Media remarks by His Excellency President Jacob Zuma on the occasion of the Fifth IBSA Summit, Presidential Guest House, Pretoria
18 Oct 2011
Your Excellency President Rousseff,
Your Excellency Prime Minister Singh,
Members of the media,
We have just concluded the 5th IBSA Summit of Heads of State and Government.
I wish to warmly thank President Rousseff and Prime Minister Singh and their accompanying delegations for visiting our country and attendance of this 5th Summit.
It has been an honour indeed to host them and we have had valuable exchanges.
We especially extend a warm welcome to President Rousseff to her first IBSA forum dialogue and to South Africa and look forward to wonderful working relations.
It has been a successful session as we reflected on IBSA’s eight years of existence, while also looking forward to our coming 10th anniversary in 2013.
We are brought together by the belief that countries can prosper and create a better life for their people when democracy and development work together.
We enjoyed fruitful discussions today on pertinent topics that underline the character of the IBSA Dialogue Forum and will ensure that it goes from strength to strength.
We highlighted our coordination and collaboration at international fora such as the United Nations, especially utilising the opportunity of the presence of all three IBSA members in the non-permanent category of the United Nations Security Council this year, to make a lasting impact on the need for transformation of global governance reform.
We noted the contribution by IBSA to the peaceful resolution of conflict such as our joint mission to Syria. We also wish to indicate our continued support to remain involved in the unfolding events in the Middle East and North Africa.
We continue to collaborate closely in fora such as the G20, BRICS, WTO, and G77 plus China regarding economic and financial issues as well as in BASIC for Climate Change matters.
We also reflected on the imbalance of the world we live in, as the institutions of global governance are to this day still skewed in favour of the developed North.
We will continue working to ensure the transformation of the global governance system.
Consequently, we underscored our support for multilateralism and the United Nations system. We also agreed on the need for the reform of the United Nations, including the UN Security Council, to make it more representative and effective.
We are delighted that intra-IBSA trade has grown significantly since 2005. Our own estimates are that our combined trade was seven billion US dollars in 2005.
In 2004 we had set ourselves a target to reach 10 billion US dollars and reached that target in 2007.
We then set ourselves a target to reach 15 billion US dollars by 2010 and in fact reached that total a year early, in the midst of the recession in 2009.
The target for 2010 was 16. 1 billion US dollars and all indications point to us significantly surpassing that amount in 2011.
In 2008 we set ourselves a target of 25 billion US dollars by 2015. We believe there is no reason why we should not reach that target.
I am pleased to note that although South Africa is only 8.2 percent of the combined GDP, we contributed 25 percent of IBSA trade in 2010, and in 2009 we contributed the largest share, 38 percent.
We had the opportunity to reflect on sustainable development. South Africa particularly noted the link between the reform of the current international governance system and sustainable development.
In a little over one month, South Africa will host the 17th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (known as COP17) and the 7th meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP7) under the theme “Working Together! Saving Tomorrow Today!” I am pleased to count our IBSA partners for support in South Africa’s hosting of this event.
We look forward to the release of the final report of the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability. We hope that its findings will provide useful ideas and inspiration to the international sustainable development debate.
We also eagerly await next year’s UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil.
This conference will renew political commitment to the set of targets agreed on at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.
The Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, hosted by India next year, will provide us with a further opportunity for us to work together for the preservation and sustainable use of our natural resources.
We also noted that the People-to-People Fora remain a unique and enriching engagement for the three countries and its full potential has still to be achieved.
We thank all the delegations for making this 5th Summit a success and look forward to the 6th IBSA Dialogue Forum in India in 2013.
I thank you!
Issued by: The Presidency
18 Oct 2011