Remarks by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, on the occasion of the Joint Press Conference, following the conclusion of the Third South Africa – Argentina Binational Commission Ministerial Meeting, Pretoria, 02 November 2012
Mr Héctor Timerman, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship;
Members of the Media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good Afternoon and welcome,
Minister Timerman, I would like to again welcome you to South Africa and thank you for the fruitful discussions we have had today.
This has been the third meeting of the BNC since the Commission was established in accordance with a Bilateral Agreement signed between South Africa and Argentina in New York, on the margins of the UN General Assembly, during September 2005.
South Africa and Argentina enjoy many mutually rewarding commonalities, for example our positions on international issues of climate change; human rights; the response to the global recession; and the challenges of development.
In this year’s marking of the ANC's Centenary, we stand firm in our pursuit of a better Africa and a better world. We remain committed to our belief that regional and continental integration is the cornerstone of Africa’s renewal in terms of socio-economic development and political unity. These ideals play a leading role in our domestic policy and in our international obligations.
Like Argentina, South Africa embraces multilateralism in approaching many of the challenges facing the continent and the global community. South Africa plays a leading role in many forums, including the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN).
We thank Argentina for its support for our UN Security Council non-permanent candidacy and Argentina’s support during our term which is coming to an end in December.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Argentina for being elected as a non-permanent member of the Security Council for the period 2013-2014. South Africa undertakes to support Argentina during its term.
Engagements such as the one we had today, are essential for consensus–building on key political, security and economic matters in the multilateral context.
Additionally, a Senior Officials’ Session was held on 1 November 2012, which served to evaluate progress made in the implementation of key bilateral agreements in fields such as defence cooperation, trade relations, science and technology, transport, arts and culture, as well as progress in the negotiations of agreements related to agriculture and tourism.
South Africa and Argentina both seek to expand their value chains and increase employment, thus profiting from the economies of scale that enlarged markets offer. In view of this, bilateral relations are key to creating new trade and investment opportunities. Such efforts are supported by dynamic economic relations that have been growing over the last few years through strong expansion of trade and investments.
Minister Timerman, thank you for the opportunity to discuss these issues, as well as to reflect on our bilateral relations.
Once again, on behalf of the Government and People of South Africa, sincere thanks to the Argentine delegation for the constructive discussions and we trust you will enjoy the remainder of your stay in South Africa.
I thank you.