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Briefing by Minister Aziz Pahad on current international issues

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, South Africa

7 June 2007

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G8 Africa Outreach and G8 + 5

President Thabo Mbeki on Wednesday, 6 June 2007 departed for Heiligendamm, Germany ahead of the G-8 + 5 Outreach and African Outreach sessions of the G8 Summit scheduled on Friday, 8 June 2007.

President Mbeki, supported by Ministers Dlamini Zuma and Mandisi Mpahlwa, will participate in the G-8 Outreach sessions within the context of South Africa's priority to strengthen relations with to the G8 with a view to consolidation of the African developmental agenda.

The 2007 G8 Heiligendamm Summit will be held under the banner: 'Growth and Responsibility, with a focus on key global challenges: the world economy and Africa's economic, political and social development.

This theme is very important for us because while the latest United Nations (UN) report ahead of the Summit indicates certain progress it does raise concerns that unless the developed countries act decisively the developing countries will not meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

We are happy that for the last few years, South Africa has participated in the G8 meetings is now one of five countries - India, Brazil, South Africa, China and Mexico to form part of the G8's engagement with the South.

President Mbeki has said that, at the Heiligendamm Summit, as was agreed to at the 2006 St Petersburg Summit, the G8 and its development partners must assess the movement in terms of the implementation of the set of agreements reached between the G8 and the African continent and how to increase and expedite the implementation of the 2005 Gleneagles Commitments.

President Mbeki has also expressed confidence that the matter of climate change will be given renewed impetus and support at the 2007 Summit.

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