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Official website of the President of Russia


Joint statement on the strategic partnership between the Republic of South Africa and the Russian Federation

July 26, 2018

The Russian Federation and The Republic of South Africa, hereinafter referred to as the Parties,

Based on historic traditions of friendship, mutual respect and constructive cooperation between the peoples of the two States;

Taking into account the documents concluded between the two States, including the Treaty on Friendship and Partnership between the Russian Federation and the Republic of South Africa signed on 5 September 2006 in Cape Town, the Joint Declaration on the Establishment of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the Russian Federation and the Republic of South Africa signed in Durban on 26 March 2013;

Recalling the years of the joint struggle against apartheid;

Pursuing further strengthening of the relations of friendship, cooperation and strategic partnership;

Confirming their commitment to the principles of international law as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, as well as international treaties, which the two countries are parties to;

Guided by the aim to build a safer, just and more democratic international world order that shall be based on mutual understanding and mutually beneficial cooperation as well as reflective of cultural and civilizational diversity of the world,

State as follows:

1. The Parties welcome the continued evolution of the international relationssystem into a more democratic polycentric one, with an increasing role for emerging economies and developing countries. A stumbling block to the establishment of a just world order is attempts by a number of States to use outdated approaches to international relations based on the Cold War logic in order to maintain their dominance, to obtrude their models of development upon other peoples and to unilaterally and heavy-handedly promote their geopolitical interests. This compounds global and regional differences, leaving longstanding regional conflicts unsolved and development unbalanced.

2. The Parties are convinced that there is no alternative to a multilateral approach to the resolution of issues of global and regional concern, and to countering challenges facing the humankind.

3. The Parties confirm their mutual commitment to the establishment of a more just and equitable international order based on a collective approach to the resolution of urgent problems, upholding international law, including the Charter of the United Nations, broad interaction between States on the basis of sovereign equality, territorial integrity, non-interference in the internal affairs of States, the right of peoples to self-determination, and refraining from the threat or use of force. The establishment of such an international relations system must be aimed at consolidating global and regional peace and security, stability and development, with due regard to the interests of all States.

The Parties fully support the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of States and condemned as a violation of this principle any interference by States in the internal affairs of other States with the aim of forging change of legitimate governments. The Parties condemn extraterritorial application of national law by States in contravention of international law as another example of violation of the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of a State.

The Parties share the opinion that the good faith implementation of the generally recognized principles and norms of international law excludes the practice of double standards or the obtrusion of some States' will upon the other States. The Parties consider the imposition of unilateral coercive measures (also known as ”unilateral sanctions“) as an example of such a practice. The imposition of unilateral coercive measures by States in addition to measures adopted by the United Nations Security Council can defeat the objects and purposes of measures imposed by the Security Council, and undermine their integrity and effectiveness.

4. The Parties note that the United Nations is a universal, the most representative and authoritative international intergovernmental organisation that should play a central role in the global system of governance, carry responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and promote joint development as well as equitable international cooperation. The Parties reaffirm the need for a comprehensive reform of the United Nations, including the UN Security Council, with a view to making it more representative, efficient and effective and increasing the representation of the developing world including African countries, so that it can adequately respond to global challenges.

5. The Parties express their satisfaction with the level of coordination between the Russian Federation and the Republic of South Africa at the leading international platforms, including the United Nations, and confirm their readiness to continue with the mutual support during the elections to the international organisations and their executive bodies in the spirit of the Joint Declaration on the Establishment of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the Russian Federation and the Republic of South Africa of 26 March 2013.

The Russian Federation congratulated the Republic of South Africa on its election to the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member for 2019–2020.

The Parties express their mutual readiness to strengthen bilateral coordination and coordination within BRICS on the matters related to international peace and security, where possible, within the framework of various international platforms.

6. The Parties condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations wherever committed and by whomsoever. They urge concerted efforts to counter terrorism under the UN auspices on a firm international legal basis, and expressed their conviction that a comprehensive approach was necessary to ensure effective fight against terrorism. They recall the responsibility of all States to prevent financing of terrorist networks and terrorist actions from their territories. They expressed support to the efforts aimed at strengthening the international legal framework to facilitate multilateral cooperation in order to countering WMD terrorism including through preventing non-state actors from acquiring, proliferating and using nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery.

