Posted by: APO | 3 June 2008

South africa-eu strategic partnership joint communiqué

South africa-eu strategic partnership joint communiqué

BRUSSELS, Belgium, June 3, 2008/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Within the framework of the South Africa-European Union Strategic Partnership, the third Ministerial Troika was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on 3 June 2008. The meeting was co-chaired by H.E Dr Nkosazana DLAMINI ZUMA, Minister of Foreign Affairs of

South Africa, and H.E. Mr Dimitrij RUPEL, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia,

President of the Council of the European Union.

 

The South African delegation included H.E. Dr Rob DAVIES, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry.

 

The EU Troika also included Mr Louis MICHEL, Commissioner for Development and

Humanitarian Aid of the European Commission, Mr Jean-Christophe BELLIARD,

Personal Envoy to Africa of the SG/High Representative, and Ms Caroline DUMAS,

Deputy Director for Africa, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France.

The meeting of the Ministerial Troika, the third since the adoption of the SA-EU Strategic Partnership Joint Action Plan on 14 May 2007, and held less than two months before the first SA-EU Summit, is a manifestation of the strengthening of relations between South Africa and the EU, based on open and concrete dialogue aimed at addressing the challenges being faced by both partners.

 

Implementation of the Joint Action Plan of the SA-EU Strategic Partnership

Ministers welcomed and discussed areas of cooperation being developed under the Joint Action Plan, including peace and security cooperation, environment, science and technology, customs, energy, migration as well as transport. Both sides welcomed the progress made in the existing cooperation and policy dialogues and agreed that new areas for structured dialogues would be formalised during the first SA-EU Summit in Bordeaux, France, on 25 July 2008.

 

Economic Partnership Agreement

Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to continue negotiations with a view to reaching a

mutually beneficial agreement on a final SADC EPA with the most inclusive membership

that addresses the concerns expressed by both sides and supports regional integration,

including with respect to SADC and SACU. The EU recalled that the Interim EPA

provides for the completion of negotiations of the full EPA by the end of 2008. South

Africa noted that it was not a party to the Interim EPA and therefore was not bound by this

timeline. South Africa further informed the EU of the Addis Ababa Declaration of the

African Ministers of Trade and Finance of April 2008.

 

Implementation of the Joint EU-Africa Strategy

Both sides welcomed the adoption of the Joint EU-Africa Strategy and its first Action Plan

at the Second EU-Africa Summit held in Lisbon, Portugal, in December 2007, and looked

forward to early progress in the implementation of the Africa-EU Partnerships agreed in

Lisbon. The importance of effective and concrete implementation of the Joint Strategy and

related Action Plan by all stakeholders, including non-state actors, was highlighted as

crucial for a successful and mutually beneficial Strategic Partnership between the two

continents. It was urged that all outcomes of the Summit should work towards this end.

Strong monitoring, evaluation and review mechanisms of the Action Plan should be

established as soon as possible to ensure concrete goal-oriented outcomes aimed at

achieving the objectives set out in the Action Plan. Lastly, actions undertaken within the

Joint Strategy should complement other international development agenda objectives.

 

UN Charter Chapter VIII issues

Both sides emphasised the importance of strengthening the relationship between the UN

Security Council and regional organisations, in particular the African Union, in terms of

Chapter VIII of the UN Charter. The convening of a high-level Security Council meeting

on 16 April 2008, under South Africa’s Presidency, to discuss this theme and specific

African conflict situations was noted as an important contribution in this regard.

Both sides welcomed the unanimous adoption of Security Council resolution 1809 (2008).

The Parties further welcomed the Secretary-General’s proposal to set up within three

months an AU-UN panel consisting of distinguished persons to consider in-depth the

modalities of how to support such peacekeeping operations, in particular start-up funding,

equipment and logistics and to consider in-depth lessons from past and current African

Union peacekeeping efforts.

 

African Diaspora Summit

South Africa informed that the AU Summit of February 2008 had reaffirmed South Africa

as the host of the African Diaspora Summit to be held from 7 to 11 November 2008. The

Summit is expected to adopt a plan of action and implementation mechanism to address the

tangible contribution of the diaspora to the socio-economic development of Africa as well

as discuss how Africa, through the AU, can assist in the plight of the African Diaspora.

Great Lakes Region

Both Parties welcomed the important progress made in the Great Lakes Region.

Ministers expressed their willingness to continue cooperating with the DRC authorities in

consolidation of peace and democracy. Both sides confirmed their commitment to

providing continued support for the reform process in the Democratic Republic of the

Congo and in particular in the security sector.

Both Parties expressed their concern at the security situation in the east of the Democratic

Republic of the Congo, particularly in the Kivus where the presence of foreign and

Congolese armed groups continue to threaten the country’s stability. In this regard, they

expressed their support for Security Council Resolution 1804 (2008) of 13 March 2008

calling for the disarmament of armed groups and militias in the eastern part of the DRC.

They called upon all the parties to find peaceful solutions and abstain from all military

action likely to aggravate the situation, particularly at humanitarian level affecting notably

women and children. They welcomed MONUC actively supporting the ongoing efforts in

accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Both Parties recognized that the relations between the Democratic Republic of the Congo

and Rwanda are crucial to resolving the crisis in the Kivus and encouraged both

governments to continue their cooperation in that respect.

 

Both parties expressed their satisfaction with the outcome of the Goma Conference on

Peace, Security and Development that was organised by the Congolese authorities,

involving all Congolese armed groups and civil society. The EU and South Africa agreed

that the international community would need to keep supporting this process and the

reconstruction of the East of the DRC. Both sides recognised that continued development

cooperation is essential to sustainable peace and security in the region.

