Speech by Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad, Intergovernmental Seminar: "Cooperation and Development", Tuesday, 30 January 2007

First Lady Mrs Zanele Mbeki
Representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Chile, organisers of this seminar,
Ambassador of the Republic of Chile, Ambassador Claudio Herrera
Minister of Mineral and Energy of South Africa, Ms Bulewa Sonjica
Minister of Social Development of South Africa Mr Zola Skweyia
Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Mr Derick Hanekom
Deputy Minister of Mining of the Republic of Chile, Ms Marisol Aravena
Deputy Minister of Finance of Mozambique, Mr. Pedro Couto
Deputy Minister of Mining of Mozambique, Mr. Abdulrazak Normahomed
Distinguished delegations from Angola, Mozambique, Chile, Brazil, South Africa,
Deputy Executive Secretary of SADC, Representatives of the World Bank and the UNDP
Members of the Diplomatic Corps

In 2002, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Anan likened our planet to "a small boat, driven by a fierce gale through dark and unchartered waters, with more people crowded on board, hoping desperately to survive. None of us… can afford to ignore the condition of our fellow passengers. If they are sick, all of us risk infection. And if they are angry, all of us can easily get hurt".

In the light of this reality, it is a particular honour and privilege to participate in this Intergovernmental Seminar "Cooperation and Development".

This seminar is yet another message that the South is not a passive product of the global agenda but is an important instrument to produce a developmental agenda that is committed to fighting poverty and under-development and improving the quality of life of all our peoples.

We will discuss issues such as democracy, good governance, human rights and human security. We must do so in the context of the greatest challenge we face, viz, the fight against under-development and poverty.

A delegation of South African Women in Dialogue (SAWID) headed by our First Lady Ms Zanele Mbeki, visited Chile between 19-25 September 2006 to study Chile's poverty reduction programmes and to consider their applicability to South Africa. Some findings from this visit were that Chile was able to reduce poverty from 45% poverty in 1987 to 18% in 2004. This seminar is an important opportunity for us to discuss the lessons of Chile, which emerged out of the nightmare of the murder of President Allende, "regime change" and the brutal Pinochet military dictatorship.

Today, democratic Chile has made strides in overcoming poverty, achieving high and sustainable economic growth, and bringing benefits to its people. These are key objectives for all of us and therefore I could not think of a better time for us to be meeting here to exchange views and experiences, and to ask what we need to do to better serve the people we represent.

Our exchanges should lead to the concrete identification of potential opportunities for developmental co-operation amongst ourselves and between Africa and Latin America.

This seminar is particularly inspiring in that it includes our Chilean, Angolan, Brazilian and Mozambique partners. We must take this opportunity to again acknowledge the role of Angola and Mozambique in SA's democratisation process. We must also thank the Chileans and Brazilian people for the support given to MPLA, FRELIMO and the ANC. Together we won the battle against dictatorships, the Portuguese colonialism and apartheid. Now we unite to fight another war, a war against poverty and under-development.

This seminar provides an opportunity for us as developing countries of our respective regions to reflect and consider how best to advance the interests of our countries and our peoples in the spirit of South-south solidarity.

We seek to achieve these objectives in a very challenging environment, inter alia,

  • Globalisation
  • WTO
  • MDGs

(Elaborate on the above)
The time has never been more opportune for the consolidation of co-operation on development between our two regions. Currently, our two countries are showing impressive stability and economic growth thereby giving content to our common objective of South-South Co-operation. We hope that through our co-operation this positive stability and economic growth will be consciously translated into development favourable to the ordinary masses of our people.

The challenge is to develop a strategy to position the developing countries in a way that will ensure that we are able to make the global agenda to be relevant to our interests. Such a strategy should be based on solidarity and partnership of the countries of the South through integration and co-operation. This closing of rank will result in the developing countries using our collective strength to turn the global agenda to be favourable to our interests. As we enter the 21st century, we see the South as being well positioned to take the lead and ownership of this century. This potential is evidenced by the impressive growth of emerging powers from the South, inter alia, China, India, and Brazil.

