Speaking Notes for IRPS Cluster Media Briefing, Media Centre Union Buildings, Pretoria, Thursday 23 November 2006

Peace, Security, Stability and Post-Conflict Reconstruction

As you are aware, the IRPS is continuously seized with the issue of peace and security.

This year we have had regular briefings on issues of peace and security in Africa and internationally. In this regard, we briefed the media extensively on, inter alia,:

· The Democratic Republic of Congo
· Darfur
· Burundi
· Côte d'Ivoire, and
· The Middle East.

Today I will only mention new developments since the briefing on Tuesday 21 November 2006:

Africa

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

The second round of presidential elections were held in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on 29 October 2006, with an electoral run-off between Transitional President Joseph Kabila and Transitional Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba. 65 percent of the DRC's 25,4 million registered voters participated in the elections.The provisional elections results gave 58,05 percent of the votes to Kabila , against 41,95 percent for Bemba. Bemba won a majority of votes in six of the DRC's eleven provinces. The 108-member South African Observer Mission to the DRC declared the elections democratic and credible. Head of the Observer Mission, Deputy Minister of Defence, Mluleki George, stated that voting took place in a peaceful environment and that the counting was transparent. The Observer Mission has called on all Congolese to accept the outcome of elections.

On 16 November, Bemba filed a formal challenge to the Supreme Court against the provisional results, alleging "systematic cheating", falsified results, blocking of party representatives at polling stations, and stuffing of ballot boxes.. The Supreme Court had seven days in which to consider the challenge. Violence subsequently erupted in Kinshasa, capital of the DRC, on 21 November, when the Supreme Court began studying Bemba's legal challenge. Judge Kalonda Kele was presiding over a public session that was studying the challenge. Clashes between the police and 200 Bemba supporters, who were conducting a protest outside the court. Fire broke out at the Supreme Court. Local fire brigades supported by the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC), responded to the situation. Judges and civilian staff were evacuated from the court. MONUC peacekeepers and the EU Peacekeeping Force (EUFOR) are monitoring the situation. Troops from the Congolese National Army have been brought into the capital.

This was the first serious incident of violence since the Independent Electoral Commission announced results on 15 November 2006. Kabila has urged the Congolese to remain calm. He has ordered Bemba's coalition out of Kinshasa. There is concern that Bemba does not have full control over all elements of his MLC officers. The vast majority of Kinshasa's population support Bemba; he received more that two-thirds of the vote in the capital. South Africa has urged Bemba to accept the results verified by the Supreme Court. An outcome to the challenge is expected from the Supreme Court by 27 November 2006. It is likely, however, that this incident of violence will delay the Supreme Court's announcement.

Sudan

On the 28th November 2006 President Mbeki will hold discussions with Vice President of the Sudan and President of Southern Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit in his capacity as the President of the GOSS for political and economic discussions at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

President Kirr will be accompanied by the Minister of Regional Co-operation Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, Minister of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development David Deng Athorbei, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Dr Samson Lukare Kwaje, Minister of Education Dr Michael Milli Hussein, Minister of Trade and Commerce Anthony Lino Makana, Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Gier Chuang Aluong, Minister of Industry and Mining Albino Akol Akol and other senior officials.

The scheduled Summit of the African Union Peace and Security Council to discuss troop deployment in Darfur was schedule to be held in Congo Brazzaville on the 24th November 2006. This Summit will now be held in Abuja, Nigeria on Wednesday 29 November 2006 ahead of the Africa - South America Summit.

Israel - Palestine

National Unity Government in Palestine

Prior to leaving for Saudi Arabia, President Abbas announced that the dialogue between Fatah and Hamas on the formation of a National Unity Government will be maintained, describing the dialogue to be successful. Following his meeting with King Abdullah Ben Aziz and senior Saudi Arabian officials, President Abbas said: "Today I will return to Gaza to continue the dialogue with Hamas, the rest of the Palestinian factions, representatives of civil society organisations, and the private sector on the formation of the Palestinian government" Palestinian Foreign Minister Zahar confirmed in Damascus that negotiations on the formation of a National Unity Government had been postponed for several days. Zahar announced his rejection to the new proposition, that being a technocratic government. Foreign Minister Zahar said that "negotiations between Fatah and Hamas have been postponed for several days to look into the new propositions.

Following a meeting between former Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei and Khaled Mashal on Sunday 19 November 2006, the leader of Hamas, Mashal said that an agreement had been forged between Fatah and Hamas on the basics of the unity government, and the focus was on "detailed points while following up on guarantees." The basics centre on Hamas getting 9 Portfolios, along with the position of Prime Minister, and Fatah getting 4 portfolios, independents getting 5 portfolios and other parliamentary blocks getting 4 portfolios.

Assassination of Lebanese Minister of Industry and Petroleum

Tensions in Lebanon continue to grow. The assassination of Lebanese Minister for Industry, Pierre Gemayel on Tuesday 21 November 2006, unfolded amid threats by Hezbollah of bringing their supporters to the street if their call for a cabinet reshuffle is not met with approval.

The South African government reiterated its condemnation of all forms of terrorism, and maintains that military solutions cannot lead to the resolution of political problems.

The United Nations Security Council has meanwhile agreed to extend the probe into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri, to include the assassination of Mr Gemayel.

