Notes following Briefing by Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad, Media
Centre, Union Buildings, Pretoria, Wednesday, 8 November 2006
Wednesday 8 November 2006 the World Health Organisation nominated former Hong
Kong health chief Margaret Chan as its nominee for director-general of the agency.
The WHO is a very important institution and we congratulate Margaret Chan. I am
confident she will continue to be seized with African issues during her tenure
at the WHO.
- Panama has been elected to the UN Security Council
on the 48th ballot on Tuesday 7 November 2006: 164 votes out of 192. The South
African government extends its congratulations to the government of Panama.
2006 Human Development report entitled, 'Beyond Scarcity: Power, poverty and the
global water crisis,' will be launched in Cape Town, South Africa on Thursday
9 November 2006. Notable addressees at the launch will include President Thabo
Mbeki, Foreign Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and the Prince of Orange.
the pronouncement by the Elections Authority in Nicaragua of the outcome of the
2006 Presidential Elections for that country, the final vote count confirmed Mr.
Daniel Ortega as having won the presidential race. The South African Government
congratulates President-elect, Daniel Ortega.
In expressing congratulatory
remarks to the newly elected President of Nicaragua, President Thabo Mbeki says
of him "the election into high office of Mr Ortega offers great possibilities
for the Nicaraguan people and the Sandinista Movement to engage in programmes
that will push back the frontiers of poverty and usher in development. We look
forward to working together with Mr. Ortega and his government in facing up to
the challenges of the multilateral agenda, including the reform of the United
Nations, trade talks and challenges in meeting the MDG's.
The White House
said on Tuesday that it would work with Nicaragua Prseident-elect Daniel Ortega:
"The United States is committed to the Nicaraguan people. We will work with
their leaders based on their commitment to and actions in support of Nicaragua's
democratic future," said national security spokesman Gordon Johndroe.
went on to emphasize that "the groundwork has been laid to allow for increased
prosperity and opportunity to the Nicaraguan people" through channels like
the US-Central American Free Trade Agreement, US programmes to reward democratic
and free market reforms, and debt relief.
The international community must
accept the will of the Nicaraguan people and together work to resolve the serious
under-development and poverty in Nicaragua.
- In the United States, Democrats
will take control of the House of Representatives for the first time since 1994,
while control of the Senate hangs in the balance - 49 seats on each side have
FORUM ON CHINA-AFRICA COOPERATION FORUM
Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was established with the view to strengthening
friendly cooperation between China and Africa. It developed into a platform where
Africa and China could jointly address the challenges of economic globalisation
and to promote common development.
The FOCAC in November 2006 was the first
to be held at Summit level:
1 - 2 November 2006: Fifth Senior
3 November 2006: Third Ministerial Meeting
4 - 5 November
The Summit adopted two outcome documents.
Declaration of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation
Summit adopted a Declaration, which is a political statement of cooperation and
friendly relations between Africa and China. A major shift from the Chinese side
was to accept that Africa should have full participation in the UN Security
2. Beijing Action Plan (2007-2009)
The Summit also
adopted the Beijing Action Plan (2007-2009). The Action Plan reflects what cooperation
between Africa and China would entail for the following three years. The high
lights under each chapter for cooperation are:
and African leaders agreed to continue high-level visits and to set up a mechanism
of regular political dialogue between Foreign Ministers to promote political co-operation.
Resolved to expand co-operation in the United Nations, the World Trade
Organization and other international and regional organizations
to promote mutual respect, deepen understanding and enhance co-operation, the
two sides will strengthen friendly contacts in various forms between the National
People's Congress of China and parliaments of African countries as well as the
The two sides will promote exchanges and consultation
between judiciaries, police and other law enforcement authorities, improve their
capability to jointly prevent, investigate and combat crimes, enhance co-operation
in legal assistance, extradition and repatriation of criminal suspects and management
of emigrants, and work to resolve the issue of illegal migration through consultation.
The Chinese Government will continue to strengthen its co-operation with
the African Union (AU) and sub-regional organizations and institutions in Africa,
support the AU's leading role in resolving African issues, and take an active
part in UN peace-keeping operations in Africa.
In the economic sphere, the two sides agreed to enhance cooperation
in areas ranging from agriculture, investment, trade, finance, infrastructure
construction, energy, natural resources, science and technology and information.
The two sides will give encouragement and support to their enterprises
in conducting joint exploration and rational exploitation of energy and other
resources based on the principle of mutual benefit and common development.
and its African partners will improve information sharing and pragmatic co-operation
in these sectors to serve the long-term interests of both sides.
will send 100 senior experts on agricultural technologies to Africa to set up
10 demonstration centres.
The two sides agreed to create favourable conditions
to grow China-Africa trade in a more balanced manner.
China will increase
from 190 to 440 the number of exports items eligible for zero-tariff treatment
from LDCs to China.
Cooperation in International Affairs
two sides agreed that in reforming of the UN Security Council, priority should
be given to increasing the representation of developing countries. The two sides
will also work to strengthen consultation and co-operation in international affairs,
serving the common interests of both sides and other developing countries
and Africa welcomed the establishment of the Human Rights Council by the United
China and Africa will strengthen co-operation in countering terrorism
and promoting nuclear disarmament. China and Africa condemn and oppose terrorism
in whatever form and will explore methods of counter-terrorism cooperation.
two sides also agreed to strengthen co-operation to face up to non-traditional
By 2009 China will double the size of its assistance to
China will provide US$3 billion in preferential loans and US$2 billion
preferential export's buyer's credit to African countries
China will cancel
government interest free loans that have become due in 2005 by HIPCs and LDCs
in Africa with diplomatic ties with China.
