Sun, 17 Nov 2019

DUBLIN, Ireland - The inaugural Ministerial meeting of the South Africa-Ireland Joint Commission for Cooperation took place in Dublin on Tuesday.

Ireland's Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciarn Cannon hosted the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa Alvin Botes, at the meeting.

The conference had a focus on co-operation in agriculture, culture, energy, education, migration, science, tourism and trade. Not on the agenda but no doubt discussed was rugby, with Minister Cannon passing on Ireland's congratulations to South Africa on winning the Rugby World Cup (for a third time).

"Our discussions today reaffirmed the warm and strengthening relationship between Ireland and South Africa. We had an excellent exchange on African and EU issues. We agreed on the importance of multilateralism, the international rule of law, and the promotion and protection of human rights, where Ireland and South Africa have a strong history of cooperation on the international stage," Cannon said after the historic meeting.

"I congratulated Minister Botes on South Africa's tenure on the UN Security Council, and in particular its successful chairing of the Council last month".

During Tuesday's meeting, the Irish minister discussed with Minister Botes key developments in Europe and Africa, while representatives of government ministries from both countries reported significant progress on agreed areas of bilateral cooperation, including agriculture, education, science, technology and trade.

The meeting recalled the successful celebration of 25 years of diplomatic relations in 2018, during which a range of commemorative events were held celebrating the historic links and strong modern relationship between Ireland and South Africa.

The Joint Commission was established with the aim of deepening the commitment of Ireland and South Africa to strong bilateral cooperation across a range political, economic and social development issues, through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in 2017.

This high level Joint Commission meets every second year.

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