Iraq

We remain deeply concerned about the continuing escalation of violence in Iraq, which is in a state of civil war. It is estimated that at least 100 people a day are being killed since the coalition forces went into Iraq.

The Iraq Study Group (aka The Baker Report):

The Iraq Study Group (ISG) was launched on 15 March 2006 by the US Congress. The Group is co-chaired by James Baker, a former Secretary of State for President Bush Sr, and Lee Hamilton, a former chairperson of the House International Relations Committee and vice-chairperson of the 9/11 Commission. The report is expected to be released in December 2006. The remaining ISG principals are a group of bipartisan senior individuals who have had distinguished careers in public service.

Under the direction of the ISG co-chairs, four broad topics will be examined:

· the strategic environment in and around Iraq;
· the security of Iraq and key challenges to enhancing security within the country;
· political developments within Iraq following the elections and formation of the new government;
· and the economy and reconstruction.

The panel's many interviewees include US President, George W. Bush, and British Prime Minister Tony Blair. A spokesperson for Mr Blair highlighted that he (Mr Blair) told the ISG in his 14 November interview that the most decisive steps the US could take to end the violence in Iraq would be to work for an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and to help the Iraqi government improve its army, end sectarianism in its security forces and distribute revenue more fairly across the country.

The ISG has also met with Iranian and Syrian officials, including Syrian Ambassador to the US, Mr Imad Moustapha. The report is expected to recommend that the US open talks with Iran and Syria over Iraq. On 15 November 2006 a Senior Adviser to US Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, indicated that the US was ready "in principle" for talks with Iran on Iran's role in Iraq.

The ISG is also expected to recommend the setting of a timetable in harmony with the present Iraqi Government, backed by the coalition, for the withdrawal of armed forces.

Reported this week that the Pentagon has dropped plans they dubbed "Go Big" and "Go Home," and have instead recommended one called "Go Long". "Go Long" which would see a decrease in the number of combat troops, but would increase US efforts to train and advise Iraqi security officials. The Washington Post reports that under the plan, an initial boost of 20 000 - 30 000 soldiers to the 140 000 already on the ground would be followed by longer term cuts, to as few as 60 000 troops.

Iraqi relations with Iran and Syria:

In October 2006, Iraqi President, Jalal Talabani, suggested that violence in Iraq could end "within months" if Iran and Syria joined efforts to stabilise the country.

Iraqi dialogue with Syria and Iran over security is showing some promise. In late November 2006, President Talabani accepted an invitation from his Iranian counterpart, President Mahmoud Ahmadinijad, to discuss ways of tackling violence in Iraq. This visit is expected to happen over the last weekend of November. There are reports that Syrian President, Bashar Al-Assad, may also attend the talks.

The Foreign Ministers of Iraq, Mr Hoshyar Zebari, and Syria, Mr Walid Moualem, met in Baghdad on 21 November 2006 and agreed to restore diplomatic relations between the two countries for the first time since 1980. Mr Zebari also indicated that the two countries had agreed to "cooperate on security matters". Mr Moualem, however, also called for a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq, saying such withdrawal would reduce violence.

Nuclear Non-Proliferation

· North Korea

UN Security Council Resolution 1718 (2006) on the imposition of sanctions on the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korean (DPRK)

· On 14 October 2006 the UNSC, acting under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the UN Charter, unanimously adopted resolution 1718 in response to a nuclear test conducted by the DPRK. The Security Council also established a committee to monitor the sanctions and take action against violations. The resolution imposes a wide range of sanctions against the DPRK, including an asset freeze, a travel ban against some officials in the country. It condemns the 9 October 2006 test by the DPRK and demands that the DPRK should not conduct any further nuclear tests of launch of a ballistic missile. The resolution also demands that the DPRK retract its announced withdrawal from the NPT Treaty and accepts safeguards through the IAEA and implement transparency measures including access to individuals, documentation, equipment and facilities. The resolution also mandates all Members of the UN to take specific actions against the DPRK and report on these to the Security council within 30 days, following the adoption of this resolution.

· All Council members welcomed its adoption and hoped that the DPRK would abide by its terms. Although it voted in favour of the resolution, China has expressed reservations about the provisions in the resolution calling for inspections of all goods going in and out of the DPRK. China has stated that these provisions are provocative and could lead to an escalation of tensions.

· In summary, the sanctions immediately imposed on the DPRK include the following:

· an embargo (supply, sale or transfer) on weapons or materials that are contained in the UN Register on Conventional Arms. Furthermore, the embargo includes all arms/technology that are contained in the lists that would be devised by the newly created Security Council Sanctions Committee. (Mission Comment - These lists would apparently be devised utilising lists prepared by the Nuclear Supplier's Group, the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and the Australia Group. Russia, who is not a member of the Australia Group, has objected to this list being used. The Council Committee has 14 days from the adoption of resolution 1718 to finalise discussions on the list. France has circulated, to the rest of the Council, the lists that would be utilised.
· an embargo on luxury goods;
· targeted financial (asset freeze) and travel sanctions against individuals who would be designated on a list prepared by the Sanctions Committee;
· member states are called on to inspect all cargo to and from the DPRK.

· The United States warned the DPRK that there would be serious repercussions if there were non-compliance with the resolution. Speaking to the press after the meeting, the US Ambassador, John Bolton, stated that the unanimous adoption of this resolution is a signal to Iran that the Council will not tolerate the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction

· South Africa urges that the 6-Party Talks should be restarted as soon as possible.