China will train 15 000 professionals
for African countries in the next three years
China will set up 100 rural
schools, increase the number of scholarships from 2 000 to 4 000 by 2009, build
more Confucius Institutes in African countries to meet the needs in Chinese language
China will assist African countries to build 30 hospitals and
provide grants for ant-malarial drugs and send additional medical teams to Africa.
extended Approved Destination Status (ADS) to a further nine African countries
(Algeria, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Gabon, Rwanda, Mali, Mozambique, Benin and Nigeria),
bringing the total to 26 African countries with ADS status.
The next Ministerial
FOCAC will take place in Egypt in 2009.
DEPUTY PRESIDENT MLAMBO-NGCUKA
TO VISIT IRELAND AND PORTUGAL
South African Deputy President Phumzile
Mlambo-Ngcuka will pay an official visit to Portugal and Ireland scheduled from
Sunday - Tuesday, 12-14 and Tuesday-Thursday, 14-16 November 2006 respectively.
Deputy President Mlambo-Ngcuka will be hosted by her counterparts Portuguese Prime
Minister José Sócrates and Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern.
President Mlambo-Ngcuka's delegation will include Minister Naledi Pandor and Deputy
Ministers Aziz Pahad, Rob Davies, Ntombazana Botha and Roy Padayachie.
President will also be accompanied by a business delegation.
Mlambo-Ngcuka's comes within the context of South Africa's commitment to consolidate
the African agenda, through among others, North-South co-operation for improved
market access and advancement of the agenda of the South through the strengthening
of relations with the European Union (EU). In this regard, Portugal will assume
the Chairmanship of the EU from July-December 2007.
We also see this visit
as very important since there is an active Portuguese diaspora in South Africa
and Portugal still has an active role with Portuguese speaking African countries.
This will be an opportunity to consolidate these relations.
Diaspora in South Africa
The Portuguese speaking community in South
Africa consists of 100 000 - 300 000 people being involved in all aspects of the
South African economy - economically, socially and culturally.
Diaspora in South Africa
It is estimated that there are some 300 000
descendants of Irish immigrants in South Africa. The Second Anglo-Boer war saw
nearly 30 000 immigrants arrive in South Africa, supporting the Boer Republics
and the British Empire. The Irish population was estimated to be 60 000 in 1900
with up to 1 500 Irish immigrants a year arriving until 1905. This upsurge in
Irish immigration was however short-lived and the pattern since has been limited.
Irish have made an impressive contribution to all aspects of South African life,
especially in the ecclesiastical field where the humanitarian work of Catholic
organisations is well known. The Irish community is also involved in the private
sector and South African society as a whole.
Agenda of discussions
on the agenda of discussions between Deputy President Mlambo-Ngcuka and her counterparts
are expected to include, among others:
- The status of bilateral political
and economic relations between both countries;
- The status of South Africa
- European Union relations following the declaration of South Africa by the European
Union as a Strategic Partner;
- A briefing on developments on the African
continent including the outcomes of the elections in the Democratic Republic of
Congo and developments in Burundi, Somalia, Sudan and Côte d'Ivoire;
briefing on developments within the European Union;
- Others issues of
mutual interest including South Africa's accession to the Non-Permanent seat of
the United Nations Security Council; and
- AsgiSA and JIPSA will be overarching
issues in all discussions.
In Portugal Deputy President Mlambo-Ngcuka
will be holding discussions with President Cavaco Silva, the President of Parliament,
Jaime Gama, and will participate in a trade and investment seminar with Portuguese
and South African business persons.
The visit to Ireland will be at the
highest level ever by a South African Government representative. This will therefore
be very important in consolidating relations. Deputy President Mlambo-Ngcuka is
expected to hold discussions with the President of Ireland, Ms Mary McAleese,
Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Michael
McDowell, as well as with, Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern and Minister
of State Conor Lenihan.
As in Portugal, the main objective of the visit
is to further co-operation with Ireland on the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative
for South Africa (ASGI-SA) and the Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition
(JIPSA), including skills development, the placement of SA graduates in companies
in both countries, education co-operation, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), tourism, SMME development,
expanding South Africa's manufacturing base, as well as co-operation in the agro-industry.
A secondary objective is to learn from the Irish economic experience of
the past two decades, during which Ireland was able to leapfrog from being one
of the poorest countries in the European Union to one of the richest. This will
include an examination of the role of EU structural funding in Portugal's and
Ireland's economic development. The structural funding mechanism is a very important
tool - this is when the private sector is unwilling to explore areas of development
and the EU then provides the budget for this to be done. We would be very keen
to understand how this tool works.
The Deputy President will participate
in an Education Seminar that will explore co-operation between South Africa and
Ireland in various fields of education, as well as in a seminar hosted by the
South Africa-Ireland Business Association and the South African Embassy in Dublin
under the banner "Economic Prospects for South Africa and Ireland in the
context of AsgiSA and JIPSA." The latter seminar will focus on ASGISA priority
sectors such as BPO, ICT, the agro-industry and tourism.
This is clearly
an important visit and we hope relations will be consolidated.
trade with Portugal
Exports to Portugal||Exports from Portugal|
915, 667 million||R 640, 970 million|
727, 349 million *||R797, 746 million|
754, 734 million||R 535, 167 million|
1, 010, 756 million||R 594, 523 million|
673, 930 million ||R 450, 601 million|
The most important South African exports to Portugal are coal,
steel products, frozen fish, fresh fruit, fruit juices, vegetables, wood and granite.
