Notes following Briefing by Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad, Imbizo Media Centre, 120 Plein Street, Cape Town, Thursday 12 October 2006

Let me begin by dealing with the burning issues that we are confronted with almost daily.

Sudan/Darfur

  • The situation in Darfur continues to be a matter of grave concern to us.

The UN Secretary-General's September report highlights the reasons. He says: "The grave violations of international human rights law and humanitarian law continue to be committed with impunity.

It's been three months since the Darfur Peace Agreement was signed. However, instead of reconciliation and building of trust, we are witnessing intensified violence and deeper polarisation. The region is again on the brink of a catastrophic situation and he blames both the signatories and non-signatories who are continuing, in his words "to violate their obligations under the Darfur Peace Agreement and the N'Djamena Ceasefire Agreement.

He strongly appeals to those with influence over the groups which have not signed the Darfur Peace Agreement to put pressure on them to adhere to the spirit of the ceasefire and to join the peace process. Under no circumstances will the violent pursuit of political goals be accepted, and he reiterates the need to broaden political and popular support for the peace agreement.

I call on the Government to ensure that all local authorities in Darfur are reminded of their obligations under the status-of-forces agreement.

He mentions that we are at a critical stage. Insecurity in this troubled region is at its highest levels and humanitarian access is at its lowest levels since 2004.

He welcomed the fact that on September 20th, the AU Peace and Security Council extended the mandate of the AU operation until 31 December 2006 and he called on the international community to give the AU force all the support necessary to ensure it becomes successful.

However, he again reiterates his view which is the view of the United Nations that a UN multidimensional operation, in accordance with Security Council resolution 1706 (2006), would be the most appropriate political approach to achieving lasting and sustainable peace and that only such a truly international and impartial operation, with adequate resources and capacity, and with strong African participation, can effectively support the implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement.

However, as you know, the Sudanese government continues to oppose any blue-hatting of the AU forces.

In a joint AU-UN letter to President Bashir it was outlined that the UN will be supplying 109 UN military support, 23 logistical staff, 33 UN police advisors and 25 civilian support staff to assist the AU forces and they will soon be sent to Darfur and that there main task will be to help the AU operate under the maximum operational control and that this deployment will try to deal with the concerns of the Sudanese government and will be conducted in transparency with the full support of the government of Sudan.

I am happy that in a letter from the President of Sudan to the UN Secretary-General he says, "It has been our conviction that the support of the United Nations and the International Community to AMIS is a necessity, not only for the purpose of carrying out the functions assigned to AMIS under the DPA, but also for the purposes of moral support to the African Union in order to address with confidence similar future conflicts in the African Continent.

So they have welcomed this deployment of the UN Forces to support AMIS and I think this is a good step in the right direction.

It is also important to note that on the 26 September the UN Security Council by Resolution 1709 extended the UN Mission in Sudan to the 8th October 2006, that's in the rest of Sudan, not in Darfur and as the Secretary-General said, the AU has now decided to extend its mission until 31 December 2006.

However it has been decided to expand the AMIS mission by 4000 troops bringing the mission to a total of 11000 and once again, it is expected that the present troop contributing countries will increase their deployments and we will be able to meet this demand of 4000 troops.

The UN will provide logistical and financial support for this increased involvement and as you know, the Foreign Ministers of the Arab States did offer to provide financial assistance to any AMIS forces in Darfur.

The Presidents of Sudan, Gabon, Nigeria and Senegal will hold a summit on the Darfur crisis in Khartoum on 17 October 2006. They will meet with the President of Sudan to once again see if they can convince him of the importance of blue-hatting the AMIS troops and we hope progress will be made on that score.

Democratic Republic of Congo

A new 500-member national assembly was inaugurated on Friday 22 September 2006. This body replaces the transitional parliament formed in accordance with the 2002 Sun City Agreement. This is regarded as a major landmark as this is the first democratically elected parliament in the DRC for over 40 years. The installation of the new parliament is a major step towards the conclusion of the transitional process.

In terms of the constitution of the DRC, the majority party, or a coalition of parties, in Parliament will elect a Prime Minister. Noting that no party or coalition won an outright majority in legislative elections, political parties are forming alliances for the control of parliament. The Alliance for Presidential Majority (AMP) of President Kabila's is reported to have teamed-up with Mr A. Gizenga and Mr Nzanga Mobutu among others, thus giving them the required majority to nominate a Prime Minister and form a government. In the interim, Parliament is presided over by the oldest member seconded by the two youngest members.

