STATEMENT BY MINISTRY OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS

International Cooperation, Trade and Security delivery agreement

Date of release 17 November 2010

Our international engagements are anchored on the goal of creating a betterSouth Africa and contributing to a better and safer Africa. As an integral part of the African continent, we seek to assert ourselves on the global stage in a manner that advances the African agenda. This agenda must promote economic growth and development; economic integration at regional and subregional levels; trade and investment; and democratisation and good governance. Accordingly, the International Cooperation Trade and Security (ICTS) cluster has been mandated to engage in diplomatic relations aimed at creating and achieving “a Better South Africa in and contributing to a Better and safer Africa in a better a Better World.”

Our national interest concept embodies a people-centred approach that places a legitimate, credible and cohesive state at the centre for driving the overarching agenda of constructing a better South Africa, Africa and a better world for all peoples. We shall advance our national interest in a manner that gives expression to the underlying values of our Constitution.

Thus, for us, the following principles and objectives are at the core of the conceptualisation of South Africa’s national interest: These can be summarised as follows:

The government of South Africa wishes for the people of this continent and the world what it wishes for its own people, inter alia:

  • Freedom from want: poverty reduction, prosperity and economic development;
  • Freedom from fear: a stable and peaceful world in which conflicts are resolved through dialogue, retaining and globalising our rights and freedoms;
  • A healthy planet able to provide sustainably for all its inhabitants.

It is through these objectives that we seek to reconstruct our country and improve the well-being of our people, those of Africa as well as the rest of the developing world. Therefore, the future of South Africa is inextricably linked to that of the African continent and the developing world.

Cluster Outputs

The delivery on outcome 11 is anchored on four outputs:

  • Output 1: Enhanced African Agenda and Sustainable Development

The main objective of our foreign policy is the pursuit of our national interests and priorities, and the African Agenda in particular. Our international engagements are premised on our domestic agenda and developmental priorities.

We proceed from the understanding that Africa possesses huge untapped possibilities for the advancement of her people. Success or failure depends largely on what Africans themselves will do. As a country and the people we stand ready to make our contribution both in our interest and in the interest of all of Africa’s people.

We have used our bilateral relations with countries throughout the world to promote the interests of our people and our domestic priorities articulated in our government programme. We enter bilateral partnerships with other countries with a view to achieving these priorities. All our relations, Bi lateral and multi lateral are for the benefit of South Africans and these benefits flow from economic to social.

The SANDF has been involved in a number of missions to support the implementation of our foreign policy. As the major troop contributing country in Africa we continue to play a critical role in stabilizing our continent through AU and UN missions. South Africa has become the preferred destination for international military training and exchange programmes.

South Africa has been identified to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the largest telescope ever to be built which will trace life back into the “Big Bang”. The African Union has endorsed South Africa’s bid on behalf of the African continent for the SKA. If South Africa succeeds, it will have positive socio-economic development, infrastructure development and the Information Communication Technology related infrastructure which will not only benefit South Africa but the region and the continent as a whole.

We must therefore focus on the following sub-outputs:

  • Deepened contribution to regional and continental political and security stability;
  • Sustainable socio-economic development;
  • Strengthened contribution in peace missions and post-conflict reconstruction and development (PCRD); and
  • Deepened technical and development cooperation.
  • Output 2: Enhanced regional integration

We continue to cooperate with our neighbours to strengthen political relations. The promotion of political and regional integration continues to drive the African Agenda. Strengthening regional integration in SACU and SADC remains a major priority which will contribute to the sustained integration of the region into the global economy.

Trade integration must be complemented with more determined efforts to build diversified production capacity in the region. This is essential if the trade opportunities that arise from more open regional markets are to be shared equitably.

We must also direct our efforts towards advancing regional peace and security. In this regard, we will work with other regional security agencies and increase our presence in the region and prioritise conflict resolution, particularly the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Sudan, Madagascar and Zimbabwe.

We place particular emphasis on political cohesion, economic integration and building an efficient and responsive economic infrastructure. As a region, we stand to gain from enhanced regional integration including greater trade resulting from increases in market size, and increased investor confidence which contributes to sustainable economic development and stability in the SADC region.

Therefore, we must focus on the following sub-outputs:

  • Regional economic integration
  • Regional political integration
  • Output 3: Reformed global governance institutions
The current global governance system in the areas of economic development, resources for development, the maintenance of international peace and security and the application of international law do not adequately address the challenges confronting humanity. In this regard, our priorities are premised on working towards a strengthened United Nations (UN) that is able to adapt and provide a framework for collective responses by the international community.

As the member of the AU Peace and Security committee since 1 April 2010 and the UNSC from January 2011 we will play our part in ensuring the further strengthening of these institutions and synergies in the activities. Overall, South Africa commits to be true to the mandates of these bodies in the maintenance of continental and global peace and security.

Our participation in the global system of governance is therefore rooted in our commitment to work towards global political and socio-economic stability and security. In this regard, South Africa already plays a significant role in the international arena, influencing various debates and contributing towards multilateral decisions.

In addition to fulfilling our treaty obligations, we must also enhance our representation in and strengthen regional, continental and global platforms and governance institutions. We actively engage various multilateral organisations and treaty bodies according to our interest.

These may be in the realm of international peace and security, humanitarian, environment, political or financial institutions. We will intensify our active role in processes that address issues of reform, restructuring, revitalisation, representivity, democratisation and strengthening of global governance institutions, as well as the consolidation of solidarity in the context of South-South cooperation and North-South partnerships.

Therefore, we must focus on the following sub-outputs:

  • Strengthened regional, continental and global governance institutions and international platforms;
  • Enhanced representation of South Africans in international institutions.

  • Output 4: Enhanced trade and investment
In order to facilitate our much-needed economic growth, we must promote foreign direct investment with targeted countries in support of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP-2).This requires us to expand and strengthen bilateral cooperation with individual countries in Africa and rest of the world through high-level engagements and strategic bilateral and multilateral economic and trade partnerships.

 We will ensure the growth of our exports, in particular higher-value products and attract significant volumes of direct foreign investments into our country informed by a coordinated export, investment, communication and marketing strategy.

Our strategy will consist of existing economic relations whilst seeking out new partners, especially amongst the fast growing economies of the South. In this manner, we shall both grow and diversify our economic relations. Particular attention will be paid to further consolidate our initiatives in the tourism sector recognising the potential it plays in the economy.

Therefore, we must focus on the following sub-outputs:

  • Increased value-added exports to targeted economies;
  • Increased inward investment from targeted countries.
  • Increase our market share through aggressive marketing
Thank you.

For further enquiries contact:
Siphiwe Dlamini
Cell: 083 645 4294