Opening remarks by President Jacob Zuma to the official talks between South African and Zambian delegations during the state visit to Zambia, Lusaka
8 Dec 2009
Your Excellency, Mr President,
Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Thank you once again for the wonderful and warm welcome we have received since our arrival in Zambia.
As we said yesterday, we feel at home in this former headquarters of the African National Congress (ANC). We also thank you for your hospitality and the wonderful facilities that have been put at our disposal. My dear brother, our two countries and people share a warm history of friendship and solidarity.
The difficult years of fighting colonialism and apartheid together must now translate into a successful joint quest for economic freedom and social development. Our shared history must encourage us to work together to fight poverty, disease and ensure that our people have decent jobs and a better quality of life.
Our two business sectors must work as closely as the two governments will now work together, to ensure that we increase economic cooperation and trade.
We have already registered important progress in strengthening bilateral economic cooperation. Trade between our two countries has increased substantially since 1994.
South Africa and Zambia already have a well established trade relationship. The major exports from South Africa to Zambia include mineral oils and fuels, autos and components, chemicals, steel and capital equipment. It is heartening Mr President that Zambia is now South Africa’s number one trading partner on the continent.
We need to explore more investment opportunities. In this regard I have brought a business delegation comprising of representatives of 60 companies.
They have interests in the following sectors energy and petroleum, information and communication technology (ICT), infrastructure, financial services, healthcare, mining as well as agro-processing.
I am happy that a two-day business seminar has been organised, at which our respective business delegations will interact. It is my hope that such interactions yield positive results towards further strengthening of our bilateral economic cooperation for mutual benefit. We should also continue to work together to strengthen people-to-people contact through cultural, scientific and educational exchange programmes as well as encouraging two-way tourism.
Your Excellency, together we must continue to fight for equality and fairness in international relations, and to ensure that Africa takes her rightful place amongst other continents in the world. As we speak climate change negotiations are going on in Copenhagen. We will go to Copenhagen next week and strongly push our position as the African continent.
As the African continent, we need a strengthened international climate regime that ensures global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, in accordance with what is required by science. This will ensure that the impacts of climate change do not undermine development in our own country as well as in the rest of the African continent, through drought, floods, water scarcity, health impacts, job losses, sea level rise and others.
The Copenhagen negotiations are fundamentally about how to reflect the principle of common but differentiated responsibility, in a strengthened international climate change regime.
For South Africa this means that:
* On mitigation, all developed countries must, in line with their historic responsibility for past emissions, and in accordance with science, commit to ambitious emission reduction targets.
* Developing countries will commit to nationally appropriate mitigation action, to achieve a decline in their emissions on condition that they receive finance, technology and capacity building support from developed countries.
We cannot accept an outcome in which mitigation commitments of developed countries, and mitigation actions of developing countries are reflected in a common format with common legal status, and with a common system of measuring, reporting and verifying mitigation efforts. This would undermine the principle of common but differentiated responsibility.
Our view is that an ambitious and long term financing package for both adaptation and mitigation is a central element of the Copenhagen negotiations, and one that will have significant impact on the extent to which developing countries can take mitigation action.
We therefore welcome the commitments on finance that are being made by some developed countries. However these remain extremely limited and do not come close to the scale required, which is at least 100 billion USD per annum for mitigation, and 100 billion USD per annum for adaptation.
Your Excellency we have many other issues that we need to co-operate on. It is therefore important that we formally structure our relations, and that we ensure that mechanisms are put in place for our work. We believe that the operationalisation of the Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation, signed in 2005 will provide the required momentum in the implementation of our bilateral agreements. To this end, we trust that our Ministers will ensure that the Joint Commission is inaugurated next year.
The agreements and memoranda of understanding that will be signed later today will provide the instruments with which we can take these relations forward in specific areas. We are happy that the areas of co-operation include the important fields of diplomatic consultations, trade and industrial cooperation, agriculture, energy, mining and health to mention but a few. We will need to ensure the full implementation of all these memoranda of understanding so that we realise their objectives.
Let me reiterate that South Africa is committed to working closely with Zambia in pursuit of our objectives to address developmental challenges facing our continent. We are very proud of the role that Zambia, as an active member of the African Union (AU) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) is playing in advancing democracy on the continent.
We also need to play our respective roles to promote programmes such as the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). This is the commitment that this continent needs, so that we can have a better Africa and a better world.
We also need to work together and within SADC, to contribute as much as we can to the resolution of matters such as that of Zimbabwe and Madagascar in our region. We all remain seized with these matters as we are determined to ensure that there is no part of SADC that remains in conflict or instability of any kind.
We are closely monitoring the discussions by the signatories to the Global Political Agreement in Zimbabwe. We will continue to work with our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe in their quest to find a lasting solution.
Ladies and gentlemen;
The year 2010 will be a landmark one for the continent. You would have watched the spectacular final draw of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup in Cape Town last weekend.
We made an undertaking during that exciting event that the World Cup will not, and must not leave the African continent. All Africans teams have a responsibility to ensure that we achieve that goal.
Europe and the Americas are not unbeatable! With determination and thorough preparation, Africa will show them what we are made of! South Africans are looking forward to welcoming all soccer loving fans and visitors during the tournament next year.
Your Excellency, we have made a good start, and look forward to very successful deliberations and a highly successful visit.
I thank you.
Issued by: The Presidency
8 December 2009
Source: The Presidency (http://www.thepresidency.gov.za)
Issued by: The Presidency
8 Dec 2009
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