The MLC party of Vice President Bemba officially launched a new political platform called "Union for the Nation" (UN) on 29 September in Kinshasa. The aim of this political platform is to make sure that Mr Jean-Pierre Bemba is elected as the new president. The platform also includes a number of less prominent presidential candidates who lost during the first round of the presidential elections.

Sadly, the opposition Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) who boycotted the 30 July 2006 elections further renewed its unwillingness to accept the electoral process under way in the Democratic Republic of Congo by refusing to back either presidential candidate at the upcoming presidential run-off.

The campaigning period for the provincial elections started on 28 September 2006.

The presidential election campaign is scheduled to start on 13 October 2006, 15 days before the 29 October 2006 elections.

South Africa will send a National Observer Mission to observe the upcoming presidential run-off. The Mission will be deployed in all eleven provinces from 22 October to 2 November 2006. In addition, an advance team of observers will, however, be deployed as early as 11 October ahead of the start of election campaign.

The transportation of the presidential and provincial ballot papers was completed on 29 September 2006, five days ahead of schedule. In this regard, we thank the SANDF for their excellent work. According to the schedule the ballots had to be delivered to 14 hubs in the DRC by 2 October to ensure further distribution by the DRC IEC and MONUC to over 50,000 voting stations before the 29 October election.

I want to reiterate how pleased we are that the preparations are going well. There have been no major incidents of violence.

The United Nations Security Council on 29 September 2006 extended the mandate of MONUC, the UN mission to the DRC, till 15 February 2007, which would otherwise have, expired at the end of September 2006. This is essential for the continuation of the support the UNDP is providing towards the successful completion of the electoral process in the DRC.

Representatives of both President Kabila and Vice President Bemba have signed an agreement to make Kinshasa a weapons free zone. This comes after the fighting that broke out between their guards from 20-22 August 2006. The agreement seeks to reduce the risk of fighting in Kinshasa and to reassure the citizens of the DRC that it is safe to vote during the 29 October 2006 runoff elections.

The UN would deploy mixed street patrols to enforce this commitment.

The continued support of the international community of which South Africa is an integral part remains critical to ensuring the completion of the electoral process in the DRC.

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari will visit the DRC starting 13 October and will meet with the key Congolese political actors and the Independent Electoral Commission as well as with Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative William Swing and his team. He will again reiterate the UN position of wanting to ensure the elections are carried out successfully.

After his first visit to the DRC, Mr Gambari will go to Cape Town, South Africa to, in addition to discussions with government, launch on 16 October 2006, the first of a series of consultations about the mediation in peace processes, involving experts from different world regions. President Mbeki was to have opened this but will have to leave for the AU Peace and Security Council Summit in Ethiopia.

Côte d'Ivoire

We remain concerned that the two outstanding issues, the identification of voters and the DDR process, have not been resolved despite the meetings that took place in New York.

The meeting in New York could not come to any real conclusions as to what happens after the passing of the election date (31 October 2006) and the parties are differing quite substantially on the nature of the transitional arrangement after 31 October

The New York meeting then decided that ECOWAS, which is the regional grouping would meet and then make a recommendation to the AU Peace and Security Council which would then report to the United Nations Security Council.

ECOWAS Summit held on Friday 6 October 2006 ended without a public communique.

The recommendations made by ECOWAS leaders would be presented to the African Union on 17 October 2006.

We want to once again make clear, South Africa did not go and get involved in the issue because we had nothing to do. We were requested by the AU and the then President of ECOWAS, President Obasanjo to get involved at the time that the crisis was very serious and we will off course accept the positions of the peace and security council on the way forward.

At this stage we are concerned that smugglers in the war-divided Ivory Coast are violating a UN imposed ban on diamond sales, exporting the gems illegally across the border into neighbouring countries.

The draft report said between US$ 9 million and US$ 24 million worth of diamonds mined in the rebel-held north of the West African country are being sold on the international market each year.

The report identified four major diamond dealers - an Ivorian, a Malian, a Belgian and another whose nationality was not known - in the northern rebel town of Seguela who it said were involved in the trade. It also cited two Belgian buyers who relocated to Ghana following the outbreak of Ivory Coast's war.