According to the latest figures from the Portuguese Ministry of Economy, South
Africa is amongst the top 8 countries with the biggest growth of exports to Portugal
during 2005, mostly due to coal imports. South African exports to Portugal increased
by 25, 7%. (DTI source) during 2005 while the Portuguese economy only grew by
South Africa's main imports from Portugal are wood, cork, paper,
ceramics, machinery, food, minerals, metal and chemicals. In 2005, Portuguese
exports to South Africa registered a 19, 7% decrease. (DTI source).
speaking, South African manufactured products are not competitive in Portugal
as similar products tend to be either locally manufactured or imported from neighboring
EU countries at lower prices. Another negative factor is the lack of direct shipping
lines between South Africa and Portugal. Energy and fuel products, of which Portugal
has a shortage, off season fruits and quality frozen fish, are the main import
products from South Africa.
In 2004, 28 966 Portuguese
citizens visited South Africa in comparison to the 28 920 in 2003. During 2005,
29 846 Portuguese traveled to South Africa, a 3% increase when compared to 2004.
(Source: South African Tourism).
According to Portuguese official data,
the number of South African tourists to Portugal grew from 26 338 in 2003 to 34
363 in 2004.
South Africa is an attractive but expensive destination to
most Portuguese, especially due to the lack of direct flights. In general, flights
packages are scarce and expensive to most Portuguese. TAP (Portuguese Airlines)
is the only carrier with direct flights (4 per week) between Portugal and South
Africa (after SAA decided to discontinue this route during the early eighties).
The lack of charter flights is also contributing to the increase in the costs
of flights connections between the 2 countries.
Portuguese visitors prefer
beach and adventure holidays. South Africa has a lot to offer in terms of safari
and eco tourism to the Portuguese tourist, Mpumalanga (Kruger) and Western Cape
(Cape Town) are the most visited provinces. Mpumalanga due to its wild life and
proximity to Mozambique while the Cape is preferred due to the cultural links
and Portuguese heritage in the region (Cape Peninsula).
There are two main
operators promoting SA in Portugal: James Rawes and NovoTours. The biggest tour
operator in Portugal, ES Viagens, expressed interest to market South Africa as
a destination of choice until the 2010 World Cup.
The Mission participates
in the BTL Tourism fair (the most relevant tourism promotion event which
takes place yearly in January) in order to raise the profile of South African
tourism in Portugal. The stand is a joint venture between the Mission and several
South African tourism partners.
The Mission has also initiated regular
and dynamic contacts with media and relevant stakeholders in order to develop
a network of strategic partners, essential for the development of projects for
the promotion of South Africa as a major tourism destination in Portugal.
African investment in Portugal
The largest South African company operating
in Portugal is the Abadare Cables subsidiary, Alcobre that manufactures cables
for the telecommunications industry. The SA property company, Homenet, has an
office in Lisbon. SmartPac, a "smart card" company has an agreement
with the local company Prism while the South African Netcare established a partnership
with the Portuguese private health care company, Private Hospitals of Portugal
(HPP) on 2 August 2004. In addition there are also a number of ostrich breeding
companies who have strong Southern African connections as well as various small
importing and exporting companies especially in the linen and curtaining industry.
Tsumeb (electronic protection systems and integrated network security solutions)
is manufacturing in Aveiro, in the north of Portugal. Carrol Boyes opened its
first European shop in Portugal (Cascais) during June 2005.
investment in South Africa
Sonae group owned by Mr.
Belmiro de Azevedo, the richest man in Portugal, is the biggest private group
in Portugal in the non-financial sector. The group has interest in different sectors
such as telecom, distribution, retail, real estate, tourism, media and industry
(wood products). The combined assets of Sonae Holding on 30 June 2005 amounted
to Euro 8.8 billion.
Sonae bought Sappi-Novoboard (TAFISA) wood company
in 2004 and it now has three factories in South Africa (White River, Panbult and
George) as well as five commercial offices located in Rosebank, Durban, Cape Town,
Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein. Sappi-Novoboard currently holds 45% of the South
African wood market which will be further increased through an investment of Euro
45 million in the company.
Sonae's international investments include other
countries such as in Spain, Canada and UK.
is Portugal's biggest producer and exporter of cork which also has investments
in real estate, tourism and energy sectors. It has branches in most European countries
(Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Russia, Republic of Moldova, and Bulgaria, among
others) north and South America, Australia, China. It is also present in South
Africa through Amorim Cork South Africa Pty, which was established 25 years ago.
Since 2002, Cimpor, which is the biggest Portuguese cement
company, is also present in the SA market through Natal Portland Cement Company
in KwaZulu-Natal. With three factories (in Simuma, Durban and Newcastle), it produces
1 million ton per year and has an 11% market share. In 2005 Cimpor started an
US$80 million investment program over 2 years, aiming to increase its production
by 600 thousand tons, up to 1, 6 million tons per year.
DE DEPÓSITOS (CGD)
The biggest Portuguese bank (state owned)
invested in South Africa in the form of the Mercantile Bank. Mercantile has fourteen
branches providing a full range of domestic and international services, as well
as specialized financing and investment facilities.
Bank is part of Rentipar Group which is responsible for handling Mr Horácio
Roque's investments in Portugal. Although operating mainly in Portugal, the Horácio
Roque Group is present in other countries, such as the US, Canada, Brazil, Venezuela,
South Africa, the Bermudas and the Cayman Islands
Rentipar has a BANIF bank
branch in Bruma (Finance House) and owns the biggest South African Portuguese
newspaper O Século de Joanesburgo, among other investments in SA.
Portuguese Investment Bank is the fourth largest financial group in Portugal,
a leader in stock exchange, corporate finance and private banking with a branch
BPP, a privately owned Portuguese
Bank, reputed to have affluent Portuguese citizens as its clients, opened a branch
in Johannesburg in 2002.
