18 October 2023
Third Meeting of the South Africa–Netherlands Joint Commission for Cooperation
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, Dr Naledi Pandor, hosted the Third Meeting of the JCC in Pretoria on 18 October 2023. The delegation of the Netherlands was led by Ms Hanke Bruins Slot, the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The Ministers reviewed the work of the working groups, in the sectors of Agriculture, Arts and Culture, Environment and Climate Change, Energy, the JETP and Green Hydrogen, Digital Technologies and Cyberspace, Finance, Higher, Technical and Vocational Training, Science and Innovation, Migration, Social Development, Trade and Investment and Water Management.
The Ministers highlighted the constructive meeting by the Bilateral Committee on Agriculture on 5 June 2023 in The Hague on issues of mutual interest, including e-certification of animal products, cool logistics, the just energy transition, climate smart agriculture, biodiversity, land reform and phytosanitary and veterinary trade issues.
The Ministers reaffirmed South Africa and the Netherlands’ strong cooperation in the field of Arts and Culture, particularly in the areas of Language, Underwater Heritage, Built Environment, Museums and Archives, and Audio-Visual Production.
They agreed to continue the bilateral collaboration on environment and climate issues, based on knowledge exchange, capacity strengthening and developing joint solutions to shared environment and climate challenges. They also agreed to continue supporting the efforts to reach the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
The Ministers welcomed the intensified exchanges on Green Hydrogen and the signature of a dedicated G2G Memorandum of Agreement on Green Hydrogen and Minister Pandor also welcomed the decision by the Netherlands Government to become a member of the International Partners’ Group of the Just Energy Transition Partnership.
They noted the cooperation in the field of digitalisation and cyber security and the ongoing process to establish a Joint Declaration of Intent on Enhancing collaboration in the fields of Cyberspace and Digital Technologies.
The Netherlands and South Africa’s long and rich higher education cooperation history. was highlighted especially in referring to the “Knowledge Mission” by the Netherlands Minister of Education, Culture and Science this week and the signing on 17 October 2023 of a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the fields of Higher Education, Technical and Vocational Education.
In the areas of Science and Innovation the Ministers observed that it is very encouraging that the MoU on science and innovation was extended in 2022 to continue collaboration in the areas of astronomy, energy, agriculture, health and water.
Both Minsters expressed full support to the consultations that are currently taking place for the conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding on Technical Cooperation in Migration matters.
The Minsters also supported the negotiation of a Protocol to amend the Agreement on Social Security, which was signed in The Hague on 16 May 2001, as well as the process to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of Social Development in the course of 2024.
It was agreed that bilateral trade and investment should increase, including through organising trade and investment missions, frequent and structural dialogues and by enhancing private sector cooperation.
In the area of Water Management, the Ministers focused on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was signed on the margins of the United Nations Water Conference on 22 March 2023, where both countries reaffirmed their partnership in the management of water resources, as well as the implementation of various programmes, such as the Blue Deal Programme, Concreate MYCITY and Hydronet.
The Ministers proceeded to discuss peace and security developments on the African continent, with a focus on Mozambique, where the European Union has provided support to the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM), as well as the Sahel and East Africa. They also discussed international peace and security developments, including the Russia/Ukraine and the Israeli/Palestine conflicts and reiterated their commitment to the international rules-based order enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, including respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States, and support for the peaceful resolution of conflict.
The Ministers also deliberated on Multilateral Cooperation, including support for the reform of the United Nations Security Council, collaboration within the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and their support for the full implementation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in all its three pillars. They further agreed on the need for the Women, Peace and Security Agenda to be implemented globally and that women should play a prominent role in conflict prevention and peacekeeping operations.
Minister Pandor briefed Minister Bruins Slot on the outcome of the Fifteenth BRICS Summit, which was held in Johannesburg from 22 to 24 August 2023.
Finally, it was agreed that the Fourth Meeting of the South Africa–Netherlands JCC should be held in the Netherlands before the end of 2025.
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
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