Press release | Date: 12/05/2002| No: 85-02
Date: 12 May 2002
Nordic-South African declaration
after summit in Molde, Norway
Following their summit meeting in Molde, Norway today, South African President Thabo Mbeki and Nordic Prime Ministers Kjell Magne Bondevik (Norway), David Oddsson (Iceland), Paavo Lipponen (Finland), Göran Persson (Sweden) and Anders Fogh Rasmussen (Denmark) issued the following declaration:
“NORDIC-SOUTH AFRICA SUMMIT, MOLDE 12 MAY 2002
THE MOLDE DECLARATION
The President of the Republic of South Africa and the Prime Ministers of the Nordic countries, meeting in Molde, Norway for a Second Nordic-South Africa Summit, recalled their summit in Skagen, Denmark in June 2000 and their agreement to intensify co-operation and dialogue between their countries, and noted with great satisfaction the further strengthening of ties between the Nordic countries and South Africa.
The Nordic Prime Ministers paid tribute to the constructive role South Africa plays in the region, and particularly in Southern Africa, in terms of economic development, promotion of human rights, good governance and conflict management and resolution.
The President of the Republic of South Africa and the Prime Ministers of the Nordic countries recalled that world leaders at the UN Millennium Summit committed themselves to reduce by half by the year 2015 the number of people living in extreme poverty. They also underlined the importance of following up the Monterrey Consensus, which highlights the need for a new partnership between developing and developed countries in combating poverty and achieving development.
They recognised that African countries are facing formidable challenges in meeting the Millennium Goals. At the same time, they warmly welcomed the new sense of awareness and confidence that is emerging among African leaders and on the African continent to reach these goals.
In this context the Nordic Prime Ministers welcomed the progress made since the Skagen summit in developing the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
The Nordic Prime Ministers expressed their full support for the goals of NEPAD. It was agreed that to achieve good democratic governance and stronger economic growth, leadership by Africa, as well as a close partnership with and support from the international community, was needed. The Nordic Prime Ministers committed themselves to assisting Africa to achieve the international Millennium Development Goals.
In particular, the Summit agreed on the need to reform the global political, economic and financial architecture to ensure a more equitable voice for Africa in global decision-making institutions and to make the global institutions more responsive to Africa’s needs. There is a need to reform and streamline the donor recipient relationship and delivery systems on a basis of mutual accountability, as well as to promote Africa as a destination for private sector investment.
In adhering to the commitments and obligations enunciated under this Declaration and the Skagen Declaration, the Summit agreed on a system of mutual accountability and joint monitoring of performance. Such support agreed upon should be concrete, predictable and measureable.
The participants expressed the hope that concerted international efforts, including in the context of the WTO, would lead to increased investment, enhanced market access and stronger economic growth in developing countries, and thus contribute to development and to the reduction of poverty. They also underlined the need for efforts to curb the spread of infectious diseases on the continent, in particular HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria.
They welcomed growing economic and commercial relations between South Africa and the Nordic countries, and noted that there was scope for further growth. They renewed their commitment made in Skagen to collaborate in developing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Africa in order to narrow the digital divide, a goal set out in NEPAD as well. They underlined the key role the private sector plays in ICT development, and agreed to encourage relationships between private business, universities, research institutes and various organisations working in ICT.
The participants welcomed the planned restructuring of the African Union to enable it to meet challenges posed by new global conditions and the imperatives set out in NEPAD.
The participants at the Molde Summit underlined that peace and stable democracy are preconditions for development. Some parts of the African continent have been ravaged by violent conflicts, and there is an urgent need to strengthen mechanisms that will help prevent, manage and resolve violent conflicts in Africa. They welcomed progress made towards resolving conflicts, through efforts of both regional and international partners. This includes progress both in the Arusha Peace Process for Burundi and in the Lusaka Peace Process for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Nordic countries appreciate the important role South Africa is playing in efforts to resolve both these conflicts and to bring peace to the region.
The Nordic countries welcomed and supported the initiative by President Mbeki and by Nigeria’s President Obasanjo to promote inter-party dialogue in Zimbabwe.
South Africa and the Nordic countries expressed their deep concern about the political situation and economic crisis in Zimbabwe. In order to achieve security and stability in the region, the Zimbabwean people are encouraged to work towards reconciliation in order to create conditions for the enhancement of democracy, safeguarding human rights and economic reconstruction, including the alleviation of food shortages for the people of Zimbabwe.
The participants at the Molde Summit agreed on the importance of meeting and informally discussing these issues, and thus expressing their shared aims and objectives. They agreed to meet again at an appropriate time to discuss issues of mutual interest.
Molde, Norway, 12 May 2002”.