SA investment in Portugal (103 EUR)||Portuguese
investment in SA (103 EUR)|
Portuguese investment in Africa is primarily directed to the PALOP countries (African
Portuguese speaking countries), in line with Portuguese foreign policy.
TRADE AND INVESTMENT
SA EXPORTS TO IRELAND R
1,122,108,000 (1,2 billion Rands) (2005)
SOUTH AFRICA Imports FROM IRELAND
R 4,072,400 (4,07 billion Rands) (2005)
The trade balance has traditionally
been very much skewed in Ireland's favour (by a ratio of 3:1). However, this gap
has been narrowing in recent years, and the outlook for South African exports
is positive. Exports to Ireland have grown steadily in the last four years, from
EUR100 million in 2001 to almost EUR160 million at the end of 2005. In 2005, Ireland
was South Africa's 41st biggest export market. According to figures from the Embassy
in Dublin, imports from Ireland have grown negatively over this period, from EUR400
million in 2001 to just EUR 250 million in 2005.
Furniture appears to be
South Africa's largest export to Ireland (27%). This is a new development. Twenty-six
percent of exports to Ireland are made up of fertilisers and minerals. Sixteen
percent is accounted for by coal, coke and briquettes, while fruit and vegetables
account for about 11%. Nine percent of exports is made up of beverages.
to South Africa are dominated by "office machinery & automatic data processing
machines". This can be explained by the presence of large multinational computer
hardware manufacturing companies in Ireland such as Hewlett Packard, Dell and
IBM. Thirteen percent of exports are medical and pharmaceuticals products, which
is not surprising, given the number of multinational pharmaceutical firms located
Since 1999 Irish firms have, made several significant investments
in South Africa, across a variety of sectors. Among the more well known, Irish
entrepreneur, Dr Tony O'Reilly, and Irish Independent Newspapers, have taken over
the Argus newspaper group. Irish investors (in particular Nial Mellon) have invested
heavily in property in Cape Town. Howard Holdings has purchased eight historic
buildings in the centre of Cape Town, which they are converting into a 6 star
hotel, conference centre and luxury apartments.
Some of the larger projects
are outlined below:
(Rm) ||US$ Value (m)||Economic
| || || || || || || |
Cyclical Consumer Goods||Food Producers and Food
Processors||Farming and Fishing|
Services||Media and Photography|
| || || || || || || |
Consumer Goods||Household Goods and Textiles||Furnishings
and Floor Coverings|
| || || || || || || |
and Gas||Oil and Gas Exploration and Production|
| || || || || || || |
Estate||Real Estate Holding and Development|
| || || || || || || |
Group||500||78|| || ||Meat
Traditional areas of concern for prospective investors
have dissipated within the last two - three years. Issues such as crime and political
instability are no longer the primary concerns of investors seeking to engage
in business in South Africa. Rather, companies are more interested in the practicalities
of locating an operation in the country, like banking services, legalities of
engaging in business and the economic forecast.
South African businesses
are beginning to identify Ireland as an ideal platform for access into Europe,
as it is the only English-speaking country within the "Eurozone" (countries
trading in the Euro currency). De Beers Industrial Diamonds runs the largest industrial
diamonds processing facility in Europe in the Shannon Free Zone, employing 540
people. PJ Carrol is 60% South African owned. A number of South African financial
companies like Old Mutual and Investec have offices in Ireland.
of Irish beef have been banned in South Africa since late 2000 because of BSE.
A delegation from Agriculture is expected to visit Ireland shortly to look at
re-opening the market following strong Irish lobbying.
years have seen unprecedented growth in tourism to South Africa from Ireland.
About 30,000 tourists traveled to South Africa in 2002/3, up 33% from the previous
year. This trend continued into 2004 with latest statistics showing an increase
of 43% in tourist arrivals from Ireland over the last two years. Figures for March
2005 show that Ireland was the 8th largest provider of overseas tourists in that
month. In addition, studies have shown that Irish tourists travelling to South
Africa spend an average of four times more than visitors from other markets, such
as the UK. South Africa was voted Ireland's favourite long-haul destination at
the Irish Travel Trade Awards held during the Holiday Experience in Dublin in
Ireland has received much attention in the local tourist press of
late, a direct result of a drive by the Irish Embassy and Tourism Ireland to target
the SA market.
assistance to South Africa amounts to roughly 11 million Euro annually. Limpopo
Province is the main beneficiary. It is mainly focused on five areas: education,
where the assistance is mainly channeled into capacity building; health, where
the Free State and Limpopo Provinces both are beneficiaries, HIV/AIDS; water supply
and sanitation, and good governance, democracy and human rights. Ireland recently
decided to extend its programme to 2014.
Since coming to power, the current
government has trebled ODA to around €545 million, making Ireland the world's
8th largest contributor (0.41%). Eighty-five percent of bilateral Irish country
assistance is spent in Africa.
A survey by Action Aid International found
that Ireland was one of the few donors whose aid is totally "untied".
Only three other countries gave completely untied aid - the UK, Norway and Sweden
- whereas 70 per cent of US and 92 per cent of Italian aid was "tied".
main elements of Ireland's ODA allocation are as follows: -
- Uganda €32 million;
- Ethiopia 30 million;
- Tanzania €25 million;
- Zambia €18
- Lesotho €9.85 million;
- Timor Leste €3.7 million;
- Vietnam €3 million.
