BRIEFING BY DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, AZIZ PAHAD, AT THE GCIS PARLIAMENTARY BRIEFINGS, Cape Town, 10 September 2003
On the eve of the second anniversary since 11 September 2003, we are given an excellent opportunity to reflect on the way in which the global environment has changed and how these changes have affected foreign policy.
Some of these fundamental policy shifts include:
- the fight against terrorism
- preventative strikes
- the debate re: multilateralism vs. unilateralism.
It is in this broad context that South Africa has determined its foreign policy priorities. As a country we are:
- dealing with the challenges of a post-11 September 2001 world with confidence and creativity
- have maintained good relations with the developed world
- have expanded and consolidated South-South relations
- have hosted and lead some of the major international conferences [United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) IX, Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), World Conference Against Racism (WCAR), World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), Organisation of African Unity (OAU)/African Union (AU)].
Foreign policy must reflect national priorities, the most important of which is economic development to the ends of achieving an improved quality of lives for South Africans.
Economic diplomacy is therefore very important and in this regard, the department prioritises:
- New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD)
- new opportunities that are facilitated through the frameworks created by the Department of Foreign Affairs, e.g. joint binational commissions
- free trade agreements (negotiations currently ongoing with the United States, Mercosur, India)
- Presidential initiatives, e.g. Heads of State bilateral commissions between South Africa and Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Namibia. It is through these fora that positions regarding global trade, like those to be discussed at the Cancun meeting of the World Trade Organisation currently being held, are consolidated.
Since there can be no development without stability, South Africa places great emphasis on conflict resolution and peacekeeping measures in order to achieve regional and continental peace and stability.
Peace and Stability
Great Lakes Region
Democratic Repbulic of Congo (DRC): The political scene in Kinshasa is currently dominated by the process to establish the Transitional Government of the DRC. The Vice-Presidents nominated are Yerodia Abdoulaye Ndombasi of the Government, Azarias Ruberwa of the Congolese Rally for Democracy-Goma (RCD-Goma), Jean-Pierre Bemba of the Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC) and Professor Arthur Zahidi Ngoma of the unarmed political opposition.
The Follow-up Committee, which oversees the transitional process, drew up the following timetable for the installation of the Transitional Government:
- 27 May 2003: Installation of the Chiefs of Staff of the Army
- 28 May 2003: Arrival of the Vice-Presidents and other members of the Transitional Government in Kinshasa
- 29 May 2003: Inauguration of the Vice-Presidents and the appointment of the other members of the Transitional Government by Presidential Decree
- 30 May 2003: Handing over by outgoing Ministers to incoming Ministers
- 31 May 2003: First Cabinet meeting
- 5 to 7 June 2003: Arrival of Members of the National Assembly and the Senate
- 10 June 2003: Inauguration of the Members of the National Assembly and the Senate.
We reiterate our plea to the international community to support the process through partnerships to assist the implementation of the transitional government.
The United Nations (UN) Secretary General, in his second report on the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) which was presented to the Security Council on 4 June 2003, recommended that the mandate of the peacekeeping mission in the DRC be extended for another year, until 30 June 2004, and that its military strength be increased to 10 800 members. MONUC currently has about 4 600 troops throughout the DRC, of which most are unarmed logistical support troops.
Burundi: The consultations under the stewardship of Deputy President Zuma succeeded in establishing a ground breaking face-to-face discussion between the Transitional Government of Burundi and the CNDD-FDD of Jean Bosco Ndayikengurukiye and the PALIPEHUTU-FNL of Alain Mugabarabona. The negotiations culminated in the signing of a Cease-fire Agreement on 7 October 2002. The leadership of the two groups returned to Burundi on 13 February 2003 to join the transitional arrangements. The cantonment of the members of the said groups, the CNDD-FDD of Bosco and PALIEHTUT-FNL of Alain commenced on 14 July 2003.