Porous border and poor controls are to blame for the illicit diamond trade, according to the UN report. It is also our fear that if the borders are so porous, the possibility of more arms reaching this area can become a serious problem in future.

Burundi

As you know, Minister Nqakula is now in Burundi trying to ensure that the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanism which has been charged with overseeing the implementation of the ceasefire accord between the government and the FNL which was launched on Wednesday begins to function.

Again unfortunately, the FNL representatives did not attend. However, as the Minister has indicated, it is our intention to ensure that the Joint Verification Mechanism does begin functioning effectively. Otherwise the durable peace will not be sustained.

The FNL delegation did not come to the launch because they are saying their leader is being detained in Bujumbura and he should be released before they can participate in this process.

It is our view that the FNL knows that there is the Joint Liaison Team under the Joint Verification Mechanism which could deal with the issue of political detainees and that cannot be reason for them to not participate. We should try to deal with all outstanding issues within this mechanism.

As the Minister has indicated to the FNL, in the past week, the government has conceded to many of the FNL demands, including the issuing of passports to the group's leaders and the proclamation of a provisional immunity for the FNL leadership.

We do believe that this verification mechanism which compromises 24 members representing Burundi's government and the FNL is an effective mechanism to try to ensure we do move forward on this process. The longer the ceasefire is not fully implemented, the longer this process is in danger of collapse.

  • Finally on the African scene, we are concerned that the UN's World Food Programme is saying it will have to cut back on feeding vulnerable Southern Africans because it does not have the funds to carry programmes through the lean season and that they will face a shortfall of US$ 60 million between December 2006 and March 2007 and that they have already scaled down some of their operations in Zimbabwe which has affected some 450 000 people. It has cut back the urban feeding programme, reduced school-feeding projects from 17 districts to 14 and suspended mobile feeding in all areas.

Until now it had been expected that the WFP would feed at least 4 million people in the region until March next year, when the next harvest is due.

However, as the regional director has said, the needs in other parts of the world, as in Darfur are very pressing and that in this context many Southern Africans will die because they will not get the food to eat, but they will be recorded as deaths due to AIDS-related illnesses in clinics.

Zimbabwe and Swaziland have been identified as the most vulnerable countries. The May 2006 Zimbabwe Vulnerability assessment, identified 1.4 million people as critically in need of food assistance. WFP requires at least US$ 17 million just to get Zimbabwe through the lean season between harvests.

So it is a serious problem to which South Africa cannot remain immune. South Africa will have to try and assist the WFP in getting the necessary resources they need. Unfortunately, the WFP says from long term assessments of the weather patterns indicate that there will be another period of drought which does raise concerns for us.

Deputy President To Consolidate Relations In Australasia

South African Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka will pay an official visit to Australasia that will see her visit Australia and New Zealand from 16-18 and 19-21 October respectively. Deputy President Mlambo-Ngcuka will be hosted by her counterparts Prime Ministers John Howard and Helen Clark in Australia and New Zealand respectively.

Deputy President Mlambo-Ngcuka's visit to the region comes within the context of South Africa's priority to maintain and further enhance support for NEPAD through countries of the Commonwealth with a view to consolidating the African agenda.

Deputy President Mlambo-Ngcuka's delegation is expected to include Ministers of Trade and Industry Mandisi Mphalwa and Science and Technology Mosibudi Mangena and Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad.

Deputy President Mlambo-Ngcuka will also use this visit to promote South Africa's Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative (AsgiSA) and Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA).

In addition, the visit will be aimed at:

  • Strengthening the political, cultural and trade links between both countries;
  • To re-evaluate diplomatic relations between both countries and South Africa with the purpose of strengthening these relations with a view to consolidating South-South co-operation;
  • Exploring opportunities for South African investors in both countries and identifying new markets for South African exports;
  • Sharing views on developments in Africa and Australasia.

Deputy President Mlambo-Ngcuka will in Australia and New Zealand investigate opportunities for partnerships with both countries in order to address:

  • Infrastructure development;
  • Sector investment (or industrial) strategies;
  • Skills and education initiatives;
  • Second economy interventions;
  • Macro-economic issues; and
  • Public administration issues.