Africa €10.4 million;
- Palestinian Territories €2.35 million;
- Sierra Leone and Liberia €4 million;
- Central America €3.5
Other allocations include more than €100 million in
"support for civil society" such as €46.2 million in grants to
five leading NGOs and _12 million for support to missionaries through the Irish
Missionary Resource Service.
A total of €47 million is allocated in
funding for UN development agencies.
Ireland missed a self-imposed deadline
to meet the 0.7% ODA/GNI target by 2007. Prime Minister Ahern announced at the
Millennium +5 Summit in New York that Ireland will reach the 0.7% target by 2012.
DLAMINI ZUMA'S VISIT TO BRUSSELS
- Minister Dlamini Zuma will depart
on Saturday 11 November 2006 for Brussels where she will lead the South African
delegation to the 7th session of the Joint Commission on Co-operation between
South Africa and Belgium.
- Outside of the Strategic Partnership
we have with the EU we also have this annual forum with Belgium:
on the agenda of discussions are expected to include:
- Trade co-operation
- Research and technological co-operation
- SA-EU relations
Trade, Development and Co-operation Agreement
- SADC-EU relations
EU strategy for Africa
- The EU-Africa Summit - as you know this has not
met for some time due to differences over Zimbabwe
- African conflict areas
issues including the UN Security Council, the Middle East, Migration, the WTO/DOHA
- These are some of the similar issues we
will discuss with the Deputy President in Portugal and Ireland and it will be
interesting to have the perspectives of all these countries.
- UN Resolution 1721 (2006) on the situation in Côte
d'Ivoire that was adopted by the Security Council on 1 November 2006 - original
draft resolution did not fully conform with the AU Peace and Security Council
resolution and therefore there was much debate.
- France has circulated
a draft resolution on the future of the transition
- The initial
French draft was perceived by many members of the Security Council as being unbalanced.
The text had not adequately addressed the obligations of both sides to the conflict.
The initial draft for example called on the militias to disarm but was silent
about the immediate resumption of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration
by the Forces NOuvelles
- The initial draft also stated that the
Council "affirms that international instruments that set out the special
arrangements for the transition period, in particular the Security Council resolutions
based on the ECOWAS and AU decisions and recommendations, shall take precedence
where there may be a divergence with the Ivorian Constitution and national laws."
The powers granted to the Prime Minister in the French draft were much greater
than those granted in the AU or ECOWAS communiqué.
Communique of the 64th AU Peace and Security Council Meeting carefully delineated
the functions of the Prime Minister of Côte d'Ivoire and the Council of
Ministers without contravening the Constitution of Côte d'Ivoire
that the sovereign constitutional powers of a Member State should not be amended.
the appointment of civilian and military officials is a constitutional prerogative
and was not a function delegated to the Prime Minister by the AU. The Communique
further stated that "in the accomplishment of the mission of the Government,
the Council of Ministers may, in all matters, take decisions by ordinances or
The AU Peace and Security Council stated that "the
Prime Minister shall also have the necessary authority over all the integrated
Ivorian defence and security forces to enable him to carry out the tasks assigned
The Prime Minister was granted the necessary authority over
"all the integrated Ivorian defence and security forces" because the
African Union wanted to make sure that all the forces on the ground worked together
in support of this mandate.
- Council members such as China,
Russia, the US, and Tanzania argued that the French draft did not accurately reflect
the intervention of the AU Communique and threatened the sovereignty of a member
state of the UN. These countries threatened to abstain
extensive discussions, the Council was able to agree on a compromise. On 1 November
2006 the Council unanimously adopted the text as resolution 1721 (2006)
Resolution endorses the AU Peace and Security Council decision and extends the
transitional period and the mandates of both the President and the Prime Minister
for an additional year until 31 October 2007. The extension would be for a final
- The Secretary-General, in his last report to
the Council on this issue, had stated that the Council should make it clear to
the Ivorian's that the envisaged further extension of the transition should be
the last and if elections are not held within the new extended period, ECOWAS
and the AU and the Security Council, should consider putting in place a transitional
governance arrangement comprising of civil society to prepare for elections
resolution further states that no Ivorian party should invoke any legal provision
to impede the peace process. This language was utilised as a compromise to the
initial text which stipulated that the resolution would take precedence over the
- The resolution noted that the Prime Minister shall
have a mandate to implement all provisions of the roadmap drawn up by the International
Working Group, in particular to carry out: disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration,
identification of population and registration of voters; dismantling of militias;
restoration of State authority; technical preparations for elections; and the
restructuring of the Armed Forces.
- It also stated that, in order,
for the Prime Minister to carry out these tasks, he should have all the necessary
powers and all appropriate financial, material and human resources, as well as
full and unfettered authority consistent with recommendations of the ECOWAS and
must be empowered to take all necessary decisions, in all matters, within the
Council of Ministers or the Council of Government, including the necessary authority
over the Defence and Security Forces.
Reactions to the Resolution
- The PDCT has congratulated the Secretary-General
and France for their clear vision and steady efforts that resulted in the adoption
of resolution 1721
- The PDCI reaffirms its commitment to the resolution
and to the successful implementation thereof.
- The PDC regret the fact
that the President Gbagbo's term of office has been extended
Gbagbo's attempts to sabotage the new resolution through his provocative speech
of 2 November 2006.
The Forces Nouvelles
- The FN
have taken note of the adoption of UN Resolution 1721
- The issue of
the integrated Army staff that should lead to the restructuring merging of the
- The issuance of the nationality certificates together with
the birth certificates in order to enable a general census of the population
the FN indicated that it will be part of the transitional process as defined by
the UN Resolution 1721
- The FN will continue to fight for free, democratic,
and transparent elections in Côte d'Ivoire
- The will also make
sure that the resolution is implemented.