The facilitation team comprising South Africa, Tanzania, Gabon, the UN and Uganda succeeded in persuading the CNDD-FDD of Nkurunziza to sign a Cease-fire Agreement on 2 December 2002. Although the CNDD-FDD led by Nkurunziza has signed a Cease-fire Agreement, the group has not returned to Bujumbura.
The PALIPEHUTU/FNL of Rwasa remains outside regarding the process. However it attended preliminary talks in Switzerland in 2003.
South Africa, Mozambique and Ethiopia have agreed to contribute troops towards the mission. The AU has provided the necessary mandate facilitating the deployment of troops by each of these three countries. However, their deployment has been delayed due to lack of funds.
Of a 3 099-strong peacekeeping force that was supposed to have been deployed in Burundi since June 2003, only 1 600 South Africans have arrived. Although Mozambique agreed to provide 202 troops and Ethiopia 1 297 troops, their deployment has been delayed due to a lack of money.
The European Union (EU) recently granted 174 million to the government of Burundi, some 57 million of which was earmarked to support the African Mission in Burundi, also known as AMIB.
Deputy President Jacob Zuma is to participate in the Summit of Heads of State of the region on Sunday, 14 September 2003 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The following challenges to be overcome are envisaged as follows:
- complete deployment of AMIB
- reaching agreement on power sharing
- to convince the PALIPEHUTU-FNL of Agathon Rwasa to agree to commence negotiations with the Transitional Government
- the implementation of the Cease-fire Agreements (implementation of the demobilisation, disarmament, rehabilitation and reintegration programme)
- transformation of the armed forces
- reconciliation and nation building
- socio-economic development and reconstruction of the country
- involvement of the churches and civil society, especially the rural people in the peace process.
Major challenge is the inadequate budgeting support and the non-release of funds pledged during the Paris and Geneva donor conferences. Funds essential to successfully implement priorities and objectives.
Rwanda: We welcome the first democratic elections in Rwanda since the 1994 genocide and congratulate President Paul Kagame on his election. President Thabo Mbeki will on Friday, 12 September 2003, lead the South African delegation to the inauguration of President Kagame.
Sudan: There are real prospects for an end to the Sudanese civil war following the signing of the Machakos Protocol on 20 July 2002. The Government of Sudan (GoS) and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) have reached agreement on one of the most contentious issues, i.e. self-determination for Southern Sudan by means of an envisaged referendum that will pose the alternatives of continued unity or even secession by the South, at the end of a six-year interim period.
Talks are progressing, although issues like power- and wealth-sharing remain an obstacle to the striking of a comprehensive peace accord. Analysts remain "cautiously optimistic" about the continuation of the talks. The present cessation of hostilities agreement has been extended to 30 September 2003. The agreement makes provision for the continuation of peace talks until that time. The parties also agreed in a Memorandum of Understanding stipulating that general elections should be held during a six-year interim period.
South Africa will:
- continue to support Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) as principal mediator/peace broker, while encouraging conflicting parties to continue with peace talks and adhere to cease-fire agreement
- interact with IGAD Special Envoy, Lt Gen Lazarus Sumbeiwiyo, via the Mission in Nairobi
- regular consultation with IPF Partners (US, UK and Norway) to obtain their views on where leverage could be exerted on both parties to ensure success of talks and implementation of agreements reached
- South Africa would urge IGAD peace moderators to include the rest of the NDA political forces in the peace process, while incorporating Libya and Egypt into IGAD
- South Africa should seek clarity on the issue of observer status.
- Should a comprehensive peace agreement be negotiated and signed, a high-level South African delegation should attend the ceremony
- South Africa, in AU context, could work with all stakeholders in ensuring an all-inclusive peace negotiation process.
Angola: After more than a year that the peace accord was signed, peace is still holding in Angola and it seems very unlikely that the country will return to civil war. In the north, the Cabindan separatist movement (FLEC), has been routed out by Angola's military and they have ceased to be a military threat.
