STATEMENT ON DEPUTY MINISTER PAHAD'S ATTENDANCE OF THE G8 SUMMIT IN JAPAN
Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad departs South Africa today to attend the G8 Summit in Japan as part of President Mbeki's delegation. The Summit of Heads of State and Government will be held from 21 to 23 July 2000. The Presidents of South Africa, Algeria and Nigeria have been mandated to represent the continent of Africa on a variety of issues at the Summit. It is expected, among others, that the African leaders will engage their G8 counterparts on the cancellation of Africa's external debt, as this continues to be an obstacle to and has a negative effect on development objectives.
The promotion of people-centred development and poverty alleviation in Africa can be speeded up by the cancellation of the unsustainable debt burden of developing countries. The problems posed by the phenomenon of globalisation necessitate that increased trade market access, foreign direct investment, development aid and technology flows form an important part of the discussions at the Summit.
"Debt should not be seen in isolation, but as a vital part in an overall, enhanced and co-ordinated package of measures, aimed at developing a new world agenda to integrate the developing world into the global economy," Pahad said. "This is an important opportunity for our continent and as an African country, South Africa also stands to benefit from such wide-ranging measures".
As evidenced by President Mbeki's recent interaction with world leaders in Berlin, at the European Union Summit in Portugal, and the Nordic Summit in Denmark, South Africa continues to play an important role in bridging the gap between the developed and the developing world.
Prior to his departure for Japan, Deputy Minister Pahad signed a Memorandum of Understanding with his counterpart from Kuwait, who is currently visiting South Africa and will hold bilateral discussions with Foreign Minister Dlamini-Zuma.
Enquiries: Daniel Ngwepe, 082 858 0295
Issued by Department of Foreign Affairs, 17 July 2000