South Africa’s agenda at the United Nations Security Council

South Africa will be serving as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the third time this year.

More than 180 countries voted for SA at the UN General Assembly in June of 2018, unopposed by any other African country, reports Cape talk. South Africa has pledged to use its position in the Security Council to promote peace and stability in Africa.

International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu said that South Africa looks forward to pushing the African agenda and the development of peace and security.

South Africa has already met with all the permanent members of the UN Security Council in order to outline its intentions and also to cooperate on some major international security issues.

Some of the main goals South African government in the UNSC include tackling the illegal proliferation of arms in Africa and the vulnerability of women and children in wars and conflict areas.

 

By Mokgethi Mtezuka

Brics nations to support growth of film industry

Filmmakers  from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa have been challenged to establish an Audio-Visual and Film Co-Production and Distribution Treaty and Fund and identify content and projects that will be launched at the 2019 BRICS Film Festival in Brazil.

During panel discussions at the third Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa Film Festival Forum which are part of the 9th edition of the Durban Film Mart (DFM) taking place from 20 to 23 July 2018 at Elangeni Hotel, filmmakers welcomed the agreement which aims to grow the film market across the five partnering nations.

The BRICS Film Festival took place ahead of the 10th BRICS Summit which was held in Johannesburg from 25 to 27 July under the chairmanship of South Africa. Department of Arts Acting Deputy Director-General Charles Mabaso highlighted that there must be an agency that will be responsible for supporting film/television production, distribution and exhibition in BRICS countries first, but also for participation in other film festivals and film markets elsewhere outside of BRICS countries.

“The films will be created through a specifically designed co-production arrangement where the films creation will be specifically geared towards appealing to audiences of the BRICS countries first, then other countries globally,” he said.

When the agency is established, it must support research dealing with audience development in BRICS countries so that the film created are seen by as many people as possible so that the market grows for the films and the revenues generated can go back into the fund for more production of films.

The film festival was held for the first time in 2016 in New Delhi in India. At the second meeting for BRICS Ministers of Culture in China, member states signed an Action Plan on Cultural Cooperation. The group pledged to step up efforts to strengthen cultural ties in the five-year action plan for the implementation of the agreement between governments so the BRICS states of cooperation in the field of culture.

A 2017 – 2021 plan for the BRICS Film Collaboration Project states that through joint production of movies, the partnership aims to increase the frequency and intensity of arts and cultural exchanges between member states, expand the film markets of the member nations and propel mutual prosperity and development of the BRICS film industries and film markets. The plan also calls for the co-production of a BRICS film each year, encourages and supports multilateral and bilateral joint movie production between the BRICS nations.

Mabaso said the third meeting for BRICS Ministers of Culture will take place in September in Johannesburg to discuss filmmaker’s opportunities and challenges, the consolidation of implementation plans, review milestones, content that could travel between the five member states and the creation of legacy projects towards 2021 and beyond.

 

 

ISSUED BY: eTHEKWINI MUNICIPALITY

 

Brazil to host next BRICS Summit in 2019

Brazil will be taking the rotating presidency of the BRICS group, the club created in 2006 that also includes Russia, India, China, and South Africa. This was confirmed in November 2018 after the Group of Twenty Summit in Argentina that the 11th BRICS Summit will be indeed hosted by Brazil. The country will, therefore, assume chairmanship of BRICS bloc taking over from South Africa and taking on all the responsibility that it comes with. 

BRICS leaders had an informal meeting in and said in a statement, “we look forward to the 11th BRICS Summit to be hosted by Brazil in 2019 and extend our full support to Brazil as the incoming BRICS Chair”.

The BRICS chairmanship does not only include the hosting of the 2019 BRICS Summit, but also the hosting of numerous smaller ministerial, business and civil society meetings.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa met Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. Ramaphosa during the meeting held Switzerland said that he has no doubt that he will find transformations underway in Brazil when he goes to the country for the BRICS. 

 

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

SA Deputy Minister of International Relations attends the Raisina Dialogue

Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), Deputy  Minister Reginah Mhaule is in New Delhi for the three day annual Raisina Dialogue.  The dialogue is a multilateral meeting with purposes of addressing the most challenging issues facing the global community.