Angola is slowly gearing up towards elections; the date will only be made known during the MPLA Congress in December 2003
Liberia: President Mbeki participated in negotiations to end the civil war in Liberia as the then Chair of the AU. These discussions culminated in the voluntary resignation of former President Charles Taylor on Monday, 11 August 2003, in Monrovia.
South Africa has committed itself to assisting the peacekeeping force in Liberia but its contribution will be determined by the needs outlined by the UN.
Palestine-Israel: The South African government is seriously concerned about recent developments in the Middle East. Yesterday the escalating spiral of violence continued with a suicide bombing outside an Israeli army base killing six people, the bombing in Jerusalem killing at least six, the killing of two Hamas militants and the death of an eleven year old boy who was watching the battle. The Prime Minister designate has condemned the bombing and called for an end to the cycle of retaliatory violence. The resignation of Palestinian Prime Minister, Abu Mazen, and the escalation of violence has serious consequences for the implementation of the Roadmap.
Abu Mazen has quoted the following reasons for resigning:
- the fundamental problem is Israel's unwillingness to implement its Roadmap commitments and to undertake any constructive measures
- the United States (and the international community) did not exert sufficient influence on Israel to implement its commitments in the Roadmap to push the peace process forward, or to end its military escalation;
The situation demands that the Israeli government must halt its "all out war against Hamas and other militants," it must stop all assassinations, destruction of houses and property, establishment of new settlements, collective punishment, end the occupation of Palestinian territories and the building of a wall to divide the communities.
This will strengthen the peace camp and create a conducive climate to stop what Abu Mazen referred to as "harsh and domestic incitement against the government and the obstruction of its functions".
We also call for an end to the demonisation of President Yasser Arafat and threats to expel him from the territory of which he is the legitimately elected leader by the people of Palestine. He must be recognised as such.
We welcome the nomination of Ahmed Korei as the new Prime Minister. Korei has been actively involved in the Oslo Peace Process and has proven to be a committed campaigner for peace and stability based on UN resolutions and the principle of two states living side by side under secure conditions.
We call on the international community to give him their fullest support.
We also urge the Troika to intensify its efforts to ensure that the Roadmap is fully implemented. Failure to achieve this will only inflame an already volatile region.
Iraq: To achieve these foreign policy objectives, we must ensure that we have strong regional and continental objectives.
Southern African Development Community (SADC)
The SADC Heads of State and Government Summit was held from 25 to 26 August 2003 in Tanzania.
At the Summit President Mkapa of Tanzania was elected as Chair of SADC and Prof Pakalitha Mosisili, Prime Minister of Lesotho, was elected to chair the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation. South Africa was elected as deputy chair of the Organ.
The Summit also signed the SADC Mutual Defence Pact and the SADC Charter on Fundamental Social Rights.
The improvement in the food security situation in the region during the 2003 to 2004 consumption year compared to the previous year was noted. The number of people needing food assistance is estimated to reach 7 million by January 2004 compared to 15,2 million people in March 2003.
On the Implementation of the Review of the Operations of SADC Institutions which began in March 2001 the following tasks have been completed:
- the establishment of all four Directorates at the Secretariat, namely: Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment; Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources; Infrastructure and Services; and the Directorate on Human and Social Development and Special Programmes
- the operationalisation of the Integrated Committee of Ministers
- the mobilisation of the resources in the form of human resources from member states through secondment of officers to the Directorates and funds from International Co-operating Partners (ICPs) for financing key activities related to the restructuring exercise
- the establishment of SADC National Committees in most member states
- completion of the formulation of the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP)
- the adoption and operationalisation of the study on the implementation of the new SADC structure.
With regard to the new SADC organisational structure, implementation will commence in April 2004 on an incremental basis in order to make it cost effective.
The Summit also approved the RISDP and the Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ (SIPO) and called for the co-ordination and rationalisation of the two plans in order to maximise the synergies inherent in them. (Documents are available at www.sadc.int.)
To date twelve protocols have been ratified and entered into force. Eleven still need to be ratified in order to enter into force.