7. The Parties reaffirm the importance and the strong need for the existing UN Disarmament Machinery, including the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, the Conference on Disarmament (CD) and the UN Disarmament Commission, to function optimally in order to allow the timely elaboration of relevant multilateral agreements aimed at strengthening global governance and contributing to international peace and security.

8. The Parties support efforts aimed at reinforcing the integrity of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction and preventing the politicization of the activities of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The South African side welcomes the Russian Federation’s early completion of destruction of its chemical weapons’ stockpiles, which represents a significant contribution to achieving the goal of creating a chemical-weapon-free world.

9. The Parties express their concern regarding the increasing threat of the weaponisation of outer space, including the emergence of weapons in space, which may lead to a new arms race and thus turning space into an arena of an armed conflict. In the light of current developments, great importance will be attached to the commencement of negotiations on relevant international legal instruments to prevent an arms race in outer space, including on the draft Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force Against Outer Space Objects, prepared by the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China. Pending the conclusion of legally binding agreements in this field, the implementation of specific multilateral practical measures to keep the space free from arms gains particular relevance. In this regard, the South African side emphasised the need to prevent altogether the deployment of any weapons in outer space and noted the commitment made by some States, including the Russian Federation, not to be the first to do so.

10. The Parties recognize the need to strengthen multilateral interaction in the field of international information security, including through developing, within the United Nations framework, a universally recognized norms, rules and principles of responsible conduct of States on the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) with a view to ensuring an ICT environment that is peaceful, safe, open, favourable for cooperation, stable, structured, accessible and equitable. The parties considered as a necessity the adoption by the UN General Assembly of a resolution on norms, rules and principles of the responsible States’ behavior in the information space.

The Parties emphasise the central importance of the principles of international law as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, particularly refraining from the threat or use of force, sovereign equality of States, non-interference in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of States, as well as political independence, territorial integrity and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Parties note the necessity to intensify international cooperation to combat the use of ICT for criminal purposes in all their forms and manifestations, and supported the initiative to develop, under the auspices of the United Nations, a universally binding regulatory instrument to counter the use of ICT for criminal purposes. To launch a political discussion on this issue, the Parties will consider the possibility of a joint BRICS resolution in the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly at its 73rd Session.

The Parties acknowledge the importance to establish a solid framework of cooperation among BRICS member states on ensuring security in the use of ICTs and, in this regard, Russian Federation and South African Republic confirm their intention to worktowards consideration and elaboration of a BRICS intergovernmental agreement on cooperation on this matter.

The Parties underscore their commitment to prioritise engagement on the international information security issues bilaterally, including through legal instruments, and in the United Nations.

The Parties advocate for stronger coordination of their respective priorities in international fora on the issue of Global Internet Governance within the framework of the United Nations.

11. The Parties will continue co-operation in the field of international human rights and humanitarian law. The Parties are convinced that international cooperation in the area of the promotion, protection and fulfilment of all internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms should be based on the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the Declaration of the Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operations amongst States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the 1986 United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development.

12. The Parties state their commitment to the task of creating an open world economy and the intention to promote liberalization and alleviation of the conditions of international trade and investment, taking into account the economic development needs of developing countries. Noting that the WTO is facing severe challenges from unilateralism, both sides agreed to work more closely under the WTO framework to oppose any forms of trade protectionism and unilateralism, uphold the legitimacy and authority of the multilateral trading system and jointly contribute to the building of an open world economy. The Parties express their support for a transparent, non-discriminatory, open and inclusive multilateral trade system with a central role of the World Trade Organization.

13. The Parties underscore the necessity of uniting the efforts of all States towards ensuring inclusive economic growth and sustainable development, including through establishing coordination between national, regional and global projects aimed at promoting wide, open and mutually beneficial cooperation. The Parties confirm their intention to further promote the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and ensure the central role of the United Nations during its implementation process.

14. The Parties welcome progress towards finalizing the implementation of a balanced Paris Agreement Work Programme and express their willingness to continue working constructively with other Parties to conclude its related negotiations at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Katowice, Poland, in December 2018. It is crucial to ensure that developing countries are adequately supported through finance, technology transfer and capacity-building.

15. The Parties are determined to enhance cooperation and collaboration in the field of biodiversity conservation, sustainable use and equitable access and benefit sharing of biological resources,and also undertake to promote cooperation in biodiversity-related international conventions and fora, including on endangered species. In this regard, South Africa offers its full support for the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to be held in Sochi, Russian Federation, from 1–5 October 2018.

