JOINT STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT MBEKI OF SOUTH AFRICA AND PRESIDENT FERNANDO HENRIQUE CARDOSO OF BRAZIL, 13 December 2000
During the visit of the President of South Africa to Brazil, from 12-15 December 2000, President Fernando Henrique Cardoso and President Thabo Mbeki exchanged views on numerous issues of mutual interest to both their countries.
Having reviewed the status of bilateral relations;
The Presidents recognised that Brazil and South Africa share similar circumstances and challenges, and are bound by their commitment to progressive governance and shared values such as democracy, sustainable development and the eradication of poverty.
In this context, the Presidents have identified the need to further strengthen and provide added substance to bilateral relations, especially in areas of trade, investment, human resource development and health co-operation.
They noted the structural changes that the economies of their respective countries are undergoing, in particular the increase in value-added manufactures in the composition of exports. They recognised that this provided real possibilities that the two countries must work to open up for stronger trade and investment links, which will create the basis for integration of the economies of Mercosur and Southern Africa.
The Presidents are particularly encouraged by the co-operation in the multilateral arena, including continued consultation on the reform of multilateral organisations and institutions. The Presidents were therefore pleased to oversee the signing of an Agreement establishing a Joint Commission which they are confident will help to further increase the levels of co-operation between the two countries.
Co-operation in the field of Health:
The Presidents considered that both countries share a comparable profile in the field of Health as a result of the similar socio-economic circumstances of their peoples, and recognise
* A need to continually improve the lives of the people of their countries, in particular in the field of health-care,
* That both countries have made significant progress in different areas of health-care, and are in a position to co-operate and exchange expertise.
The Presidents therefore express their satisfaction that their Ministers of Health have, on 12 December 2000, signed a Declaration of Intent for Co-operation in the field of Health.
Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance:
The Presidents exchanged views on human rights in general and racial discrimination in particular, and recognised that:
* Racism and racial discrimination continue to exist in many countries throughout the world, including their own, and agreed that such practices are incompatible with democracy and the rule of law;
* The existence of constitutional and legal frameworks aimed at suppressing the social ills of racism and racial discrimination is a necessary but insufficient condition to end its perpetration thus necessitating the application of innovative policies of affirmative action;
* The legal possibility and right to redress in cases of racial discrimination is also fundamental. Measures to combat this phenomenon need to be enforceable. They must act as a deterrent to potential offenders.
The Presidents therefore underlined:
* The importance of the III World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance to be held in Durban, South Africa in September 2001;
* Their commitment to making a positive and substantive contribution to finding a durable solution to the horrors of racism, and the adoption of a visionary and forward Programme of Action, with concrete and measurable objectives.
The Presidents are satisfied that the discussions they held, which resulted in the above agreement, were frank and fruitful, and are confident that the relations between Brazil and South Africa will continue to improve.
Enquiries: Nazeem Mahatey on 082 376 3820
Issued by: The Presidency, 15 December 2000