Swaziland participates at the United Nations conference on climate change – COP23 held 6 – 17 November 2017, in Bonn, Germany

The annual United Nations Climate Change Conference – named COP 23 this year; was held in Bonn, Germany from the 6th to the 17th of November 2017. His Excellency, the Right Honourable Prime Minister, Dr. Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini, the Head of Government, led the delegation of the Kingdom of Swaziland. He was representing the Head of State, His Majesty King Mswati III who could not attend the event due to national commitments. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Chief Mgwagwa Gamedze, was also part of the high level delegation.

Swaziland’s team of technical officers from the capital was led by the Chief Negotiator and Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Environment, Mr. Emmanuel D. Dlamini. His Excellency, Ambassador Sibusisiwe Mngomezulu led the delegation from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Swaziland to the Kingdom of Belgium; which is based in Brussels.

The COP 23 was characterised by various events including an exhibition; speeches; and a symposium of national statements, among others. His Excellency Dr Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini had the opportunity to address Heads of State and Government, including among others; President Emmanuel Macron of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.

 

National Statement by His Excellency Dr. Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini at the High Level Segment

“President of COP,

Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government,

All Protocol Observed;

 

It is my honour, on behalf of His Majesty, King Mswati III and his Government, and the Swazi nation, to address this esteemed gathering. We thank Fiji and Germany for hosting COP 23.

In terms of COP 23 and beyond, the quality of the Paris Agreement will be determined by what, in material terms emanates from it. That is our challenge. With close to 200 countries signing up to that Treaty, there is clearly the recognition of global warming and the necessity to stop it. Given the number of countries and different topographies, vulnerabilities, economies, cultures and perceptions, securing that consensus was a real achievement.

But to sustain global reassurance, COP 23 has to take us a stage further, and contribute substantially to the requisite framework. The Rulebook must, by 2018, incorporate an agreed set of rules and procedures, articulating how countries should fulfil obligations under the Paris Agreement. That is no mean task. Is there a common sense of urgency to commit? Time will tell. But we do not have time! And we are all aware that we have to set the bar higher – go even faster – than currently envisaged. To what extent is there, among us, an affirmation of that assessment? What degree of change can we count on? These are challenging questions that must be addressed. Our respective peoples are watching and hoping.

Furthermore, if we are truly the partnership that the vision of the Paris Agreement indicates, then we must be accountable to each other. That should include setting appropriate and quantified targets, reporting on progress and explaining any shortfalls, as well as accounting for funds allocated for special needs, such as adaptation, or loss and damage.

The Kingdom of Swaziland is a small, lightly populated country, with a relatively tiny carbon footprint, but we have to play our part in global climate action. We have had the punishing reminder of a very recent and devastating drought. We have the heart, but not the money, for rapid delivery of our Climate Change Action Plan, especially in meeting the front-end cost of renewable energy. We make a passionate appeal for our developing country group to be fully supported in enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthened resilience and reduced vulnerability to climate change. In the meantime we, as a country, as a population, remain fully committed, wherever possible, to adopting climate-respecting practices, such as more sustainable energy use, improved water harvesting and active afforestation. And, as a sovereign state and member of the United Nations, we have a voice, and that voice will get louder as it absorbs the mood of our people becoming increasingly determined to commit by example.

We commend the many resourceful initiatives that are underway across the World, and appeal for all positive contributions to be valued and encouraged, especially those of non-state actors such as our good friend, the Republic of China (Taiwan).

I thank you.”

 

Business Luncheon with Taiwanese Minister

From left to centre; Director General of the Taipei Office in the UK, Edinburg, Consul General Lien; His Excellency Ambassador Jhy-Wey Hsieh, Minister Lee, Prime Minister Dr. Barnabasa Sibusiso Dlamini, Chief Mgwagwa Gamedze and His Excellency Ambassador Sibusisiwe Mngomezulu.

Minister Lee and Prime Minister Dr. Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini.

The Prime Minister also had other engagements on the side-lines of the COP 23. Among these were a business luncheon hosted by the Minister of the Environment Protection Agency, R.O.C. (Taiwan), Minister Ying-yuan Lee, who was accompanied by His Excellency Dr. Jhy-Wey Hsieh, Taiwan Representative to Germany, and the Director General of the Taipei office in Edinburg, General Lien.

His Excellency the Right Honourable Prime Minister was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Chief Mgwagwa Gamedze, His Excellency Ambassador Sibusisiwe Mngomezulu from the Swaziland Embassy in Brussels, and the First Secretary of the Embassy Ms. Xolile Ngwenya.

Discussions included the perils of climate change which is wreaking havoc on developing nations; which often do not have the resources to counter the devastating effects. The increasing World prices of sugar and the limited markets for sugar and sugar products, whose impact has been exacerbated by the BREXIT; were also discussed.