RDR noted that resolution 1721 is the sign of the International Community's willingness
to boost the peace process
- The RDR pays tribute to Mr Kofi Annan and President
Chirac for their commitment and involvement in the peaceful resolution
firm notice by the UNSC of the end of President Gbagbo's term of office since
30 October 2005
- The additional powers given to the Prime Minister who
can now rule by decrees or ordinances taken during the Council of Ministers or
the Government Council
- The authorisation given to the Prime Minister to
re-launch the audience foraine by issuing the national certificates in situ
strengthening of the role of the UN High Representative for elections who have
been given the sole mandate as the only authority to assess the electoral process
RDR has expressed disagreement on the retention of President Gbagbo
- The PDCI-RDA calls the UN resolution a "still-born
resolution" adding that "its going to be another 12 months of hell for
- Adama Bictongo (Political advisor to the
- He said, President Gbagbo's speech to the
nation is in total opposite to the resolution of the UN Security Council
Prime Minister should sign the decrees and Gbagbo opposing it
- Prime Minister
is due to make a speech this week
- Bridgette Giradin
(French Minister of Co-operation):
- Welcomes the UNSC resolution
- The FPI is happy with the resolution and indicated that
the Constitution is sill in force, as China, Russia and the US foiled France's
- President Gbagbo's speech of 2 November 2006
- Resolution 1721 is the 19th of its kind taken by
our universal organisation to resolve the crisis we have been confronted with
since 19 September 2002
- Brilliant victory of Côte d'Ivoire and that
of all African states
- In its draft resolution, there was a grave assertion
according to which "the decisions of the UN Security Council prevail over
the Ivorian Constitution and the Legislation of the Country."
proposal raised, two main questions:
- The sovereignty of independent
African States and the equality of these States with other States of the world
member countries of the UN Security Council have firmly rejected any possibility
of subordination of the Constitution of a State, no matter which one, to a decision
of an international organisation
- They confirmed their position by deleting
this proposal from the present resolution
- Therefore our constitution can
and will be implemented
- Another debate was that regarding the possibility
of the Prime Minister to appoint high level civilian and military officials
draft: "The Prime Minister must have all the necessary powers including appointing
civilian and military officials." The resolution has also ended this debate
Prime Minister shall have no power to appoint civilian and military officials
the provisions in the text of the resolution which violate the Constitution of
Côte d'Ivoire will not be implemented
- Thosands of resolutions can
be taken, but they cannot be successfully implemented if we refuse peace. I therefore
invite all of you to gather around our Constitution and the Institutions on which
our Nation stands.
- Refrain from any demonstration
- I have given
firm instructions to the police to maintain public order in Abidjan and on the
national territory with the help of the gendarmerie
- I also took a decree
authorising the army to assist them
- I call on you, all Ivorians, to mobilise
around our Constitution and our Institutions
We must ensure
that there is a common interpretation of the resolution, failure to do will result
in serious problems.
- I am pleased to say the
second round of voting has gone well.
- As of 7 November 2006, 84,
5% of the presidential results had been captured. Only 26, 7% of the provincial
results had been captured. President Kabila was said to be leading by 60% to Vice
President Bemba's 40%. I believe that we should not speculate on the outcomes
of the elections. We should await the final pronouncement by the IEC.
two presidential candidates, President Kabala and Vice President Bemba met on
7 November to discuss how they would co-operate post election.
two leaders recommitted themselves to peaceful process and called on their supporters
to remain calm and accept the outcome of the elections.
the USA government, which had also congratulated the Congolese people for conducting
a successful election, issued an Executive Order on 31 October 2006.
Order, issued by President Bush to the Speaker of the House of Representatives
and the President of the Senate, is against seven individuals who belong to the
militia groups currently roaming the East of the DRC and thus accused of perpetuating
both the conflict in the country and a climate of insecurity throughout the entire
great Lakes region.
- The Order effectively blocks the property
and interests in the US of the seven persons identified. The seven include Gen.
Nkunda (mentioned above) and other elements from the FDLR, among others.
Presidential Statement of the Security Council dated 7 November 2006
are happy that the Security Council has welcomed the elections.
In a statement:
The Security Council pays tribute to the sense of civic responsibility once again
demonstrated by the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who participated
peacefully and in large numbers in the provincial elections and the second round
of the presidential election held on 29 October 2006.
Council takes note of the fact that voting generally took place in an orderly
and safe atmosphere. It deplores the isolated incidents that occurred, notably
in Bumba and Bikoro in Equateur province and in Fataki in Ituri district.
Security Council attaches great importance to the signing of a declaration of
post-electoral intent by the representatives of the two candidates in the second
round of the presidential election, on 29 October in Kinshasa. It emphasizes that
political differences must be settled by peaceful means only and calls on the
parties to comply with all the confidence-building measures to which they agreed
after the incidents of 20 to 22 August 2006.
"The Security Council
recalls that these elections are historic. It stresses that the new authorities
and all Congolese political actors will be responsible for ensuring the long-term
sustainability of the restoration of peace and stability and for continuing to
promote national reconciliation and the establishment of democratic institutions
and the rule of law in the country."
It is our hope that the UN will
extend the mandate of MONUC in the DRC. We cannot leave unattended and without
support a situation that is fragile. We also hope the international community
in general and the UN in particular with continue to remain seized with this matter.
Statement, 2 November 2006
At the invitation of the Independent Electoral
Commission (CEI) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the following international
- Carter Center
- Common Market of Eastern and Southern
- Communauté économique des Etats de l'Afrique
- Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA)
d'observation électorale de l'Union européenne (MOEUE)
Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF)
- Southern African Development Community
- Parliamentary Forum (SADC/PF)
- African Union (AU)
in the observation of the second round of the presidential elections, and the
provincial elections, on October 29 2006.