1. Protocol on Immunities and Privileges
2. Protocol on Shared Watercourse Systems
3. Protocol on Energy
4. Protocol on Transport, Communications and Meteorology
5. Protocol on Combating Illicit Drugs
6. Protocol on Trade
7. Protocol on Education and Training
8. Protocol on Mining
9. Protocol on the Development of Tourism
10. Protocol on the Tribunal
11. Amendment Protocol on Trade
12. Protocol on Fisheries.
With regard to NEPAD, the Summit urged member states to integrate NEPAD agreed priorities in areas such as agriculture, health, information communication and infrastructure development into their National Development Plans and to increase resource allocation to these priority areas.
The African Union (AU)
Achievements of the AU during its first year
The main challenge for the first year of the AU was the setting up of its priority structures, and the laying of the groundwork for the rest of its proposed structures as foreseen in the Constitutive Act of the AU.
As such the principal organs, namely the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government, the Executive Council of Ministers and the Permanent Representatives Committee are fully functional and all related Rules of Procedures have been concluded and are implemented.
The setting up of the Commission of the AU is in progress. The structure of the Commission has been approved, as well as its Statutes and the appointment of the Chairperson of the Commission, the Deputy Chairperson and the eight Commissioners, signals the start of the overhaul of the Commission.
Former President Konaré of Mali was elected as the new Chairperson of the Commission, while Mr Patrick Mazimhaka of Rwanda was elected as Deputy Chair of the Commission. This election was followed by the Executive Council's election of the following persons as members of the Commission:
- Peace and Security: Said Djinnit (Algeria)
- Political Affairs: Julia Dolly Joiner (The Gambia)
- Infrastructure and Energy: Bernard Zoba (Congo Brazzaville)
- Social Affairs: Bience Philomina Gawanas (Namibia)
- Human Resources, Science and Technology: Saida Agrebi (Tunisia)
- Trade and Industry: Elisabeth Tankeu (Cameroon)
- Rural Economy and Agriculture: Rosebud Kurwijila (Tanzania).
The Assembly postponed the election of the Commissioner for the Economic Affairs portfolio to February 2004.
The expected process will include the assessment of current staff and the appointment of new staff, resulting in a 755 strong Commission. According to an approved quota system, South Africa will be entitled to 22 posts in the new Commission. It is expected that this process will take up to three years.
The appointment of the Commissioners also heralds the start of the meetings of the Specialised Technical Committees (STCs) which are meetings of relevant line function Ministers. The Commissioners and their Directorates will support the work of the STCs.
STCs which shall be responsible to the Executive Council are as follows:
- Committee on Rural Economy and Agricultural Matters
- Committee on Monetary and Financial Affairs
- Committee on Trade, Customs and Immigration Matters
- Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, Energy, Natural Resources and Environment
- Committee on Transport, Communications and Tourism
- Committee on Health, Labour and Social Affairs
- Committee on Education, Culture and Human Resources.
Each Committee shall within its field of competence:
- prepare projects and programmes of the Union and submit in to the Executive Council
- ensure the supervision, follow-up and the evaluation of the implementation of decisions taken by the organs of the Union
- ensure the coordination and harmonization of projects and programmes of the Union
- submit to the Executive Council either on its own initiative or at the request of the Executive Council, reports and recommendations on the implementation of the provision of this Act
- carry out any other functions assigned to it for the purpose of ensuring the implementation of the provisions of this Act.
The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the AU will be established in terms of a Protocol, which is currently in ratification stage. It has received 15 ratifications to date, and requires an additional 12 ratifications, giving a simple majority of 27, before it will enter into force. However, it is expected that this will be achieved by January 2004. As such, work on its sub-structures have progressed well, but needs to be concluded. This will involve the African Standby Force, the Panel of the Wise, an Early Warning System as well as a Peace Fund to support the activities of the PSC. The Rules of Procedure of the PSC will also have to be concluded. Once the PSC has been established, the Executive Council has been mandated to vote on its membership, five countries serving three years each, and ten countries serving two years each.
