23 February 2013

Zimbabwe: President to Attend Closed Asa Summit Session

Malabo — President Mugabe yesterday joined fellow African and South American leaders here attending the Third Africa and South America Summit that was officially opened by the host President of Equatorial Guinea Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.

The summit, which was held at the Sipopo International Conference Centre, reiterated the urgent need to reform the United Nations Security Council.

In the afternoon, President Mugabe was expected to attend a closed session of the summit.

The closed session was expected among other issues to endorse the Malabo Declaration and to deliberate on the need to set up a permanent ASA secretariat.

The Malabo Declaration which was drafted by Foreign Affairs Ministers focused on the development of infrastructure and trade related issues between ASA member states.

In her address, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said the current situation where Africa and South America do not have permanent representation in the Security Council was untenable.

She also called for the transformation of the Bretton Woods institutions.

"A reform of the UN is urgent.

"A scenario where Africa and South America continue to be deprived permanent representation in the Security Council is not sustainable.

"A reform of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank is also urgent to ensure that they work more in sync with the needs of the developing countries," she said.

President Rousseff urged ASA member states to work as a united force for the group to realise its goals and objectives at international level.

She said the partnership between the two regions should be founded on mutual benefit on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

President Rousseff said agriculture was also important to the development of Africa and South America as a whole.

She said the two regions shared the same climatic conditions.

She proposed a joint training of teachers and technical vocational students on animal husbandry.

President Rousseff said the two regions should intensify their co-operation beyond cultural and social exchanges.

She said her country was ready to assist African countries especially in the provision of Anti Retroviral Drugs.

Venezuelan Vice President Nicholas Maduro who stood in for President Hugo Chavez who is not feeling well said Africa and South America stood a chance of dominating world affairs because of their vast natural resources.

He reiterated that Africa and South America shared the same history of colonialism and should work together towards total economic emancipation.

"South-South should be a permanent link between our people . . .

"We are the same people and it is our obligation to walk the same way of unity," he said.

VP Maduro strongly condemned the invasion of Libya by Nato in 2011 saying neo colonialists were working hard to divide people in vulnerable African states.

He said his country totally rejected the use of arms as a way of settling disputes.

President said ASA member states should closely work together to foster unity and spirit of brotherhood.

African Union Commission chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said: "It is important to reform the Security Council with a view to bring our recognition as permanent members of the organ," she said.

Dr Zuma said the strengthening of South-South co-operation in the 1990s had brought a new world political order.

She said it was important to come up with a mechanism to monitor implementation of ASA resolutions.

President Mbasogo said Africa and South America were characterised by an exploitative past of the former colonisers.

In this regard he said: "The history of our countries have been that of exploitation by other people.

"We need to work hard to emerge with total liberty and economic independence."

President Mbasogo also called for the setting up of a permanent ASA secretariat to strengthen operations of the organisation.

The Third Africa and South America Summit was held under the theme: "Strategies and Mechanisms for Strengthening South-South Co-operation."

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