Opening Remarks by International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane on the occasion of the 1st Session of the Ministerial Meeting of the Angola-DRC-South Africa Tripartite Mechanism on Dialogue and Cooperation, Kinshasa, 28 October 2013

Co-Chairs, Hon. Minister Tshibanda and Hon Minister Chikoti,

Honourable Ministers here present,

Senior Officials from our three countries,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me first thank our host, Minister Tshibanda, for his warm and beautiful words of welcome. Hon Minister, your words of welcome have made us to feel at home and indeed when we are in the DRC, we are home!

Ladies and gentlemen,

We meet here this afternoon on the occasion of the 1st Session of the Ministerial Meeting of the Tripartite Mechanism on Dialogue and Cooperation. You will recall that our three countries signed on 23 August 2013 the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the establishment of the Tripartite Mechanism on Dialogue and Cooperation.

It is important to remind ourselves about the two main objectives of the Mechanism which is to:

  • first, strengthen and deepen strategic partnership between our two countries and,

  • secondly and profoundly to support the consolidation of peace and stability in the DRC.

This unique Mechanism is therefore a clear and concrete demonstration of our three countries’ resolve to partner together to contribute to peace and stability in the region and the Continent. We thank the DRC delegation for the briefing on the latest security situation in the Eastern DRC.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Our Heads of State meet regularly and in their meetings they have always underscored the need to enhance a strategic cooperation between our three countries. This Mechanism therefore will help us to solidify that strategic cooperation and partnership.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Following the signing of the MoU on the Tripartite Mechanism, we are now required to operationalize this Mechanism. It should be noted that the Tripartite MoU is an enabling legal framework which provides for sectoral cooperation in the identified areas of cooperation under Article 3. It is important for the identified sectors to identify projects on which the three countries will cooperate under the Mechanism.

It is equally prudent to work towards the setting up of the Permanent Secretariat pending the ratification process stipulated under Article 15. You will recall that we agreed to establish a light Permanent Secretariat to be headquartered in Luanda. In this regard, we wish to take this opportunity to thank the Government of Angola for offering to host the Permanent Secretariat.

Honourable Ministers,

We also propose that each Department or Ministry should appoint at least two (2) officials who will serve as nodal points to ensure easy communication and follow-up with the Foreign Ministries and Permanent Secretariat.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We have an obligation to make this initiative a success. There is NO and absolutely NO option for failure. We owe it to the people of the Eastern DRC who continue to face violence of all forms. We commit ourselves to playing our part in the consolidation of peace and stability in this great country.

It is for this reason that all the relevant South African Ministries are here today. This demonstrates the importance we attach to this Mechanism. We look forward to receiving a report from our senior officials who have been diligently working for the past two days.

I thank you.

For more information, please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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