G7 Leaders’ summit a success

By – SAnews.gov.za

President Cyril Ramaphosa has concluded his working visit to Canada, where he participated in the G7 Leaders’ Outreach Summit, the Presidency said on Monday.

South Africa’s participation in the two-day session, which was held under the theme ‘Healthy, Productive and Resilient Oceans and Seas, Coasts and Communities’, was at the invitation of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“President Ramaphosa returns to South Africa greatly encouraged by the commitment by global leaders to harness the potential of our oceans for development and the very strong message from the G7 Outreach Summit to place youth and women in particular at the centre of efforts to make inequality history,” the Presidency said.

The President described the summit as a success and stressed the importance of the strong political signal delivered by the G7 Leaders’ Outreach focus on developing and implementing innovative strategies to leapfrog the global effort to address issues facing the world’s oceans, including stressors such as plastic pollution, building the resilience of coasts and communities, improving the protection of the world’s oceans and ensuring sustainable use of marine resources.

President Ramaphosa said it was of paramount importance to strengthen the multilateral approach to managing ocean resources beyond national jurisdiction.

He welcomed the opportunity presented for countries to share their experiences, with South Africa reflecting on its own milestones, successes and challenges in relation to the management of oceans as a resource to drive economic growth.

In this regard, President Ramaphosa shared, amongst others, South Africa’s strategy to research and develop alternatives and substitutes for single-use plastics.

These actions by South Africa are complemented with cooperative strategies to expand marine protected areas, address over-exploitation through illegal, unreported and unregulated fisheries detection and enforcement and supported by an integrated, shared ocean information system as a basis for the sustainable management of the oceans and its users.

“The President is confident that preserving and opening up the ocean economy has a potential to create approximately one million jobs from various activities including shipbuilding, sea transportation, aquaculture and exploration of oil and gas, amongst others,” the Presidency added.

In line with the President’s stated drive to attract investment to grow the economy and create jobs, as well as reduce poverty and inequality, President Ramaphosa had an opportunity to engage with representatives of the business community in Toronto.

He welcomed the interest shown by the global business community in South Africa as an investment destination and lauded the “wonderful exchange of views” in a session he described as oversold.

“The President regards this interest as demonstrating a recognition of South Africa’s new dawn – a period of renewal and rebuilding,” the Presidency said.

On the sidelines of the summit, President Ramaphosa held a number of bilateral engagements with Heads of State and Government from various countries including Norway, France, Germany, Vietnam, Rwanda, Kenya and the host country, Canada.

President Ramaphosa was accompanied by Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa and a business delegation from South Africa.