· Iran

· Indications are that talks between Iran and the P5+Germany seem to not have made much progress.

· On 14 November 2006, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a further report on the implementation of NPT safeguards in Iran. Similar to the last report issued on 14 September 2006, no further substantial developments have been reported, neither has any significant progress been made in finalising the outstanding safeguards issues. The report confirms that Iran has been providing the Agency with access to declared nuclear material and facilities, and has provided the required nuclear material accountancy reports in connection with such material and facilities. However, Iran has not provided the Agency with full access to operating records at certain facilities.

· The latest report again reiterates that while the Agency is able to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran, the Agency will remain unable to make further progress in its efforts to verify the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran unless Iran addresses the long outstanding verification issues, including through the implementation of the Additional Protocol, and provides the necessary transparency. According to the Agency, progress in this regard is a prerequisite for the Agency to be able to confirm the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme. The IAEA Board is considering the report during its last regular session for 2006 on 23 and 24 November 2006.

· UN Security Council consultations among the P5 are continuing on a new resolution on Iran. However, there appears to be a number of serious differences between the major players that continue to prevent agreement on the elements of such a resolution, as well as the scope of possible measures to be adopted by the Security Council.

· We call on all parties to initiate confidence building measures; Iran to resolve all outstanding issues with the IAEA; and that a solution is found within the IAEA framework.

Economic Diplomacy

This is one of the main cornerstones of the IRPS Cluster. This year, while consolidating our relations with our traditional economic partners, we have given special attention to South South co-operation. Let me highlight some important developments:

Africa - South America Summit

· Inaugural Africa - South America Summit in Abuja, Nigeria on Thursday 30 November 2006. President Mbeki and Deputy Minister Pahad will attend this Summit which will be preceded by a Ministerial meeting.
· The Summit will provide an excellent opportunity for discussion seeing that both continents are at very crucial stages of their development.
· Accordingly, the Summit provides a good opportunity for both continents to reach a clear understanding of areas of common interest and prospects for co-operation and enhanced collaboration to foster a stronger strategic partnership on a South-South axis that would provide the context for consolidating and invigorating relations.
· The decision to convene this Summit was adopted at the African Union Summit held in Khartoum, Sudan in January 2006 on the Africa-Diaspora process and reiterated at the Summit in Banjul, the Gambia in July 2006.
· The agenda for discussions is expected to be very wide reaching:
· Peace and security;
· Democracy, governance, human rights and other political issues;
· Agriculture and agribusiness, water resources and the environment;
· Trade and investment between both continents including market access, investment projects and financial resources;
· The fight against poverty and underdevelopment;
· Infrastructure development;
· Energy and social materials;
· Social and cultural co-operation, tourism and sports;
· Health and education;
· Science, technology and ICT; and
· Co-operation in multilateral fora.

Asia-Africa Summit (New Africa Asia Strategic Partnership) - we believe this is a very important platform to consolidate South-South relations as Asia has some of the world's fastest growing economies - India and China to name a few.

Political Solidarity

· UN reform - Africa would support an Asian candidate for the position of UNSG; NAASP committed itself to UN reform, the strengthening of multilateralism and greater representivity
· Law enforcement - training in counter-terrorism was offered by the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement and the African Centre for Studies and Research on Terrorism
· Combating transnational crime - Indonesia offered training to combat Illicit Drug Trafficking
· Cooperation in other international fora - it was recommended that an Open-ended Bandung Group be created in New York, Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi as a mechanism to promote the coordination of positions on global issues
· Palestine/ Middle East - NAASP called for the implementation of all UN resolutions on Palestine; Indonesia' proposal for convening a conference on Palestine capacity building, co-chaired by SA, was endorsed
· Democracy - the sharing of experiences/ best practices in conducting democratic elections were discussed and the terms of reference on convening an inter-regional dialogue on human rights in 2007/8 was endorsed
· Peace-building - Partnerships to promote support to the UN Peace-building Commission were explored
· African conflicts - Members countries committed themselves to providing technical support , ODA and capacity building to post-conflict African countries, as well as to strengthen early warning mechanisms; peace initiatives on Somalia were supported; the implementation of all UN resolutions on conflicts in Africa was called for

Economic Cooperation

· Agricultural cooperation - Training research and capacity building in agriculture production and irrigation was offered by India and Tunisia (Sudan to cooperate); Mali, Libya, Vietnam and Thailand to explore trilateral cooperation with Northern countries; SA and Morocco to cooperate on the promotion of market access in key markets; Asian-African product diversification to be promoted
· SMME cooperation and promotion - Member countries agreed to share experiences and best practices: India and Cameroon to cooperate on credit funding for SMMEs
· Trade and investment promotion - the NAASP Business Summit is to be held in Egypt in 2007; the need to create an Asian African Business Forum/ Council to promote trade facilitation, as well as to coordinate positions on global trade issues, was identified - a task force, consisting of SA, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Mauritius, Egypt, Cameroon, Nigeria, DRC and Uganda would participate in a feasibility study; cooperation between India and Tunisia on e-commerce was agreed upon; the promotion of fish farming, fish production and value adding was agreed upon between Madagascar, India, Tunisia, Uganda and Eritrea
· Funding - it was agreed to create the Asian African Trust Fund to promote economic cooperation - a feasibility study would be undertaken by Morocco to prepare recommendations for the Ministerial; India and Cameroon would investigate credit funding for SMMEs
· Eradication of poverty - NAASP committed itself to sustained support to the World Solidarity Fund
· Tourism promotion - Indonesia and Senegal, supported by a task team, would facilitate the Asian African Visit Year; Libya, Kenya, Madagascar, Tunisia, Nigeria and Egypt would create and African Asian Tourism Forum (Gabon to investigate tourism potential)
· Energy cooperation - Member countries agreed that an expert meeting should be held on energy cooperation and alternative sources of energy; Pakistan, Cameroon, Nigeria, Eritrea and Gabon would champion the promotion of alternative sources of energy