While in Australia, Deputy President Mlambo-Ngcuka is also expected to hold discussions with:

  • The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade Mark Vaile;
  • The Governor of New South Wales Professor Marie Roslyn Bashir
  • Representatives from the Queensland State Government on Queensland's Skills Development Programme
  • The Governor of the Australian Reserve Bank Glenn Stevens
  • Participate in a Business Forum co-hosted by the Premier of the New South Wales Parliament and the President of the New South Wales Legislative Council; and
  • Participate in an Infrastructure Roundtable.

In New Zealand, Deputy President Mlambo-Ngcuka is expected to hold discussions with her counterpart Prime Minister Helen Clark, the Governor of the Reserve Bank Dr Bollard, Minister of Economic Development Trevor Mallard, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr Michael Cullen, and the Governor-General and visit the Whitireia Community Polytechnic.

Deputy President Mlambo-Ngcuka is expected to return to South Africa on Saturday 21 October 2006.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Australia

Trade Statistics In Rand Value

Trade with Australia
Year200320042005
SA ExportsR 5,723,886,000R 7,157,620,000R 9,704,431,000
SA Imports R 6,112,773,000R 7,247,278,000R 7,353,296,000
BalanceR -388,887,000R -89,658,000R 2,351,135,000
TradeR 11,836,659,000R 14,404,898,000R 17,057,727,000

Economic relations with Australia are excellent. Australia is South Africa's third largest partner in Asia, after Japan and the People's Republic of China (PRC), and South Africa is Australia's biggest trading partner on the African continent. 50% of Australian exports to Africa are earmarked to South Africa. Access to the Australian market is simplified, since the regulatory institutions are on a par with those in South Africa: i.e. similar legal and accounting systems; similar banking and business culture; areas of historical commonality; excellent sporting ties; with English the official language. Similarities in sectors such as the wine industry, mining technology and equipment, and automotive components, to name but a few, give rise to numerous joint venture/bilateral trade opportunities.

South Africa is Australia's 19th largest trading partner and is by far Australia's largest and most dynamic market in Africa. In 2004, two-way merchandise trade was valued at approximately $A2.8 billion. Australian exports to South Africa were mainly coal, crude petroleum, and nickel and South African exports to Australia were, notably passenger motor vehicles (mostly BMW 3 Series vehicles) worth $A554 million, as well as furniture, pig iron, paper and textile products.

Two-way investment flows between Australia and South Africa has expanded since the collapse of apartheid. South Africa dominates stocks of African investment into Australia (currently the 17th largest foreign investor - up from 23rd in 1993-1994). Australian investment in South Africa has also increased - mainly in mining, mining equipment, agriculture, agribusiness and infrastructure and services and trade - and dominates Australian investment into Africa. Australia is a big investor in South Africa, and the merger in the 1990's Australian BHP Billiton and South African Gencor, created the largest mining company in the world. However, South African investment in Australia still exceed Australian investment in South Africa by about 2 to 1.

A South African - Australian Joint Ministerial Commission was established on 10 July 1997. The JMC was created to provide a framework through which to strengthen the bilateral and particularly the commercial relationship between South Africa and Australia. Issues discussed included a number of key areas such as co-operation in competition and consumer policy, standards and conformance, automotive, science and technology, landcare and conservation, agriculture and fisheries, mining, services and education.

The JMC is an interactive forum, in which government and business from the two countries meet. It is an opportunity for business leaders to meet government leaders and to interact with colleagues in the business world. It is also an opportunity to influence the policies of both countries as they relate to bilateral trade and investment.

Business has an important and active role to play in making the JMC a success. At the 3rd JMC, held in Pretoria in October 2006, the Minister for Trade Mr Vaile was accompanied by a 28 member strong business delegation. Ministers considered recommendations from four Industry Committees - Mining and Steel, Infrastructure, Services and Agribusiness - aimed at improving the trade and investment relationship between Australia and South Africa.

The 4th JMC will be co-chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade Mr Vaile and Minister Mphalwa, the South African Minister of Trade and Industry.

Areas of mutual sectoral activity (RSA/Australia), which might at first glance suggest competitiveness vis-a-vis such third markets, are in fact areas of complementarity, given the demand from high volume markets on Australia's doorstep.

Numerous high-level South African delegations visit Australia on an ongoing basis. This growing trend has been reciprocated with an increasing number of business (investments) to South African missions from Australia to South Africa and growing interaction in the area of people to people co-operation. The Australian Capital Territory and the City of Tshwane are in the process of negotiating a twinning agreement. Several high-level delegations from Parliament, the South African Defence Force, the South African Police Services and Provincial Governments visit Australia to gain expertise in their different fields, and exchange knowledge and skills with their Australian counterparts. The Minister for Minerals and Energy visits Australia at least once a year, and so do other South African Cabinet Ministers.