Related to the PSC is the development of the Common African Defence and Security Policy (CADSP) as mandated by the Durban Assembly in 2002. A Draft Framework has been developed and will now need to be considered by Ministers of Defence and Security.
On the "people's organs" of the AU, namely the Pan African Parliament (PAP) and the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC), considerable progress has been made. The PAP Protocol has been ratified by 21 member states, and requires a further six ratifications before entering into force. In the meanwhile a Steering Committee meets regularly to prepare for this event. South Africa has offered to host the PAP at the end of an initial five-year period during which it will rotate.
ECOSOCC is a meeting of civil society and comes into being once its statutes have been approved, and not by means of a Protocol. Civil Society has met twice on this matter and have concluded a first draft. The Maputo meeting instructed that the Statutes should also be discussed by the PRC before final recommendation to the Executive Council.
The Protocol on the Court of Justice was adopted by the Assembly in Maputo and will now have to be ratified. South Africa is in the process of ratifying this Protocol. The Court of Justice will, amongst other things, adjudicate on the interpretation of the Constitutive Act of the AU.
The financial institutions - an African Central Bank, the African Monetary Fund, and the African Investment Bank will take longer to operationalise as it will be indicative of a greater level of integration.
South Africa has promoted the development of criteria for hosting each of the institutions of the AU. SADC has accepted the proposal and have developed such criteria which will make the final allocation easier and transparent. However, the AU has not yet given consideration to the proposal.
The AU has also concluded discussions on amendments to the Constitutive Act. The amendments are now contained in a Protocol which has to be ratified. South Africa is also in the process of ratifying this Protocol.
The Executive Council in Maputo confirmed the decision by its 3rd Extra-ordinary session in Sun City, that the new scale of assessment will include a two-tier floor, one of 0,25% and one of 0,75%. Member states' population size, level of indebtedness and Gross Domestic Product, among other factors, will be used to calculate their level of contribution. The Executive Council agreed on the ceiling of 8,25%. Countries such as South Africa, Egypt, Algeria and Nigeria will fall in this category and will each be responsible for 8,25% of the total budget of the Union per year. The AU budget for 2004 currently stands at USD 43 million.
Challenges for 2003-2004
As part of the AU Troika until July 2004 we will pay great attention to the matter of the relationship between the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and the AU. Since the AU fully integrate Socio-Economic Development and Peace and Security matters, the role of the RECs in implementation have become vital. In addition, clear channels are needed to co-ordinate the programmes of the AU, as directed by NEPAD, and the RECs.
Presidential and Ministerial visits to enhance these objectives
United Nations General Assembly 58
President Thabo Mbeki, accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, will lead the South African delegation to the 58th session of the UN General Assembly in New York later this month.
Tokyo International Conference on African Development III (TICAD)
President Thabo Mbeki, accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, will lead the South African delegation to TICAD III at the end of September 2003.
TICAD is an initiative for African development launched in 1993 through the joint efforts of the Government of Japan, the UN and the Global Coalition for Africa. The World Bank joined the TICAD co-organisers in 2000.
The primary goals of TICAD include:
- to promote high-level policy dialogue between African leaders and their partners
- to mobilise support for Africa's own development efforts
- to "retune" international level(s) of commitment to Afric;
- to focus and strengthen operational approaches in the many processes essential for African development
- to strengthen co-ordination among all development partner;
- To promote regional co-operation and integration through the support for regional and sub-regional groupings and organisations
- tTo promoting South-South co-operation in general, and Asia-Africa co-operation in particular, through the exchange of experience and knowledge.
State Visits to India and France
- South Africa-India-Brazil trilateral forum
- Free trade negotiations with MERCOSUR and India
- Synergising processes of NEPAD and TICAD
Mobilisation of the African Diaspora
Finally, in order to achieve the afore-listed priorities, South Africa remains committed to the restructuring of the UN, especially the Security Council and the Bretton Woods Institution.
Issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs
10 September 2003