South Africa looking forward to WEF outcomes

Image: Wikimedia

Pretoria – Cabinet says it is looking forward to the outcomes of the 22nd World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa, which takes place next month in Ethiopia.

The forum is to be held from 9 to 11 May 2012 under the theme ‘Shaping Africa’s transformation’.

The WEF will focus on three key issues including strengthening leadership and governance, accelerating investment in frontier markets (including agriculture, manufacturing and telecommunications) and innovation in health, entrepreneurship and new media.

Cabinet also noted in a statement on Friday that South Africa will host an Africa, European Union Energy Partnership (AEEP) Forum scheduled for 8 to 10 May 2012.

“South Africa will through this conference contribute to initiatives that are being launched by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to support the concrete action on the initiative,’ said Cabinet.

It further noted South Africa’s commitment to host the Global Diaspora Summit highlighting that preparations are at an advanced stage to host the summit.

“The 18th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of Africa resolved to convene the Global African Diaspora Summit in South African on 25 May 2012, which is Africa Day,” it said.

The main objectives of the summit, which is expected to be attended by 60 Heads of States and Government are:
– To create sustainable partnerships between the African Diaspora and the African Continent through a realisable Programme of Action;
– To create sustainable dialogue partnerships and strengthen Pan-African Solidarity, for a better Africa and its Diaspora; and
– To promote South-South cooperation in the betterment of the African continent and its Diaspora.

Cabinet further approved the mandate for the 11th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP11) to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands taking place in Bucharest, Romania, from 6 to 13 July 2012.

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is an intergovernmental treaty adopted on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar.

“The convention provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. It was developed as a means to call international attention to the rate at which the wetland habitats were disappearing, in part due to lack of understanding of their important functions, values, goods and services,” said Cabinet.

Cabinet noted progress on the preparations for the United Nations conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 20 to 22 June 2012.

Cabinet approved South Africa’s position on:
– The Green Economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication;
– The institutional framework for sustainable development; and
– The sustainable development goals.

The conference marks the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), which took place in Rio de Janeiro, and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), which took place in Johannesburg, South Africa.

It is aimed at securing renewed political commitment to sustainable development, assessing the progress and implementation gaps in meeting already agreed commitments as well as addressing new and emerging challenges.

“South Africa will endeavor to influence the Rio+20 negotiations to ensure that it effectively addresses the constraints and challenges associated with implementation of Sustainable Development,” said Cabinet.

South Africa aims to build on the work done during the WSSD held in this country in 2002.

Source: BuaNews – 4 May 2012