SA readies to leave AU Peace and Security Council
Pretoria: South Africa has emphasised its commitment to continue contributing to the resolution of peace and security challenges facing Africa, as it prepares to relinquish its seat in the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC). South Africa will be ending its current term in the council on 1 April 2012. In line with the principle of rotation amongst members of the southern region, Pretoria will be making way for two of its neighbours to also make a contribution to this AU important organ.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation on Thursday said South Africa has also taken heed of the call made by four countries of the Sahel region in the wake of the humanitarian crisis currently facing a number of countries.
"When the four Sahelian States - Mali, Niger, Mauritania and Chad - approached South Africa for assistance at a bilateral level, our country considered three possible options for immediate relief of these needs and the fuller details and the actual amounts, humble as they may be, that we are contributing on the immediate in these four countries, this information would have to be shared with the respective countries," the department said.
South Africa has undertaken to donate the products and materials that were directly requested by these countries.
Meanwhile, officials said South Africa will take advantage of the upcoming BRICS Summit to advance the African Agenda, to seek support from BRICS partners for the NEPAD infrastructure development and industrialisation initiatives and advocate for reform of global governance institutions.
The 4th BRICS Summit will take place on 28 and 29 March 2012 in Delhi, India. President Jacob Zuma will lead the South African delegation to the summit. This will be the second time that South Africa attends the summit after its admission to the bloc. South Africa's debut was at the BRICS Summit held in Sanya, Hainan Island, China last year.
This year's summit is expected to focus on global governance as well as sustainable development matters. These include issues relating to the global economy, global peace and security and climate change.
Latest figures indicate that South Africa's trade with BRICS countries has increased, particularly from the period 2005 to 2010. Exports increased from US$16.6 billion in 2005 to US$94.7 billion in 2010. BRIC-Africa trade is projected to increase threefold from US$150 billion in 2010 to US$350 billion in 2015. BRIC Foreign Direct Investment is projected to increase from US$60 billion in 2009 to more than US$150 billion by 2015.