Chairperson

To achieve our objectives, co-operation and development that we seek to achieve should be based on a developmental paradigm that addresses inequalities, poverty, under-development and marginalisation as common challenges to our countries. Therefore, co-operation and development between us should be based on political, economic and social solidarity which has a progressive and developmental content

This seminar should also contribute to broadening access to southern technology and expertise through 1) sharing of practical knowledge, experiences and technology from the South for the benefit of the South, 2) the maintenance of networking and communications between the relevant stakeholders of Angola, Mozambique, Brazil, Chile and South Africa and 3) enabling institutions of our countries to promote our expertise and technology to a broader audience of the South

Indeed, the time has never been more opportune. The consolidation of democracy in South America and in Africa in recent years has profoundly altered the context of our relations and created an environment for our relations to flourish. In addition, both our continents are showing impressive economic growth and are beginning to play a more prominent role in the global economy, thereby strengthening the prospects of our common objective of South-South Cooperation.

Some among us have made important strides in overcoming poverty, achieving high and sustainable economic growth, and bringing the benefits to our people. These are key objectives for all of us, and accordingly I could not think of a better time for us to be meeting here today to exchange views and experiences, and to ask what we need to do to better serve the people we represent.

As democratic governments, responsive to the needs of our people, we share the same desire for a world that is more just and equitable. Hence our mutual support for a strong multilateral system and the much needed reform of the UN system, including the Breton Woods Institutions; the early conclusion of the Doha Development Round of the WTO; and international cooperation in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
Our dialogue must deal with the major challenges to international peace and stability, the Palestinian issue, Iraq, Afghanistan and the nuclear issue relating to Iran's nuclear programme.

Chairperson

  • Challenges of the African continent (Elaborate)
  • NEPAD (Elaborate)

The success of NEPAD is based n the building blocks of sub-regional integration

From a Southern African regional integration perspective, from which we have three partners in our midst, namely Angola, Mozambique and South Africa, regionalism is a key challenge. At the regional level, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), as the foundation for its regional, continental and international engagements. On the economic front, SADC Member States are implementing far-reaching economic reforms, in pursuance of their shared vision of creating a single economic space through deeper economic integration. Through the implementation of appropriate macro-economic policies, some of the SADC Member-States have managed to put themselves on a sustainable economic growth path. Members of the organisation have come to see a need to move functional integration to embrace a developmental integration.

To this end, the region has established the following important targets:

  • The formation of a Free Trade Area by 2008;
  • The completion of negotiations of the SADC Customs Union by 2010;
  • The completion of negotiations of the SADC Common Market by 2015;
  • Diversification of industrial structures and exports with more emphasis on value addition across all economic sectors by 2015;
  • Sustain export growth rate of at least 5% annually;
  • Increase in intra-regional trade to at least 35% by 2008; and
  • Increase in manufacturing as a percentage of GDP to 25% by 2015.

We are all committed to democracy, protection of human rights and good governance. This can be "force-fed" and must take into consideration the concrete realities and the cultural environment. In Africa we have the APRM.

There are tremendous possibilities but also many challenges. The seminar must identify how we, as SADC can further exploit the possibilities and deal with the many challenges.

In addition to Chile's and Brazil's expertise on regional integration, it will be particularly helpful to share your experiences of North- element in such initiatives that may have helped trigger convergence processes and accelerated economic growth.

As we meet we know that two months ago, the first Africa/South America Summit was held in Abuja, Nigeria. It served as a multidimensional cooperation discussion forum whose aim was basically the broadening and strengthening modes of cooperation between the two continental neighbours. This was a major step in the development of South-South Cooperation, which we believe will lead to new institutional linkages, to the benefit of both continents.

We also have the SADC-Mercosur and IBSA initiatives as foundations to build effective and mutually beneficial co-operation between our two regions.

In that context, the science and technology and mining part of the Seminar is of fundamental importance. Such deliberations and subsequent actions will certainly contribute to change of the nature of the relations between our two continents, particularly in joint ventures, investment, financial flows as well as regional, and in this context, transcontinental integration. It will also add value in enhancing endogenous capacities as well as forging closer links and sharing knowledge amongst Angola, Brazil, Chile, Mozambique and South Africa in these fields.

Our economies are characterised and in some cases dominated by mining and agriculture. We must answer the question- what must we do to be much more than just exporters of raw materials and basic commodities. How do we increasingly add value to our products; expand our manufacturing base; trade in services; become investors in each others' industries; exchange technologies, and cooperating in innovation?

Chairperson

Our mutual solidarity and friendship goes back a long way. Our struggle for freedom and democracy has largely been won. Now we are opening a new trench of struggle for international peace and stability, the struggle against poverty, underdevelopment, global inequality and marginalisation. In partnership we can win this battle.

I am confident that we will have a very successful seminar.

A Luta Continua
Venceramos

Issued by Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
Pretoria
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30 January 2007

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