The international observers note
with satisfaction that the voting and counting operations took place on the whole
in a calm and peaceful manner. They deplore, however, the serious but isolated
incidents which have taken place in Equateur province and in Ituri, causing the
deaths of several people.
The international missions appreciate the corrective
measures taken by the Independent Electoral Commission to strengthen the capacity
of election workers. Measures have resulted in a remarkable improvement to the
They deplore the excessively partisan and negative
role of many of the media during the election campaign, and call on them to assume
their responsibilities during this sensitive and crucial period of the transition
The missions recommend to the CEI that the publication of results
be immediately broken down by polling station, as a measure of transparency necessary
to the credibility of the electoral process.
The international missions
remind the two presidential candidates of the commitments they have signed, and
invite them, in case of electoral complaints, to make use of the legal channels
for appeal. Finally, they remind them of their responsibility for the actions
and words of their followers.
Kinshasa, November 2nd 2006
This is a situation that continues to be of great concern to us.
The increase in violence is threatening regional peace and security.
UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in its recent report states
that between July and the end of September 2006 Gaza sustained 5,300 artillery
shells and more than 292 air strikes resulting in the death of 298 Palestinians,
49 of them children.
Two Israelis were killed and 28 injured from 424 home
made rockets fired into Israel.
In the last week this already unacceptable
Israeli aggression has been escalated under the Autumn Clouds Operation. Israeli
forces have launched a massive air and ground offensive against the Gaza town
of Beit Hanon.
This morning the Israeli shells hit a residential area killing
18 people, many women and children. This brings the total number of dead to about
70, hundreds injured and homes and infrastructure destroyed.
is in violation of international law and the Geneva Convention and the South African
government condemns it.
Significant damage to roads and houses, destroyed
phone and electricity lines and shortage of food and water.
were still present in other parts of Gaza.
We have seen an extra-ordinary
number of children killed in the last five days, UNICEF Dan Rohrman said. "There
are tanks everywhere, shelling, house demolitions and fighting on the streets.
People are getting quite desperate. The children are terrified by everything going
on, including seeing family members being taken away."
Israeli shelling killed 18 civilians bringing the death toll in this one town
to about 70, hundreds of injured and total destruction of all infrastructure and
property. This latest killing of 18 civilians has shocked the international community
and Israel must understand that such killings can not continue with impunity.
President Mahmoud Abbas has asked the Security Council to intervene and bring
an end to the escalating Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the Gaza Strip, pushing
for a ceasefire and requesting the presence of United Nations observers on the
Gaza-Israel border, correspondents were told today at a Headquarters press conference.
No movement on this call.
Dr Saeb Erekat, the Head of the Negotiations Affairs
Department of the PLO in a letter to the South African government said
find the indifference and the silence of the international community regarding
the atrocities perpetrated in the Gaza Strip to be particularly worrisome; in
view of the scale of the Israeli aggression. In the interest of peace and security
for both peoples, I urge you to condemn the Israeli compliance with international
law and upholding responsibility of protecting innocent civilians."
South African government further reiterated that the failure of the Security Council
to act timeously and decisively when so many women and children are being killed
only serves to weaken their credibility and confidence in the Security Council.
Abbas held a press conference this morning. He called on Palestinians to consolidate
their unity and asked the Arab League to meet immediately and called on the international
community to put pressure on Israel.
He said Israel did not want peace and
security and should bear the responsibility.
He also declared the town of
Beit-Hanoun a disaster area.
A draft resolution adopted unanimously by the
Council of Arab Ambassadors would be introduced for a vote in the Special Political
and Decolonization Committee in the General Assembly.
The Palestinian Ambassador
to the UN said that Israel claims that weapons smuggling was continuing from Egypt
to Gaza, he said those claims "were a pretext and not a serious position".
He said both sides needed to engage in political negotiations to find an end to
the conflict. "The situation is not better for Israel or Gaza," he insisted.
"Only through negotiation can we get into a new situation."
Africa urges the international community to accept its responsibility and demand
that Israel stop its aggression.
Agreement on formation of a national
unity government, political platform; Haniyeh will not be unity Prime Minister
Hamas legislator confirmed that Hamas and Fatah have reached an agreement of forming
a unity government with Haniyeh not being the Prime Minister. Deputy Yihya Mousa,
a senior Hamas official said that the political platform of the new government
has been agreed upon and that Hamas has also agreed on Haniyeh not being the new
Prime Minister. Mousa added that the new Prime Minister has been chosen and he
will be named to President Abbas. Mousa informed that a joint committee would
be formed to allocate ministerial portfolios and add the final touches to the
Every time there is progress in forming a GNU Israel intensifies
its aggression, endangering progress made. Prime Minister Haniyeh today called
for the suspension of talks to form a unity government in the wake of the Israeli
shelling and a three day mourning period has been called.
We fully agree
with the European Union's presidency that Israel ought not to have used excessive
power for self defence against Palestinian activists, slamming the increasing
number of civilian casualties in Gaza Strip.
The Organisation of Islamic
Conference (OIC) accused Israel of war crimes today and urged the Security Council
to take urgent measures.
We urge the Palestinian people not to be diverted
from their objectives of forming a GNU by the provocative military action against
them and to set up a GNU urgently.
Failure to do so will not be in the interest
of the Palestinian people.
We also urge the Palestinians, to stop firing
rockets into Israel. This only results in excessive retaliation.