Themed “A World Reorder: New Geometries, Fluid Partnerships, Uncertain Outcomes”,the meet brings together leaders from around the globe. Leaders  in the areas of politics, business, media and civil society to talk international policy or geopolitics and geo-economics.

The attendance of the Deputy Minister Mhaule will also advance relations between South Africa and India.

According to iol.co.za, Mhaule said  that the dialogue will also be useful in pushing the African agenda, regional integration and conflict prevention and peace-building. Deputy Minister Mhaule also took part in a meeting on South Africa in the Blue Economy and the Indian Ocean, on the sidelines of the Raisina Dialogue.

 

By Mokgethi Mtezuka

Breaking: Egypt bags AFCON hosting rights

South Africa has lost the Africa cup of Nation hosting race to Egypt. South Africa and Egypt submitted bids to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after Cameroon was stripped hosting rights by the CAF governing body due to their delays for preparations for the tournament.

SA was however, seen as a potential replacement for Cameroon. South African Football Association (SAFA) President, Danny Jordaan told SAFA AGM that on the 2 December that CAF approached the Association and asked SAFA to seriously consider hosting the AFCON 2019. This led to the country stepping in as a late host.

Egypt’s bid was announced by its Football Association and took many by surprise. The country was not considered a contender.

The tournament is to be hosted in 5 months – the 2019 AFCON is the first to be increased from 16 to 24 teams.  The Confederation of African Football (CAF) confirmed Egypt’s triumph after their meeting, today in Dakar, Senegal.

 

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

 

Kremlin: India PM invited to the Eastern Economic Forum

Image: Indian Express

The Kremlin has confirmed that the Russian President, Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi had a telephonic conversation. Modi during the conversation invited the Indian leader to attend the Eastern Economic Forum in September. Modi according to RT.com was invited to be the “main guest”at the Russia held forum.

Eastern Economic Forum is an international forum held each year in Vladivostok, Russia, for the purpose of encouraging foreign investment in the Russian Far East.The leaders vowed cooperation in tackling world problems – including terrorism. Putin wished Modi luck in the upcoming elections, scheduled for spring.

India and Russia have close relations,  India bought S400 air missiles from Russia notwithstanding pressures from the US to abandon the contract, last year.

 

Source: RT.com

 

China-US re-engage in new batch of trade talks

Chinese and US delegates are meeting in Beijing to hash out some of their trade difference and possibly put an end in the trade war. The Trade War between the world two biggest economies has entered a new year and 2019 both countries are aiming to come to some real agreement.

US president Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping announced in December that the two super economies came to a truce. So far both sides have praised the talks as positive and constructive and both sides are actively engaged and are working to come to a resolution.

According to Aljazeera.com Asian financial markets have reacted positively to the meeting and discussion between the countries.

The talks will come to close tomorrow with both countries expected to refrain from issuing new tariffs and mitigate any further disruption to global financial market as well as the global economy.


By Mokgethi Mtezuka

New Development Bank has financed South Africa with more than R9 Billion

Financial Minister Tito Mboweni revealed that South Africa has received R9.8 Billion from the BRICS New Development Bank. The reveal stemmed from a parliamentary question on South Africa’s benefits from the New Development Bank membership.

Many critics believe that South Africa doesn’t equally gain as much as it’s  BRICS counterparts, when it comes to the BRICS bank. The bank has pledged to offer equal financing for projects in all BRICS member states.

Minister Mboweni also pointed out that there are 18 South African professionals who are employed by the bank at the South African office, as well as the Chinese office. Some of the projects funded by the NDB were a loan to Transnet of R2.8 Billion for a container terminal, the other R2.6 Billion to Eskom for transmission lines and a substation for Soweto.

 

Source: businesslive.co.za

 

 

NDB’S LENDING COMMITMENT IN 2018 INCREASED BY 167%, BRINGING AGGREGATE APPROVAL VOLUME TO USD 8 BILLION

The year 2018 was the third full year of the NDB’s operation and it was marked by the approval of USD 4.8 billion in loans — a 167 % increase over that of 2017, which brings the Bank’s total lending volume since its establishment in 2015 to approximately USD 8 billion. Till date, the NDB has approved 30 infrastructure and sustainable development projects. In 2018 alone, the Bank has approved 17 projects. This is a clear demonstration of the NDB’s strong commitment to its mandate of supporting infrastructure and sustainable development of its member countries.

