Joint Communiqué issued by the Honourable Ministers Ambassador Albert Shingiro and Dr Naledi Pandor at the Inaugural Session of the Burundi – South Africa Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC), held on 4 November 2022, Bujumbura
1. At the invitation of the Hon. Ambassador Albert Shingiro, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation of the Republic of Burundi, Hon. Dr Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa led the South African delegation at the Inaugural Session of the Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) between the Governments of the Republic of Burundi and the Republic of South Africa, held on 4 November 2022, in Bujumbura, Burundi.
2. At the opening of the session, the Hon. Ambassador Albert Shingiro, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation of the Republic of Burundi welcomed the delegation of the Republic of South Africa. Both Ministers expressed their deep appreciation for the inauguration of the JCC bilateral mechanism between the two countries, following the signing of an Agreement on the Establishment of a Joint Commission for Cooperation on 4 November 2014. Both Parties agreed to hold regular Political and Diplomatic Consultations to synergise news on regional, continental and global matters.
3. Recalling the troubled years of Apartheid in South Africa, Minister Pandor acknowledged the international community and Burundi’s support.
4. Minister Shingiro reiterated Burundi’s recognition for South Africa’s effective contribution in the inter-Burundian peace negotiations which were shepherded by the late former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, under the Arusha Accords that led to the hard-won peace and stability Burundi is experiencing today.
5. Minister Shingiro further extended Burundi’s appreciation for South Africa’s stewardship in the removal of Burundi from the United Nations Security Council Agenda in December 2020.
6. The Parties considered and exchanged views on the status of bilateral relations and expressed satisfaction with progress achieved in various areas of cooperation, centred on the realisation of mutual sustainable development, with a focus on addressing the alleviation of poverty, elimination of inequality and the creation of viable employment opportunities for all.
7. The Parties further hailed the close bilateral relations that exist between South Africa and Burundi, forged through common interests and values and underlined by strong bonds of historical friendship, solidarity and cooperation. The two Ministers also emphasised the need to continue working jointly towards deepening political, economic and social cooperation.
8. Desirous of further strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries, the Parties explored Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding signed previously as well as their implementation status and welcomed ongoing negotiations of instruments in the following areas of mutual interest, namely:
- Defense and security
- Mining and Energy
- Information Technology and Digitisation
9. The Ministers further exchanged views on additional areas of cooperation and collaboration and committed to maintaining a positive momentum to achieve mutually beneficial and tangible outcomes. Other areas for cooperation were affirmed by the two Ministers, which include agriculture, agro-processing, livestock and fisheries; sports, arts and culture; health; science and technology; energy; air transport; justice; trade and industry; infrastructure; transport; women and the youth and human resource development.
10. Both Ministers exchanged views on regional and continental developments and underscored the two countries’ commitment to strengthening cooperation in multilateral fora, including in the advancement of the African Agenda and South-South cooperation. In this regard, the Ministers emphasised the importance of continued efforts and commitment to peaceful resolution of conflicts through dialogue and negotiation. The Ministers underlined the importance of achieving peace and stability and emphasised its contribution to the realisation of economic prosperity on the African continent.
11. The Ministers recognised the importance of and expressed their commitment to the realisation of increased trade between the two countries, a pivotal avenue through which to secure a better life for all, particularly women and the youth.
12. The Ministers agreed that, to achieve sustainable prosperity, both countries should expedite the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which has become increasingly critical to accelerate economic recovery efforts on the Continent, in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era.
13. The two Ministers also noted the important achievements of the African Union (AU), on the 20th anniversary of its establishment. Both Ministers reaffirmed the AU as the premier umbrella organisation of the African Continent with its stated mission as relevant today as it was at the time of its formation: “An Integrated, Prosperous and Peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.” Under the AU, Minister Shingiro also recalled that during this year, Burundi has had the honour and privilege to organise the meeting of African youth with the meeting bestowing on His Excellency, Evariste Ndayishimiye, President of the Republic of Burundi, the title of “Friend of the Youth”.
14. South Africa congratulated Burundi on its election as Chair of the East African Community (EAC) and committed to support the efforts of the EAC in its endeavours to promote peace and security on the Continent. In this regard, Burundi’s contribution to African peacekeeping through its participation in the African Union Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and elsewhere was lauded.
15 Both Ministers welcomed the recent conclusion of a Cessation of Hostilities Agreement between the Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the culmination of the AU-led peace talks, hosted in Pretoria, South Africa.
16. The two Ministers reiterated their concern following the proliferation of conflicts, political crisis and proxy wars in several regions of the world and recalled the importance of respecting the principles of the United Nations Charter such as non-interference, respect for national sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of member states of United Nations as well as the need to resolve all conflicts by peaceful means and to build a rules-based international order.
To address these challenges effectively, the two Ministers called for the strengthening of partnerships within the African Continent and the Global South and for respect by all states of a rules-based multilateral system and reaffirmed the practice of non-alignment of both countries in keeping with the approach of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), since its formation in 1961.
17. South Africa expressed its support for Burundi to host the 11th Summit of the Regional Follow-up Mechanism of the Framework Agreement for Peace, Security and Cooperation for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Region, scheduled to take place on 24 February 2023 in Bujumbura, Burundi.
18. The Parties expressed their appreciation for the Inaugural Session of the JCC which, provided a fruitful platform for dialogue and cooperation. They further called upon officials of both countries to ensure expeditious implementation of decisions reached during the JCC.
19. The two sides agreed to hold the Second Session of the JCC in the Republic of South Africa in 2024 on a date to be agreed upon through diplomatic channels.
20. At the conclusion of the visit, Minister Pandor conveyed her sincere appreciation and deep gratitude to Minister Shingiro, to the Government and to the People of Burundi, for their gracious reception and warm hospitality extended to both herself and the delegation of the Republic of South Africa during the meeting.
DONE AT BUJUMBURA, this 4th Day of November 2022 in two originals, French and English versions, both texts being equally authentic.
|FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE||FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE|
|REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA||REPUBLIC OF BURUNDI|
|Hon. Dr Naledi Pandor||HE Ambassador Albert Shingiro|
|MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS||MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS|
|AND COOPERATION||AND DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION|
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road