Israeli Knesset member Avigdor Liberman yesterday warned that both Prime Minister
Ismail Haniyeh and the Minister of Interior Saed Seyam may be targeted if Shalit's
life was put to jeopardy. It is unacceptable that a Minister so publicly and blatantly
is propogating extra-judicial killings.
The latest UN report indicates that
87% of Gaza and 56% of the West Bank residents live below the official poverty
In the West Bank commerce has been reduced to a trickle by the
barrier under Jerusalem, the tri-sections of the West Bank and the draconian permit
regime. Travel to and from Jerusalem was impossible.
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY
GENERAL ON 19 OCTOBER 2006
ILLEGAL ISRAELI ACTIONS IN OCCUPIED EAST JERUSLAEM
AND THE REST OF THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY
Court of Justice had concluded that by the construction of the wall in the Occupied
Palestinian Territory, Israel had violated various international law obligations
incumbent upon it and that since the construction of the wall entailed the requisition
and destruction of homes, businesses and agricultural holdings, "Israel has
the obligation to make reparation for the damage caused to all the natural and
legal persons concerned". In paragraph 153 of its opinion, the Court said:
"Israel is accordingly under an obligation to return the
land, orchards, olive groves and other immovable property seized from any natural
or legal person for purposes of construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian
Territory. In the event that such restitution should prove to be materially impossible,
Israel has an obligation to compensate the persons in question for the damage
suffered. The Court considers that Israel also has an obligation to compensate,
in accordance with the applicable rules of international law, all natural or legal
persons having suffered any form of material damage as a result of the wall's
United Nations Register of Damage caused
by the Construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory would thus
have to be set up that would be responsible for establishing and maintaining the
Register of Damage.
Proposed to establish the office of the Register of
Damage in the site of the United Nations Office at Vienna.
It is in the
interests of both the people of Israel and Palestine that we achieve the 2-state
solution with a secure state of Palestine and Israel living side-by-side within
secure borders. Increasingly this seems hopeless. But we must remain committed
to achieving this reality.
The time has come for the international community
to act decisively in this conflict.
Questions and answers
Deputy Minister Pahad, regarding Côte d'Ivoire - is there any chance that
South Africa will return to the role of mediator? In the absence of South Africa's
mediation who is now mediating in this situation?
Answer In terms
of the AU Peace and Security Council Resolution the mediation will now be led
by the Chair of the African Union, presently Congo-Brazzaville.
work with the AU Commission and can call on any party when necessary to assist
in resolving the problem.
South Africa will endevour to, when it assumes
its seat in the Security Council on 1 January 2007 to ensure there is a common
interpretation in the Council and how the UN can move the process forward.
must also try to ensure that elections are held. The two outstanding issues remain:
DDR Process; and
- Fastracking the identification and registration of voters.
All efforts must now be directed at moving on these issues.
Deputy Minister, is it your assessment that the alliances built by President Kabila
Answer I think I would like to reserve my comments
until after the results have been announced.
Yesterday's meeting was a very
All parties in the DRC must work together in the common interests
of the people of the DRC.
Question Deputy Minister Pahad, you mentioned
the call to the UN to extend MONUC's mandate. What is your view on the decision
by the EUFor to withdraw from the DRC on 30 November 2006?
We would urge the EUFor not to leave the DRC prematurely - premature action can
set the conditions for the situation to relapse - the situation then requires
additional financial and human resources to resolve.
Post conflict reconstruction
and development is very important - the DRC is one of the richest country's in
Africa if not further afield. If the international community can contribute positively
to this situation we can see the people of the DRC using their own resources to
Question Deputy Minister Pahad, you said it is now time
for the Security Council to act decisively on the situation in the Middle East
- what do you mean by that?
Answer The Security Council has a
responsibility to deal with threats to international peace and security. The Security
Council has been seized with this matter for more than 40 years - how will it
account to the world for its inability to resolve this matter. The Security Council
must also discuss with the Quartet how to reinstitute the Roadmap.
fail to give people hope, people in the region will believe that they have no
other recourse but to engage in more violence and counter violence.
a country's right to protect itself, but there can be no justification for the
over excessive actions of the Israeli government.
All violence in the region
must stop - it is not helping the situation.
Matters are also becoming too
polarized - the IOC this morning called the actions of the Israeli government
"crimes against humanity."
I believe we are reaching the point
of no return in the region and the international community must act decisively
and urgently in terms of its various resolutions.
Question Deputy Minister
Pahad, are there any efforts by the South African government to intervene in the
situation in Zimbabwe?
Answer Zimbabwe is now being handled by
the SADC Troika - the Troika is scheduled to, in line with a decision from the
SADC Summit, visit Zimbabwe.
Their assessment, recommendations and findings
will determine the way forward.
There is no initiative that is underway
by the South African government.
Question Deputy Minister Pahad, what
is the government's position on the sentence awarded to Saddam Hussein?
As a government, and in line with many of the statements from European countries,
we are opposed to the death penalty. This was a decision taken in an Iraqi court
and we respect this decision.
The situation in Iraq is becoming catastrophic.
The deaths on a daily basis are not acceptable. Civilians are worse off now than
ever before. The international community must see how it can assist this situation.
sectarian war that is currently underway is totally out of control. It has been
estimated that nearly one million people have been killed, hundreds of thousands
injured and massive damage to property and infrastructure.
The deaths and
casualties of US troops is way beyond anything before contemplated.
are also too many South Africans who are unofficially in Iraq engaged in security
The sentencing of Saddam Hussein is only one matter in a very
dangerous, chaotic and volatile situation.
Issued by Department of Foreign
Private Bag X152
8 November 2006