Socio-Cultural Relations

Human Resource Development:

· Creation of Asian African Development University Network (AADUN) - the results of this study on a University cooperative network by Japan and Algeria would be made available to NAASP members
· Scholarships and academic exchange - SA suggested that the University Mobility in the Indian Ocean Rim (UMIOR) initiative (IOR-ARC) be linked to AADUN; Indonesia offered a Non-Degree Darmasiswa Scholarship Programme to study the Indonesian language, arts, music and crafts, as well as a Developing Countries Partnership Scholarship Programme (DCPS)
· Capacity building and training - India will continue to champion the Pan-African e-network for tele-education and tele-medicine; Malaysia provides continued assistance to developing countries from the two regions via its Technical Co-operation Programme in sectors such as oil, gas and fisheries; Singapore continuously provide HRD to developing countries via its Cooperation Programme; Morocco proposed an African Asian Network of Diplomatic Academies; Indonesia invited member countries to participate in its Training Course for Mid-Career and Senior Diplomats; Nigeria offered training for cultural and tourism workers; Malaysia offered training courses for diplomats under the Malaysian Technical Co-operation Programme (MTCP)
· ICT cooperation for development - Indonesia proposed training in Satellite Communication System Engineering and training in Satellite Communications of Satellite for non-technical manager; an International Training course on TV Education Programme Production Using Digital Technology; and an International Training course on Information Technology and Education Methodology; India offered training to NAASP members under its ITEC and SCAAP programmes; Tunis requested re-commitment to the decisions of the 2005 WSIS
· Cooperation in area of mass media - Indonesia, supported by SA, Nigeria, India and Morocco, undertook to facilitate an Asian African Journalist Visit in 2007; India offered annual slots in studies in mass communication to journalists

Culture and sport:

· People to people contact - Morocco, supported by Singapore and The Philippines, proposed the Convening of an Asian-African Conference on Tolerance and Dialogue
· Asian African cultural exchange - Nigeria offered to hold a Culture Stakeholders Seminar to promote cross cultural exchange
· Protection of Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (GRTKF) - Indonesia offered to facilitate an Asian African Forum on GRTKF, together with SA and the WIPO
· Youth and sports - China proposed to increased the number of participants from Asia & Africa at the Olympic Youth Camp in 2008; SA would explore the possibility of an Asian African Youth camp on the sidelines of the 2010 Soccer World Cup; Japan proposed the creation of an Asia Africa Young Volunteers Programme
· Disaster management

Health and environment:

· Disaster management - Malaysia offered training in this area under their MTCP; Japan announced to offer US$ 2,5 billion over the next 5 years to assistance in this area
· Health - International training courses on Information Education and Communication for Family Planning/ Reproductive Health were offered by Indonesia, Malaysia and India
· Environment - Indonesia offered to host the following events: Workshop on Asia Africa Environmental Law and Policy; Training Workshop on Vulnerability and Assessing Adaptability; and a Climate Change Workshop on capacity building

The NAASP Ministerial meeting will be held in Egypt in 2007, together with the Business Summit. SA and Indonesia will remain the NAASP co-chairs up to the Summit that is to be held in SA in 2008/9, even though Egypt would provide the venue for the Ministerial meeting.

IBSA

The 1st IBSA Summit intended to deepen existing trilateral relations and was the culmination of three IBSA Ministerial Trilateral Joint Commission meetings that have taken place in New Delhi (2004), Cape Town (2005) and Rio de Janeiro (2006), respectively.

President Mbeki was accompanied to the Summit on 13 September by Ministers Dlamini Zuma, Mpahlwa (Trade and Industry), Radebe (Transport) and Sonjica (Minerals and Energy). Two parliamentary representatives also attended. Government Departments that were represented at the Focal Point/ Senior Officials Meeting that took place on 11 September 2006 in Brasilia to finalise preparations for the Summit, included the following: DFA, DTI, Transport, DME, Communications, DPSA, SASS (Embassy representatives) and Social Development.

Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) and the DTI facilitated attendance at the Summit by selected, top CEOs from large SA companies, as well as the participation of other SA business representatives in the IBSA Business Council's Business meeting that took place on 12 September 2006. A large number of SA academics, representative of SA non-governmental "think tanks" and SA tertiary academic institutions, participated in the discussions of the Academic Seminar that also took place on 12 September 2006. In addition to the Academic Seminar and Business meeting, a trilateral Ministerial meeting between Foreign Ministers Dlamini Zuma, Sharma and Amorim also took place on the same day to finalise preparations and outstanding issues for the Summit.