On Burundi, both sides welcomed that the standoff between the Government and the

PALIPEHUTU-FNL was resolved through the intervention of the Regional Initiative

Foreign Ministers in Abuja on 4 May 2008. It was noted that the Chairperson of the

PALIPEHUTU-FNL, Mr Agathon Rwasa, returned to Burundi on 30 May 2008 after the

cessation of hostilities was formally signed. The opportunity now exists for the full

implementation of the Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement leading to the conclusion of a

lasting peace agreement. The EU paid tribute to the ongoing South African efforts in

Burundi as part of the general stabilisation of the Great Lakes region.

Sudan/ Darfur/ Chad/ Central African Republic

Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the stability and integrity of Sudan.

Ministers condemned the recent fighting in Abyei and recalled the importance of the CPA

implementation. Ministers further condemned the recent attack on Ondurman.

On Darfur, Ministers called for the full deployment, on the ground, of the hybrid force, for

the relaunch of the peace process and for the improvement of relations between Sudan and

Chad, within the framework of existing agreements.

With regard to Eastern Chad and CAR, EUFOR Chad/CAR is an important EU

contribution to improve in particular the security for refugees and IDPs.

Concerning Chad, the recent reshuffle of the Chadian government, opening up to

opposition members, was welcomed as a contribution to the reconciliation process. The

Inter-Chadian Agreement of 13 August 2007 is the cornerstone of this process.

 

Zimbabwe

Both Parties discussed the situation in Zimbabwe and commended the people of Zimbabwe

for the peaceful manner in which the elections were conducted. They noted that the SADC

Extraordinary Summit held in Lusaka on 12 April 2008 reaffirmed its support for the

facilitation process being undertaken by President Mbeki. Noting the release of the

presidential election results, both Parties look forward to a peaceful presidential run-off on

27 June 2008 and condemn acts of violence that undermine the credibility of the

forthcoming run-off election. In this context, both sides underlined the importance of

continued monitoring of the elections by African institutions and civil society

organisations. Ministers expressed concern about the socio-economic and humanitarian

conditions.

 

Comoros

Both Parties discussed the latest developments in the Comoros. Ministers welcomed the

commitment by the Union Government in Moroni to hold legitimate and transparent

presidential elections in Anjouan in June 2008. Both parties agreed to continue monitoring

developments in the Comoros, to remain seized on the issue and to consult each other.

 

Somalia

The EU and South Africa expressed firm support for the Transitional Federal Government

(TFG) of Somalia. They commended the continued efforts of the TFG to advance an

inclusive political process and encouraged all stakeholders in Somalia to renounce violence

and engage constructively in the ongoing Djibouti process. Both sides were pleased with

the efforts of SGSR Ahmedu Ould Abdallah and encouraged him to continue. The EU and

South Africa deplored the humanitarian situation in Somalia and called on the parties to the

Somali conflict to take all necessary measures to protect civilians and respect international

humanitarian law and human rights. The EU and South Africa expressed support for the

African Union Stabilisation Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and called for more

contributions to the mission. Finally, the EU and South Africa welcomed the increasing

engagement by the UN in Somalia in the political, security and humanitarian field.

 

Kenya

The Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the announcement of a Grand Coalition

Government for Kenya, following the post election violence and wish to commend both

President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga for reaching consensus and displaying true

statesmanship. Both Parties fully support the Grand Coalition Government, and urge all

stakeholders to ensure its success during the next five years.

The Ministers also called a continuing commitment from both the PNU and ODM for the

successful conclusion to the ongoing Kenyan National Dialogue and Reconciliation

negotiations. They agreed that continued support is needed to maintain the momentum for

implementation of the agreement and to encourage national reconciliation and dialogue.

The Ministers expressed their concern about the ongoing plight of Internally Displaced

Persons (IDPs) in the various camps, and urge the Government to urgently resolve the

issue of resettling the IDPs and assist them to resume normal lives in safe environment.

Middle East Peace Process

Both Parties continued to urge that the negotiation process inaugurated at the Annapolis

meeting continue so that the goals outlined at the meeting can be realised, with the aim of

creating an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state, living side-by-side with

Israel in peace and security and within internationally recognised borders.

The Parties condemned the continued violence in the region and urge restraint to avoid

greater civilian casualties on both sides.

 

(…)

 

EU-China-Africa

The EU informed South Africa of a forthcoming communication that proposes to establish

trilateral EU/AU/China dialogue and cooperation.

ESDP

The EU briefed on the evolution of the ESDP and its future role.

Concerning ESDP in DRC, the role of past and existing ESDP missions was

acknowledged. Concerning EUSEC, Ministers welcomed the continued good cooperation

between South Africa and EUSEC in the reform of the Congolese army.

On EUFOR Chad/CAR, the EU informed that Initial Operational Capability had been

reached on 15 March and that currently 2800 troops are operating on the ground.

Preparations are underway for the mid-mandate review that will make recommendations for the post EUFOR arrangements to be discussed in the UNSC.

 

WTO / DOHA

Both Parties remain committed to concluding the Doha Round in line with the

developmental mandate and objectives set out in the Doha Declaration. Ministers

recognized the importance of the Doha Round to promote global economic growth and further integration of developing countries into the global trading system on a fair and equitable basis. South Africa emphasised that an equitable and proportional outcome of NAMA that does not undermine industrial development is integral to a successful outcome. Both sides signalled their willingness to engage further in the process in order to resolve the remaining differences among WTO members in a constructive manner.

 

The way forward

Ministers discussed the agenda of the first SA-EU Summit to be held in Bordeaux, France, on 25 July 2008.

SOURCE : European Council


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