Multilateral Co-operation

South Africa and Australia have a history of productive cooperation across a range of issues, notably the WTO, the Cairns Group, human rights, fisheries protection, the Commission for Conservation and Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), the Kimberley Process on conflict diamonds, law enforcement, defence relations, customs cooperation, the New World Wine Producers Group and the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC). A Joint Ministerial Statement on Mutual Cooperation on Migration, Refugees, Irregular Migration and People Smuggling was issued in August 2002.

Australia has become home to approximately 100 000 South Africans. They play a significant part in the Australian economy, with many in high-ranking managerial positions.

Development Co-Operation

Australia's foreign policy priority, leads to it investing substantial amounts of money into the African region, by means of foreign direct investments as well as overseas development assistance (ODA). South Africa receives priority when it comes to development co-operation and assistance with Australia providing approximately R480 million in development assistance to South Africa since 1994.

Development co-operation between South Africa and Australia is manifested in a bilateral strategic programme, which focuses Australian assistance more tightly on South Africa and Mozambique in Southern Africa, with Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda in East Africa, benefiting from, international and NGO programmes. Australia recognises that the success of the South African economy has critical implications for the success of the economy of the Southern Africa region. Australia's Official Development Assistance (ODA), which forms an integral part of Australia's engagement with developing countries, is well focused on Africa and illustrates their commitment to assist developing countries to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development.

AusAid has responded to the needs and priorities of South Africa by setting up and funding the Australia South Africa Institutional Links Program (South Africa Links). Through this program, linkages are set up between Australian and South African higher education institutions which collaborate on mutually beneficial activities that address priority issues, and increase the capacity of the development of the country.

Since 1999, AusAID assistance has been aimed primarily at building partnerships between Australia and South Africa in a way that reduced poverty and achieved sustainable development with a strong focus on governance issues and targeted technical assistance.

Australia is continuing to support post-apartheid transformation, with an increased emphasis on governance (particularly in macro-economic and financial management, legal and judicial systems and broader public sector reform processes), health (particularly HIV/AIDS), education and food security.

New Zealand

Prime Minister Helen Clarke is a member of the "Progressive Governance of the 21st Century" grouping.

South Africa is New Zealand's primary market in sub-Saharan Africa, given its unique combination of a first-world economic infrastructure and large emerging market economy. The gradual opening of the South African economy to international competition and the stable and well managed political and macro-economic environment, is viewed as offering potential investors a profitable base from which to launch their Southern Africa operations.

Since 1990, bilateral trade has increased nine-fold to the point where South Africa is currently New Zealand's 33rd most important export market and 18th most important source of visitors. In 2004, New Zealand exported goods to the value of $101.7 million to South Africa, and purchased $129.2 million worth of South African products.

The main exports are milk and cream, cheese, curd and mutton. The major import is wine.

As a consequence of the developing dairy product market in Southern African countries, the New Zealand Dairy Board opened an office in Johannesburg in 1992. New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) has representation in Johannesburg. A New Zealand-South Africa Business Council has been established in New Zealand to promote trade and economic linkages with South Africa.

Trade Statistics In Rand Value

Trade with New Zealand
Year200320042005
SA ExportsR 432,261,000R 644,840,000R 661,002,000
SA Imports R 486,602,000R 545,102,000R 723,496,000
BalanceR -54,341,000R 99,738,000- R 62,494,000
TradeR 918,863,000R 1,189,942,000R 1,384,498,000

North Korea

As of this morning, there is still no agreement as to whether a nuclear weapon was tested.

We hope the matter will be resolved speedily.

We are very seriously concerned if a nuclear weapon was tested, as we are opposed to any proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, we also call on all nuclear states to accept their commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. If North Korea has tested a weapon, it will make it the 9th nuclear state in the world.

We really want all nuclear weapons to be removed from the arsenal of all 9 states. If these tests are confirmed, we believe this will be a serious blow and will undermine the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and increase the possibility of aarms race including nuclear weapons in the region, which will threaten international peace and security.

We once again call on all parties, especially the North Koreans, to return to the 6-Party Talks. We believe this is the only option for discussions during which all concerns can be tabled, including the fears of North Korea that plans are being made to invade their country and the use of nuclear weapons against them.