In 2018, the NDB has continued to focus its efforts on the most pressing needs of infrastructure development in its member countries, covering the sectors of transport, energy, urban, environment, and water. The Bank’s 2018 lending portfolio is well balanced across the five sectors, with eight projects in transport sector, three projects in energy sector, two projects in environment sector, three projects in urban sector and one project in water sector.

The Bank’s infrastructure and sustainable development operations also highlight value addition apart from providing financing. For example, the NDB provided an international expertise pool of offshore wind power to advise technical solutions and to share successful country lessons to the Guangdong Offshore Wind Power Project.

The NDB also supported member country’s efforts aimed at the preservation of cultural heritage assets. Through the Small Historic Cities Development Project, the Bank supported infrastructure development in nine competitively selected Russian small historic cities with a focus on the preservation and development of cultural heritage.

Through the Mumbai Metro Project, the NDB is helping the second most densely populated city in the world to tackle the most pressing challenges of traffic congestions and pollutions in the transport sector and to sustain Mumbai’s economic and social development momentum.

 

Projects approved by the NDB Board of Directors in 2017:

PROJECT LOAN AMOUNT
Development of Water Supply and Sanitation Systems Project (Russia) USD 320 million
Small Historic Cities Development Project (Russia) USD 220 million
Durban Container Terminal Berth Reconstruction Project (South Africa) USD 200 million
Pará Sustainable Municipalities Project (Brazil) USD 50 million
Maranhão Road Corridor – South North Integration (Brazil) USD 71 million
Chongqing Small Cities Sustainable Development Project (China) USD 300 million
Bihar Rural Roads Project (India) USD 350 million
Luoyang Metro Project (China) USD 300 million
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction and Energy Sector Development Project

(South Africa)

USD 300 million
Environmental Protection Project (Brazil) USD 200 million
Madhya Pradesh Bridges Project (India) USD 175 million
Madhya Pradesh Major District Roads II Project (India) USD 350 million
Sustainable Infrastructure in relation to “ZapSibNefteKhim” Project (Russia) USD 300 million
Guangdong Yudean Yangjiang Shapa Offshore Wind Power Project (China) RMB 2 billion
Hohhot New Airport Project (China) RMB 4.2 billion
Jiangxi Natural Gas Transmission System Development Project (China) USD 400 million
Mumbai Metro Rail Project (India) USD 260 million

 

ISSUED BY THE NEW DEVELOPMENT BANK

 

South Africa officially takes its seat as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council

South Africa today officially assumes its seat as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the period 2019-2020.

South Africa was overwhelmingly elected to serve on the Council by the United Nations General Assembly on 8 June 2018. As President Cyril Ramaphosa reflected at the time: “This will be the third time that South Africa will be serving in the Security Council since the dawn of democracy in 1994. We are humbled and honoured by the confidence the international community has demonstrated in our capability to contribute to the resolution of global challenges.”

South Africa’s tenure in the Security Council will be dedicated to the legacy of President Nelson Mandela whose values and commitment to peace were commemorated last year during the centenary of his birth. South Africa’s term will also be an opportunity for the country to work towards the African Union’s goal of “Silencing the Guns” on the Continent by 2020.

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu today stated that: “The world is facing huge challenges, including rising unilateralism and widening geo-political divisions. These challenges threaten our collective resolve to address global challenges of peace, security and development. South Africa will thus utilise its tenure on the Security Council to promote the maintenance of international peace and security through advocating for the peaceful settlement of disputes and inclusive dialogue. We will continue to encourage closer cooperation between the UN Security Council and other regional and sub-regional organisations particularly the African Union. We would further wish to emphasise the role of women in the resolution of conflict. This, during our time on the Council, South Africa will ensure that a gender perspective is mainstreamed into all Security Council resolutions in line with UNSC Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security.

The Minister concluded that: “South Africa looks forward to collaborating with all other members of the Security Council in promoting the maintenance of international peace and security and the social well-being and advancement of all the peoples of the world.”

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION