more importantly for knowing one another's countries and for people to people cooperation.
Of course we are doing some of these but we need to strengthen and intensify South-South cooperation. We have already initiated efforts to build on our cooperation in areas such as health, human resource development, and technology sharing, and to consolidate our partnerships at sub-regional and regional levels.

For example, the Asia-Africa strategic partnership and the India, Brazil, South Africa tripartite alliance and the Caricom-AU, to mention a few.

The challenge that remains for this Summit is to accelerate cooperation in our development mechanisms to bind together the countries of the South. We face the same challenges and share similar aspirations for economic development, the eradication of poverty, and the combating of communicable diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV and AIDS.

Honourable Chairperson,

The dialogue with the North, including the G8 has improved over the last few years. The flow of financial capital, debt cancellation and opening of markets in the North would help us to attain the MDGs. The Meeting of the G8 Countries scheduled for Gleneagles, Scotland is important to the advancement of the agenda of the South, especially in light of the resource needs for the implementation of initiatives such as the NEPAD (Africa Action Plan adopted in Kannanaskis, Canada).

In this year's meeting, the G8 is expected to address debt cancellation for developing countries, since they have announced the cancellation of the debt of 18 of the poorest countries, and 22 other to follow. We hope this dialogue will in time produce more concrete results. More importantly, developing countries also need predictable inflows of resources to meet their basic needs and achieve sustainable development.

Honourable Chairperson,

In September our leaders will travel to New York for the Summit to Review the Millennium Declaration and the Implementation of the Millennium Development Goals.

We wish to thank Secretary-General Kofi Annan for having prepared a report for this Summit.

The President of the UN General Assembly, His Excellency Jean Ping, has presented Member States with a draft outcome document that captures many of the concerns of the developing countries.

A number of critical decisions about the survival of the United Nations and the strengthening of the multilateral system will have to be taken at the September Summit. The United Nations still reflects the political landscape of 1945. The need for reforming the UN has been recognised and discussed for many years.

A reformed UN will benefit the South more than the North if approached in a comprehensive way. In this regard, UN reform must include the strengthening of the General Assembly and ECOSOC and sensitising the Bretton Woods Institutions to the UN development agenda.

We believe that development must be at the centre of the decisions taken in September. Together with the decisions on development, the September Summit will also have to take crucial decisions on peace and security, such as the reform of the Security Council, including its working methods and the expansion of the Council in both permanent and non-permanent categories.

The reform of the major organs of the UN is long overdue and we believe it must be done in an inclusive and democratic manner. The African Union, in its determination that the marginalised people of Africa should be fully represented in all the decision-making organs of the UN, acted with unity of purpose to engage in the current UN reform process. African member states forged a common African position on the reform of the UN, also known as the Ezulwini Consensus.

The collective strength of the G77 affords us the means to ensure that reform is effected. The people we represent look up to us to meet the challenges of poverty and insecurity in a comprehensive way and to ensure that human rights are dealt with in an impartial and non-selective manner.

Whilst we serve our people and therefore cannot avoid national interests, we must look at the needs of humanity as a whole. Arriving at a reform package that serves all of humanity will always be difficult so we might as well seize the opportunity to do it now. We, the countries of the South, cannot afford to miss this historic opportunity. We owe it to future generations to bequeath to them a better United Nations than the one we found.

Thank you.

 



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