South African President Kgalema Motlanthe’s remarks during the 3rd IBSA Summit, 15 October 2008, New Delhi, India

Thank you, Your Excellency, Prime Minister Singh, President Lula of Brazil!

We are encouraged by the substantive progress made to deepen co-operation between Non - governmental actors of our countries, India, Brazil and South Africa.

No doubt; the deliberations among these diverse but very critical formations of our civil society have spanned a broad range of issues.

It is indisputable that without an understanding and appreciation of each other's peoples, cultures, business environment and the issues that we have in common as developing countries, efforts by the three IBSA governments to advance our collective global agenda, will always be incomplete. It is imperative that we, as leaders be cognisant that civil society's views and contributions can enrich the quality of our engagements as IBSA.

Similarly, these groupings, these forums constitute important partners in the pursuit of the goals that we have set for ourselves. It is also important, just to slide in a word of caution that as we establish these forums, listening to the reports, it's important that these forums, business, editors and women's forums should not be allowed to operate in silos, it should always be important to ensure that these forums engage in the work that they do in a way that is co-ordinated and aligned, because if they became specialised silos, it may very well be that we will miss out on the rich ideas that are generated and mobilised forums.

I am heartened by the fact that the business forum has grown since the previous Summits and that they have set as  a goal, a target, to increase trade to

U$ 30 billion by 2015.

However, we also have to acknowledge that if that target is to be attained we must improve on the environment within the IBSA member countries to ensure that the movement of goods and services, the identification of new visitors for opportunities in all these countries proceed without any hindrance.

I am also glad to learn that the Academic Forum, which in my view, is poised to play a very important role in the areas of research, critical research for the challenges that we face and the solutions that we need. 

We therefore, welcome the Academic Forums's commitment to develop joint research programs that address our mutual concerns, the exchange and development of our students and Academics as well as the strengthening of scientific publications of IBSA Member States with a view to gradually move the locus of scientific dialogue towards the South.

We think, this is a giant step in the correct direction. In our view, one of the landmark achievements of this third Summit is the Agreement and Report presented from the Women's Forum. This Agreement sets the framework for advancing the cause of women's equality, empowerment  and development. By adopting this Agreement, the women of our countries; join us, their Governments to partner with them and do all in our power to ensure we create the environment necessary for the attainment and sustainment of objectives stipulated therein. Empowerment of women within each IBSA working group should receive priority to ensure that they are engendered.

South Africa is pleased by the participation and presence of so many representatives of the Editors in this Editors Forum; because in Africa, we have an old idiom which says " Only when lions have historians, will hunters cease to be heroes". so, there can be no better way of communicating positive achievements than developments within IBSA, other than by allowing the Editors to participate actively in the IBSA Forums. That way, they will be able to countervail the negative coverage that established media in the developed word prioritises, because they can only tell negative stories. They are incapable of telling positive stories and therefore we welcome the work of the Editors Forum.

If I may, Excellencies also express our full support for the envisaged formation of the IBSA Parliamentary Forum. We think we need to expand and extend outreach within our countries to ensure that the broadest cross section of our people are able to interact and take this even further to levels of sports, we should have exchanges, even in the various sporting codes to ensure that IBSA cements the relationships between our own countries.

I also would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the participants in the Forums and their reports are most welcome.

Thank you very much!

Enquiries: Ms Nomfanelo Kota; +27 82 459 3787 

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
Pretoria, 0001

15 October 2008

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