South Africa is in an excellent position to be bridge between Africa, Asia and South America.

China-Africa Forum

The 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 2006 Summit adopted two outcome documents.

1. Declaration of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation

The 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 Council.

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:

Political Cooperation:

Chinese 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

In order 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 Pan-African Parliament.

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.

Economic cooperation

It was agreed that NEPAD was the overall framework through which China-Africa relations would be developed.

The two sides agreed to create favourable conditions to grow China-Africa trade in a more balanced manner. Chinese leadership have indicated that while depending on their national interests, they would ensure that a colonial type of relationship does not develop between China and Africa.

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.

China and its African partners will improve information sharing and pragmatic co-operation in these sectors to serve the long-term interests of both sides.

The Chinese will send 100 senior experts on agricultural technologies to Africa to set up 10 demonstration centres.

China will increase from 190 to 440 the number of exports items eligible for zero-tariff treatment from LDCs to China.

By 2009 China will double the size of its assistance to Africa

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 teaching.

China will assist African countries to build 30 hospitals and provide grants for ant-malarial drugs and send additional medical teams to Africa.

China 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.

Cooperation in International Affairs

The 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

China and Africa welcomed the establishment of the Human Rights Council by the United Nations.

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.

The next Ministerial FOCAC will take place in Egypt in 2009.

Global Governance: Socio-Economic

World Trade Organisation Negotiations

Negotiations in the WTO's Doha Round remain suspended.

Significant differences in the agricultural negotiations persist. Intensive technical work, in addition to diplomatic/political efforts would be required to close existing gaps.

During a meeting of the WTO General Council (9-10 October 2006) now new indications were given that the DG of the WTO (Mr Pascal Lamy) was in a position to lift the suspension on negotiations. A critical mass of differences remained.

Mr Lamy indicated that the onus was on key domestic constituencies and that he personally had little manoeuvrability to achieve a re-launch of the Round.

The crux of Mr. Lamy's message was that key stakeholders had displayed insufficient movement to enable him to lift the suspension on the re-opening the current round of negotiations.

Mr. Lamy has clearly placed the political onus on key players, namely the US and the EU to provide significant incentives for him to re-open the Round. He pointed out that he was planning to engage Washington and Brussels more intensively.

He reiterated the wide-ranging concern that the cost of failure to re-start the Round promptly would affect developing countries the worst. Despite the prevailing stalemate he indicated that in his ongoing consultations with different negotiating groups there appeared to be a general desire to resume the Round.

Calls for a speedy restart were for instance made at the Ministerial meetings of the G20 and the Cairns Group during September 2006 and the most recent being the APEC Ministers who agreed on 16 November 2006 at the 18th APEC Ministerial Summit to propose prompt action to re-start the Doha round and were willing to make higher commitments with specific flexibilities to create momentum for the negotiations.

At the APEC Summit Mr Lamy reiterated that for negotiations to succeed, each one of the major players must take a decisive step forward and bring with them the extra flexibility in negotiating positions.

Mr. Lamy also expanded on why agriculture, which represents less than 8% of world trade, keeps the entire Doha Round agenda off track? The answer is simple: because food production remains a very sensitive sector for both rich and poor countries. And since the current Round is a development one and since more than 70% of the world's poor live in rural areas, there is no way the negotiations can succeed if the existing agriculture bias against developing countries is not properly addressed. This means an effective reduction in farm subsidies by rich WTO members as well as a reduction of agriculture tariffs providing for substantial improvements in market access. Obviously the reduction in tariffs should be modulated with the necessary flexibilities for developing countries. In July we could not reach agreement on these points because, on the one hand, what was offered in reduction in subsidies was not perceived as enough by developing countries, and because, on the other hand, the insistence on flexibilities which could negate the principle of market access, was unacceptable to some developed and developing countries.

For this negotiation to succeed, each one of the major players in this round must take a decisive step forward. When they do, they must bring with them the extra flexibility in their negotiating positions so that we can close the gap on the very substantial trade agreement that is now clearly within our reach.

In another important development during the APEC Summit in Hanoi, the United States and Russia signed a bilateral agreement that paves the way for Moscow to join the WTO after more than a decade of tough negotiations. Russia is the only major economy not yet a member of the WTO.
South Africa urges the developed countries to work towards the common good and not seek to protect narrow self interests. They must display the necessary political will to break the impasse.

G-20

An element of South Africa's programme for next year comprises of a seminar of the reform of the IMF and World Bank that would be convened in Brazil in March; financial stability would be discussed around April and May 2007 in the United States and fiscal space would be discussed in Turkey in June. Meetings are also scheduled to take place in Pretoria and Durban next year as part of the build-up to the November meeting. As the only African country in the G20 and as a representative of Africa, South Africa will also endeavour to bring in some of countries of the African continent in next year's engagements.

Transforming World Governance

African Union (AU) Government

The January 2005 AU Summit reaffirmed the ultimate goal of the AU - of a full political and economic integration of the African Continent. In that regard, the Summit established a Committee of seven Heads of State chaired by President Obasanjo to consider all the ideas on this goal, including the structure, process and timeframes to achieve this objective, as well as measures to be undertaken in the interim to strengthen the Commission's ability to fulfil its mandate effectively.

