Motlanthe attends AU Special Session

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pretoria - Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe is currently in Libya to attend the Special Session of the African Union (AU), the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said on Tuesday.

Spokesperson Nomfanelo Kota said the Deputy President would be accompanied by International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Sue van der Merwe and Deputy Defense Minister Thabang Makwetla.

The Special Session is aimed at giving support to the Somalian Transitional Federal Government through the strengthening of institutions and the enhancing of security in that country.

It is expected to look into the full deployment of the United Nations/African Union Mission in Darfur as well as more cooperation between the Sudanese government and peacekeeping mission as well as the conflict between Chad and Sudan.

The decision to hold the meeting was adopted at the 13th Ordinary Session held in Syrte in Libya on 3 July.

The Heads of State will also mark the 40th anniversary of the Libyan Revolution and the ascension to power by Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi, who is the current AU chairperson.

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is meanwhile set to participate in the sixth ministerial meeting of the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) forum beginning in Brazil later on Tuesday.

The meeting is expected to have a heated discussion in the context of the global economic crisis over the reform of the Bretton Woods institutions.

"We expect the meeting to focus on the following three issues, in particular, especially in the context of the global economic crisis, to exchange ideas about how to strengthen the system of global governance," said Director General Ayanda Ntsaluba on Monday.

Brazil Foreign Minister Celso Amorin and Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna will attend the meeting.

According to Dr Ntsaluba, there will also be a review of all the agreements that had been signed, the implementation of those agreements, the implementation of frameworks for improving trade, given the decision that was taken in New Delhi by the Heads of States to increase trilateral trade to US$25 billion amongst the three countries by 2015.

A trilateral developmental initiative between the three countries aimed at promoting South-South cooperation and exchange, IBSA was launched in 2003 and brings together economic powerhouses from Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Since its formation, major areas of cooperation among the three countries include infrastructure, mining, information technology, pharma and healthcare, transport, agri-business, skills development and energy sector.

The meeting takes place annually and its main objective is to build close cooperation between the three countries.

The foreign ministers would adopt a ministerial declaration after the meeting, based on the main issues discussed, including preparations for the fourth summit of the forum, scheduled 8 October.