Speech by Deputy Minister Ebrahim I Ebrahim on the Occasion of the Ministerial Meeting of the Second Africa-Korea Forum, 24 November, Seoul, Korea
Your Excellency, Mr Yu Myung-hwan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea;
Yours Excellencies Ministers of Foreign Affairs;
Your Excellency, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission;
Ladies and gentlemen;
First and foremost I would like to apologise for our Minister, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, who due to other pressing international commitments could not join her colleagues in this auspicious occasion.
May I, on behalf of the South African delegation, take this opportunity to thank our host, the Government and People of the Republic of Korea and in particular Prime Minister Mr Yu Myung-hwan for the hospitality and excellent facilities placed at our disposal in this beautiful city of Seoul.
We are honored and indeed privileged to address this 2nd Korea – Africa Forum. We as delegates are aware of significant steps taken by the Republic of Korea to assist in the alleviation of poverty in Africa. The success and realisation of the commitments made in this forum could contribute significantly to the attainment of the MDGs, whose target date is in 6 years time. We urge you our Korean friends to quadruple your ODA to Africa in the next three years, to enable Africa to realize the MDG goals.
The recent African Heads of State and Governments’ endorsement of this partnership rightly affirms this as an important multilateral partnership and should have a cross cutting impact. The SA delegation believes that this could be achieved through the implementation of bankable NEPAD projects as well as those from the Regional Economic Communities (RECs). Such a move will assist in fast tracking Africa’s economic integration thus bringing a better life to all the people of Africa.
Climate change features prominently in the agenda of this forum signifying the seriousness both parties attach to this global challenge. It is a fact that Africa is the worst affected by climate change but is the least contributor to green house gas emissions. Korea as an African partner is called upon to help mobilize the international community to assist Africa to mitigate the developmental challenges by the deteriorating climatic conditions.
We welcome Korea’s assumption of the chair of the G20 Summit to be held in 2010 and expect the G20 to contribute to poverty reduction and development cooperation which are central to the fulfillment of the African agenda. We stand ready to work with Korea to ensure that African concerns are adequately addressed when Korea host the G20 summit in the second half of 2010.
The African continent is of a firm belief that the reform of the UN and its structures is crucial in ensuring representatively, accountability, transparency and effectiveness. We urge Korea to support the Ezulwini Consensus for greater African representation in the United Nations system.
Let me express my delegation’s appreciation for the strides undertaken to work together to achieve more in this partnership. I am confident that together, we can level the playing field.
In conclusion, allow me to congratulate the Korean National Football team for qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup to be held in South Africa. Similarly, our country stands ready to host the best ever FIFA World Cup, which will be held on the African soil for the first time in over a century of its existence. South Africa acknowledges the successful World Cup hosted by Korea and Japan and appreciates the lessons learned from that experience. Accordingly, I would also like to take this opportunity to invite you all to South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This will offer us a platform to further deepen our partnership and indeed our people to people interactions.