The outcomes of the consultations by the Heads of State were released at the Banjul Summit in July 2006 in a document entitled "A Study on an African Union Government: Towards the United States of Africa". The Banjul Summit decided to refer the document to an Extraordinary Session of the Executive Council for further deliberation. The Extraordinary Session took place on 17-18 November 2006 and its findings would be submitted at the January 2007 Summit.

Southern African Development Community (SADC) integration agenda

Closely linked to the issue of continental integration as conceptualised in the study on the African Union Government is the need for the integration at regional level. In terms of the Abuja Treaty, one of the key milestones for the attainment of the African Economic Community is the rationalisation and harmonisation of the RECs in full as its building blocks.

The August 2006 Maseru SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government reviewed the lack or slow pace of deeper economic integration within SADC, especially since the dates for the attainment of two critical milestones, i.e. a FTA and Customs Union are imminent.

In light of this, the Maseru Summit appointed a Task Force of Ministers of Finance, Investment and Economic Development, Trade and Industry and the SADC Secretariat to review the regional economic integration agenda, assess progress and propose measures for up-scaling implementation. The Task Force was mandated to submit its report to an Extraordinary SADC Summit in October 2006.

In this regard South Africa hosted an Extraordinary SADC Summit on Regional Integration on Monday 23 October 2006, which was preceded by a meeting of the Ministerial Task Force on Regional Integration from 21-22 October 2006.

The Summit reviewed the status of regional economic integration and to propose measures to accelerate the implementation of the SADC economic integration agenda, particularly in achieving the Free Trade Area by 2008 and a Customs Union by 2010.

Regional Economic Integration

The Summit was chaired by the Lesotho Prime Minister, Right Honourable Pakalitha Mosisili, and was preceded by a meeting of Senior Officials from 19-20 October 2006 and the Ministerial Task Force of SADC Ministers of Finance, Investment and Economic Development and Trade and Industry and the SADC Secretariat, from 21-22 October 2006. In preparation for the Summit, briefing meetings were held for Ministers of Finance and Trade on 15 September 2006 (on the margins of the IMF World Bank annual meetings in Singapore) and on 29 September 2006 in Johannesburg. A Joint Ministerial Task Force meeting was also held on 13 October 2006 in Johannesburg.

The Extraordinary Summit considered the report and recommendations of the Ministerial Task Force, particularly the following:

· Status of regional integration;
· Free Trade Area;
· Preparations for a Customs Union;
· Macroeconomic convergence;
· SADC Development Fund; and
· Institutional framework to implement the integration agenda

The Summit acknowledged that intra-regional trade was estimated at approximately 20% of total trade in 1997 and this had risen to 25% by 2003. However, despite this statistic, Heads of State and Government recognised that the status of regional economic integration was not as advanced as it should be.

On the Free Trade Area (FTA), the Summit noted progress made in attaining this milestone and concluded that the organisation is on track to meet the target of 2008 for establishing the FTA. The point was made repeatedly that the establishment of the FTA should take cognisance of developmental integration elements such as infrastructure, poverty alleviation and sustainable development so as to recognise the realities in individual member states.

With regard to the establishment of a SADC Customs Union, the Summit reaffirmed its commitment to the RISDP target of 2010, and directed the Ministerial Task Force to undertake and finalise a study evaluating an appropriate model for such a Customs Union. Heads of State and Government further directed that an activity map be developed to facilitate implementation towards both the FTA and Customs Union.

We believe that economic integration must be achieved in the context of a broader development agenda. Complementary instruments and policies are needed to support regional economic integration within the context of sustainable economic growth and development to eradicate poverty. The principle of equity, balanced development and mutual benefit between member states in deepening integration was reiterated.

South Africa, as the strongest economic power has the responsibility to ensure that all benefit from the integration process.

The Extraordinary Summit underlined the need to mobilise resources to address issues of infrastructure, food security and other supply side challenges within the region. Heads of State and Government called for the establishment of a Development Fund to be expedited.

Global Governance: Politics and Security

UN Secretariat and Management Reform:
The atmosphere at the UN has been sharply polarised over the past year between the developed and developing world due to efforts to force through controversial reforms that would inter alia deny all countries the right to participate in the UN budgetary process.

Despite this polarisation, significant progress has been made. In December 2005 an Ethics Office was established, a whistleblowers' policy and financial disclosure policies were adopted, the Independent Audit Advisory Committee was established and approved additional resources aimed at strengthening the auditing and investigations functions of the Office of International Oversight (OIOS).

During the June 2006 negotiations in the 5th Committee, the G77, EU, USA and Japan were able to agree on most of the reform proposals of the Secretary-General. Most Member States were able to support establishing the post of Chief Information Technology Officer, adopting new accounting standards (IPSAS), and replacing the ICT system with an enterprise resource planning system (ERPS). However, the USA, Japan and CANZ wanted to finance the ICT enhancements from within existing resource levels, whilst the G77, EU and Norway were willing to provide additional resources. The G77 and Norway were able to support increasing the level of the Working Capital Fund to $250 million, while the EU and JUSCANZ wanted to increase it to only $150 million. The G77 supported the proposal to use budgetary surpluses to finance the increase in the Fund level, which the EU and JUSCANZ did not have a position on. The G77 was ready to approve the additional resource requirements that the implementation of the reform proposals would necessitate, while the JUSCANZ wanted to meet the costs from within existing resources or through so-called savings that could be realised through the mandate review exercise.