The UN discussions have not been conclusive in the last few days and until last night's session, there had been no progress on the draft resolution that is being proposed.

We hope that through the UN processes, and as the Secretary-General has said, we can get a resumption of the 6-Party Talks so that we can deal with concerns and ensure that peace and security is maintained in the region.

Iran

We have not been informed about the progressive regarding the continuing discussions on the Iranian nuclear issue.

Today in Vienna, representatives of the P5+ Germany are meeting to discuss the progress in this matter. They will report to the Security Council.

Questions and answers

Question Deputy Minister Pahad, regarding Darfur, the government of Sudan has been accused of being part of the conflict. Why is the UN and the international community still unable to act without their consent?

Answer As the Secretary-General has said, blame for the continuing carnage can be laid on all the signatories and non-signatories to the process. And according to the UN Charter, you cannot deploy UN forces without the consent of the host country. This is only possible to protect civilians against genocide. And therefore, all efforts must continue to convince the government of Sudan that it is in the interests of all that the AMIS be blue-hatted. Without it becoming a UN force, and the majority of the force can be African, we believe the technological and financial support and the contribution to the force will not be forthcoming. If UN forces go without the consent of the government few countries will be willing to contribute their troops to such a force. Some of the groups have warned they will declare a war against the UN forces. We hope the meeting of the Presidents of the region will deal with some of the concerns of the Sudanese government and help find a solution.

Consultations must continue.

Question Deputy Minister, how would the South African government react to the criticism that we have been too soft on the North Korean issue?

Answer I am not sure why we are accused of being soft on North Korea. We have consistently stated, when we visited North Korea and when their Deputy Foreign Minister visited South Africa, that we are totally opposed to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. We listened to their concerns but reiterated that they should return to the 6-Party Talks.

We expressed our serious concern to reports that the tests have been undertaken and we will continue to express our concerns.

Question Deputy Minister Pahad, what is the most acceptable global response to the North Korean issue?

Answer There are two schools of thought emerging at the UN - the international response, including from those who are opposing Chapter 7 sanctions, has been quite strong in expressing deep concern. We would agree with those views of concern being expressed by the international community for the reasons I earlier mentioned. It will change the balance of forces and lead to an escalated arms race and this will threaten the stability of the whole region and indeed further afield.

We do hope discussions at the Security Council, we are not yet members of the Security Council, only the P5 have been meeting, will reach a consensus.

Clearly if there is a nuclear weapons programme, there will be a strong demand for Chapter 7 sanctions.

Japan has already imposed its own sanctions.

Views of close neighbours - Russia and China must also be taken into account. Both have expressed deep concerns.

A clear united message must emerge from the Security Council discussions.

Question Deputy Minister Pahad, you mentioned the challenges facing the World Food Programme - how will South Africa assist?

Answer We have over the years always contributed to the World Food Programme. But the extent of the problem necessitates an international response. We will continue to make our contribution and see what other measures can be adopted to assist the region. This may be a short term solution but we have been arguing for long-term solution given climate change and its implications. We are through SADC, looking for a long-term solution. This is now too big a problem.

We will ask our relevant cluster committees to assess this report more fully and to come up with a comprehensive response.

Question Deputy Minister Pahad, does South Africa support sanctions against North Korea?

Answer If Chapter 7 sanctions are being imposed, we will have no choice but to comply. We will have no alternative if Chapter 7 sanctions are agreed to by the P5 and accepted by the Security Council.

We have no real economic, technological or scientific relations with North Korea so this will have to be a matter that is decided by the P5. We would have no alternative but to implement the decisions of the Security Council.

Question Deputy Minister Pahad, President Mbeki suggested that we would support India at the nuclear suppliers meeting. Can you comment on this?

Answer Our representatives in Geneva and UN are looking at this implications of the deal between India and the US. These discussions have not been completed. President has indicated that within the context of a USA-India deal, as a member of the nuclear suppliers group, we would support the programme for peaceful purposes of India's technology and other material that is prohibited under the NPT and IAEA for countries who are not members. The President has indicated that we look at this favourably. This was based on the explanations and assurances given to us by the Indian government. We will look at the details after the India-USA discussions are concluded and determine our position based on our discussions with the various role players.

Issued by Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
Pretoria
0001

12 October 2006


 

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