16. The Parties welcome the progressive development of co-operation mechanisms in BRICS format, the sustained strengthening of the influence of BRICS on the international political and economic agenda, the significant contribution of the group to stimulating the growth of the world economy, to the improvement of global governance and democratization of international relations. The Parties note with satisfaction the positive results of co-operation within BRICS, including the creation of the Contingent Reserves Arrangement, the successful functioning of the New Development Bank, the launch of its Africa Regional Center in Johannesburg. The Parties are determined to fully promote the practical implementation of the initiatives launched within the Group of five, including the implementation of the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership.

The Parties will work actively within BRICS in the inherent spirit of mutual respect and understanding, equality, solidarity, openness, inclusivity and mutual benefit with the purpose of further development of the strategic partnership and practical cooperation in political, economic and cultural-humanitarian spheres. The Russian side fully supports the work of South Africa’s Chairship in BRICS and highly appreciates efforts undertaken by South Africa to successfully hold the Summit of the State Leaders of the Group on 25–27 July 2018 in Johannesburg. The Parties advocate the deepening of the dialogue between BRICS and Africa, which was launched during the BRICS Durban Summit in 2013.

17. The Parties are in favour of the African States assuming more responsibility for the future of the continent in line with the aspirations of AU’s Agenda 2063. The Parties commend the efforts of African countries, the African Union and sub-regional organizations in addressing regional issues and maintaining regional peace and security, and emphasize the importance of collaboration between the United Nations and the African Union in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. The Parties note the leading and instructive role played by South Africa in formalising AU-UN peace and security cooperation at the institutional level, at the behest of the African Union, as an enabling platform for further advancing cooperation between the AU and the UN to a strategic level.

The Russian side notes the contribution of the Republic of South Africa to the development of regional integration processes, industrialisation in Africa, building the regional organisations’ capacity of responding to crises and peaceful settlement of conflicts. The Russian Federation confirms its commitment to expanding cooperation with the African Union, the Southern African Development Community and other subregional integration organisations on the continent. The Russian side will continue to provide assistance to the African States in the achievement of the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including through the implementation of development assistance projects.

18. The Parties note the successful accomplishment of the tasks in various spheres of interaction, which were identified in the Joint Declaration on the Establishment of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the Russian Federation and the Republic of South Africa signed on 26 March 2013 and state the need to determine further areas of bilateral co-operation.

19. Welcoming comprehensive progressive development of the political dialogue, the Parties emphasise their interest in strengthening inter-parliamentary cooperation amongst the Parliaments of the two countries.

20. The Parties recognize the need to elevate bilateral trade, economic, investment and banking relations to a qualitatively new level, reflective of the strategic partnership of the two countries. Accordingly, they agree to enhance the level of bilateral trade in a way that is supportive of each other’s industrialization and development imperatives. The Parties gave a positive assessment of their developing interaction in the field of automotive and mechanical engineering, geology and exploitation as well as processing of natural resources. They note the importance of the ongoing negotiation process on developing cooperation in the energy sphere, including in the areas oil, gas and electricity power generation. The Parties confirm mutual commitment to enhancing co-operation in shipbuilding, aviation industry, transport, water resources, customs matters, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and other sectors in the framework of the Joint Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation and the Russia – South Africa Business Council.

21. The Parties support the importance of further developing and strengthening of the Antarctic Treaty system and note the special responsibility of Russia and South Africa as the founding members of the Antarctic Treaty of 1959, for ensuring the continued observance of its main goals and principles.

The Parties also express the need to deepen and diversify the existing co-operation between Russia and South Africa in the Southern Polar Region.

22. The Parties agree to continue joint work on strengthening scientific

and technological cooperation, above all in the sphere of information security, space, innovative and high technologies, communication and mass media.

23. The Parties acknowledge the readiness for further development

of interaction in the humanitarian sphere, including the broadening of educational, cultural, youth, sport and tourism exchanges.

24. The Parties recognise the need to increase military-technical and inter-regional cooperation.

25. The Parties acknowledge that the year 2018 marks the Centenary of the birth former President Nelson Mandela, which is a major milestone in his incredible story and an opportunity to reflect and advance the goal of international peace and security, espoused by this great statesman.