More recently, the US has broken the 20 year practice of adopting decisions on budgetary matters by consensus. The US called for a vote on the funding of the USD 131,200 required for the deployment of a fact-finding mission to examine recent Israeli attacks at Beit Hanoun, as mandated by the Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly. This will have serious implications for future discussions on budgetary matters at the UN. (The US lost the vote by a margin of 143 votes to 5, with 2 abstentions).

Human Rights Council (HRC)

The HRC was established on 15 March 2006. South Africa is a member of the HRC. It replaces the Commission on Human Rights and it remains to be decided (in ongoing discussions) whether it should assume the same stature of a council such as ECOSOC, the Security Council etc (however this as yet to be realized). The General Assembly resolution does not provide specifics on how the agenda of the HRC should be determined. Several issues, both procedural and substantive, currently remain open-ended for which constructive, common positions remain crucial. These include;

· finalization of the modalities for the Universal Periodic Review Mechanism which has been introduced ostensibly to reduce politicization and double-standards in regard to the international human rights agenda
· the revision and rationalization of the Council's mechanisms (special mandates, working groups and the sub-commission) which were inherited from the Commission
· the methods of work of the Council and,
· scheduling or the determination of the sessions of the Council throughout the year

Peacebuilding Commission (PBC)

The PBC was established in December 2005. South Africa is not a member yet, but will replace Tanzania as one of the Security Council's representatives to the PSC in 2007. SA already participates on country-specific discussions in the PBC on Burundi due to its intense involvement with the Burundi peace process.

The PBC will fill in a previous void in dealing with post-conflict situations. It could provide a coherent and longer-term focus on development of countries emerging from conflicts, in order to prevent a relapse into such conflict. This may involve peacebuilding, reconstruction and development in order to achieve sustainable peace. South Africa's interest lies in ensuring that the work of the PBC dovetails with or supports similar initiatives and policy approaches at the level of the African Union. It is therefore important for South Africa and like-minded countries to ensure that the PBC has a balanced agenda whose work should be based on the priorities and needs of the countries emerging from conflict, many of which are in Africa.

UN Security Council: Non Permanent Seat

· On 16 October 2006 the General Assembly of the United Nations elected South Africa to serve as non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for a two-year term starting on 1 January 2007.

· South Africa will join the Republic of Congo and Ghana as the third African non-permanent member of the Security Council.

· South Africa received the support of 186 countries, with no country voting against or abstaining.

South Africa is greatly privileged and honoured by its election.

· The UNSC occupies an important and unique place in this multilateral system with its tasks defined in the UN Charter.

The Charter says: "In order to ensure prompt and effective action by the United Nations, its Members confer on the Security Council primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and agree that in carrying out its duties under this responsibility, the Security Council acts on their behalf. In discharging these duties the Security Council shall act in accordance with the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations"

· Currently for instance, the African issues of which the UNSC remains seized include Western Sahara, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Sudan, Somalia, and Ethiopia and Eritrea with regard to their border dispute.

· Other important issues:

· Palestine and Israel
· Lebanon and Israel
· Iraq
· Iran
· The Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea
· Haiti
· Cyprus

As we take our seat on the Security Council we are acutely conscious

· Of fundamental importance to the tasks that face the UNSC is the need to respect the Principles reflected in the Preamble of the UN Charter. This Preamble says:

"We the peoples of the United Nations determined:

· To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind;

· To reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and

· To establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained; and

· To promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom."

These are fundamental elements that drives our foreign policy perspectives and will guide our actions in the Security Council.

President Mbeki said:

· "The responsibility facing our government as a member of the UNSC is a national task to which we must respond in unity, inspired in the spirit of ubuntu, that with regard to all humanity, we are truly one another's brothers and sisters keepers.

A shared and new patriotism must surely tell all of us, regardless of any political or other affiliation and identity, that when we end our privileged tour of duty as a member of the 15-member UNSC on 31 December 2008 we will be immensely honoured to hear all humanity saying - that you South Africa for everything you did to strive to make ours a better and safer world for all. "

Annual Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund

The Annual Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund were held in Singapore on the 19-20 September 2006. South Africa represented the Africa Group 1 Constituency at the Development Committee, whilst Nigeria represented the constituency at the International Monetary and Finance Committee (IMFC).

IMFC

The IMFC considered the global economy and the IMF's Medium Term Strategy, which included the central issue of IMF quotas and voice. IMF member states voted in favour of the proposals to increase the voice and representation of developing nations in the IMF.

The IMF has clearly realised that it is needs to reform, in order to remain relevant to the global economy. The package of reforms comprises an initial limited increase in quotas for four emerging market countries, namely; China, South Korea, Mexico and Turkey, and a work programme of more fundamental reforms, including a revision of the quota formula, to be completed by 2008.

South Africa voted in favour of the reforms, and is committed to ensuring that the second stage of reform will be beneficial to Africa. SA would like to see at least a tripling of basic votes, to ensure that smaller developing countries do not lose out from the quota rebalancing exercise. Sub-Saharan Africa is represented at the Fund by just two chairs. SA would like to see better representation of Africans at all levels of the Bank and Fund.

Development Committee (DC)

The DC of the World Bank focussed its discussion on Governance and Corruption and the Bank's lending to Middle Income Countries. SA indicated its discomfort with the Bank's recent emphasis on governance particularly because of the risk that policy conditionality of this type makes it difficult for borrowing governments to have a clear sense of what is required of them. SA stressed the need to engage with existing initiatives to ensure governance, such as the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and noted the asymmetry of response where insufficient attention is given to the activities and sanctions on the corruptor. Many countries shared this view, including the UK.

The September 2006 Communiqué stressed that the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs) should focus on their institutional responsibilities and continue to cover all the critical issues relating to reaching the MDGs within their mandates, and this will continue to be a critical component of BWI reform. It is important that the BWIs create more room for diversity of economic policy-making, in particular by allowing program countries to tailor policies to address their unique "binding constraints" and this should be reflected in the policy advice and surveillance. It is also important that conditionality is not arbitrarily devised, but supports government owned reform efforts, and not be a form of long distance micromanagement.

FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup

As you know preparations are underway for South Africa to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

Yesterday, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) instructed Danny Jordaan, the CEO to write to all countries that may still believe we are not capable of organising the event.

Questions and answers

Question Deputy Minister Pahad, regarding Africa - China relations: you said that the Chinese government had given an undertaking to not develop relations that a reflective of the old colonial ones - but isn't this precisely how the Chinese relationship with Africa has been modeled?

Answer China's involvement in Africa is relatively new. In all our discussions, at the Summit and during the working visit immediately after the Summit, the Chinese leadership made it clear that they could not sustain a relationship that resembled the traditional colonial one. If you look at the agreements reached at the Summit, you will see that the Chinese do desire a sustainable relationship with Africa. But only time will tell, we have only now emerged from the Summit, China does play a key role in the New Africa Asia Strategic Partnership and has given South Africa the title of Strategic Partner. We will also endevour to increase reciprocal bilateral visits to both countries. China has also given the preferential tourist destination to more African countries where South Africa was the only one given this title previously. I want to believe that the Chinese government realizes that the relationship cannot just consist of receiving our raw materials, there must also be an element of beneficiation to ensure the sustainability of the relationship.

Question Deputy Minister, you did not say much about the relations with the world's only super-power. Can you comment on such relations?

Answer We have what I call some traditional partners consisting of members of the European Union and the US. In this regard, the EU is in discussions with South Africa regarding the bestowal of a "Strategic Partner" label on our relations. In fact, the French Prime Minister will pay a one day working visit to South Africa early next month.

There is no antagonism in our relations with the US. President Mbeki is expected to hold discussions with President Bush in Washington on 8 December 2006, the agenda of which is not quite finalized. I expect he will also hold discussions with new political players since the recent elections.

We do have differences on the tactical approach to many issues - the World Trade Organisation, the Middle East, unilateralism vs multilateralism, the analysis on how to proceed on the matter of international terrorism. In this regard, I believe the Middle East is a primary contributor to international terrorism and terrorism must be tackled holistically. Iraq is a very good example, Afghanistan is beginning to reflect this. The Palestinian cause is a very strong contributor to terrorism. As you know, South Africans are also being increasingly unceremoniously deported from some countries although they hold the relevant travel documents.

Question Deputy Minister Pahad, will the issue of the US refusal to discuss a developmental agenda in the US-SACU FTA negotiations be on the agenda of discussions between Presidents Mbeki and Bush next month?

Answer Yes, this matter will be on the agenda since economic diplomacy is very important in our relations. The DTI has indicated the differences over symmetrical and asymmetrical positions in the discussions and negotiations in this regard are continuing. We do not have as strong an economy as is necessary to withstand an asymmetrical arrangement. We do not have this with the EU, I do not believe we will have it with India or China.

Question Deputy Minister Pahad, where will President Mbeki meet President Bush and why will they be meeting?

Answer They will meet in Washington - this is part of their regular interaction. They will review developments since their last meeting in May 2005.

Question Deputy Minister Pahad, what is South Africa's position on Zimbabwe seeing that matters are only deteriorating?

Answer We remain seized with this matter considering its importance to South Africa. We are in consultations with the US, EU and other international partners to assess what can be done collectively, in Africa and beyond.

There is also talk of convening the next Africa - EU Summit - as you know, we did not meet after the first one in Cairo in 2000 due to differences over Zimbabwe. It is now realised that such discussions must continue. We must plan for the Summit since the issues we have to discuss are much larger than any differences over Zimbabwe including matters of climate change, illegal immigration, etc.

There is no Chinese wall between Africa and Europe - if African challenges are not tackled comprehensively, then issues in Europe including illegal immigration will not be solved.

Question Deputy Minister Pahad, will South Africa use its influence in the UN Security Council to put Zimbabwe on the agenda?

Answer The Security Council puts on the agenda only matters that are a threat to international peace and security. Thus far, whatever the opinion on Zimbabwe, it has not been deemed a threat to international peace and security. There is one school of thought that says quiet diplomacy has failed. However, we must realise that we must work together if we are to address this matter effectively.

Question Deputy Minister Pahad, can you comment on the suggestion that the government of Swaziland wants to take South Africa to court?

Answer I think this must be dealt with differently. Perhaps the government of Swaziland can use its resources more effectively than to take us to court over this matter.

Department of Foreign Affairs
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23 November 2006


 

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