 

Courtesy call to Commonwealth Secretary General

The Prime Minister also had the opportunity to pay a courtesy call to the Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat Ms. Patricia Scott. Primary on the agenda were trade and development, youth and women empowerment as well as diseases that continue to threaten Sub-Sahara Africa, for instance Malaria. The Commonwealth Secretary General commended the appointment of His Majesty King Mswati III as Chairperson of the African Alliance on Malaria and applauded his role in the fight against the disease. She requested that the fight not focus on Malaria only, but also encompass other diseases that are spread by the mosquito, including chikungunya, yellow fever and dengue fever.

Swaziland’s Chief Negotiator appointed Chair to Subsidiary Body for Implementation for developing countries

One of the highlights of the event was the appointment of the Kingdom of Swaziland’s Chief Negotiator and Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Environment, Mr. Emmanual D. Dlamini by the African Group to chair the Subsidiary Body for Implementation, as a representative of all developing countries. This is a big honour in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change processes, and Swaziland applauds this recognition.

His Excellency, Ambassador Sibusisiwe Mngomezulu hands over SADC Brussels Group chairmanship to his counterpart, Ambassador Baso Sangqu of the Republic of South Africa

L-R, H.E Ambassador Baso Sangqu and H.E Ambassador Sibusisiwe Mngomezulu

The Kingdom of Swaziland joined other members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in congratulating the Republic of South African, when His Majesty King Mswati III handed over chairmanship of SADC to His Excellency President Jacob Zuma, at the 37th SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government.

In accordance with normal practice, the chairmanship was handed over at all levels; and in Brussels, His Excellency Ambassador Sibusisiwe Mngomezulu met with the Ambassador for the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Ambassador Baso Sangqu, to hand over the chairmanship of the SADC Brussels Group, as South Africa commences chairmanship of SADC.

The Incoming Chairperson of the SADC Brussels Group, Ambassador Sangqu, expressed appreciation to his counterpart, Ambassador Mngomezulu; for his exemplary leadership and stewardship of the Group during the tenure of Swaziland as Chair of SADC. Their Excellencies acknowledged that some work still needs to be done to enhance regional integration and promote further development in the SADC region. Their Excellencies agreed to utilise the opportunity availed by the roles and responsibilities assigned to the two countries as part of the SADC Troika; to give the support required by the SADC Brussels Group to contribute to the effective implementation of the SADC Treaty, by the SADC Member States.

His Excellency Ambassador Sibusisiwe MNGOMEZULU was today introduced to the ACP Committee of Ambassadors

His Excellency Ambassador Sibusisiwe MNGOMEZULU was today introduced to the ACP Committee of Ambassadors at the ACP House, where he was welcomed by the Chair of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors, HE. Teshome TOGA of Ethiopia and the Secretary General, Dr. Patrick GOMES.

Following a brief introduction of His Excellency by the Chief of Protocol, the Deputy Dean of the Committee of Ambassadors, H.E. Daniel Evina ABE’E of Cameroon, speaking on behalf of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors, welcomed His Excellency and acknowledged with appreciation Ambassador Sibusisiwe MNGOMEZULU’s particular extensive private sector experience, which he stated would add much needed value to the ACP Group going forward, and looked forward to his contribution to the Committee’s work. He also pledged the support of the Group in assisting him carry out his mandate.

 

Three more countries sign Joint Undertaking to foster enabling trade environment amongst ACP states

20160915_swazilandjointundertakingBrussels, 15 September 2016/ ACP: The Kingdom of Swaziland joined the growing number of ACP countries party to the Joint Undertaking on Administrative Cooperation for the Implementation of Cumulation Provisions contained in the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA).

During a special ceremony at the ACP House last week, the Ambassador of Swaziland H. E. Mr. Joel M. Nhleko (pictured Right-seated) signed the agreement, which allows the implementation of cumulation provisions amongst countries that have signed Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) with the EU.

The Joint Undertaking allows cumulation provisions between EPA signatory states and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) of the EU, as well as with other non-signatory ACP countries benefitting from duty-free quota-free access into the EU.

It is expected that the Signing the agreement will establish an enabling environment for trade amongst all the ACP EPA signatory parties.

Swaziland joins Lesotho and Mauritius (which signed with reservations) as the most recent signatories to the agreement, bringing the total number of countries to nine.

The Joint Undertaking will also empower the various customs administrations of the ACP EPA signatory parties and OCTs to interact with one another and put in place systems that would enable them to import materials from one another, do further processing and export the final product to the EU under preferential conditions.

The document may serve as a template for similar agreements to be negotiated on a bilateral basis by ACP countries/regions with certain non-ACP countries.

(Photo: Ambassador of Swaziland H. E. Mr. Joel M. Nhleko signing the Joint Undertaking)

– ACP Press

Presentation of credentials by His Excellency, Ambassador Joel Nhleko to the President of the Republic of Turkey, His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the 7th January 2016 in Ankara, Turkey

His Excellency, Ambassador Joel M. Nhleko presented his letters of Credence to the

President of the Republic of Turkey, His Excellency Recep Tayyip ERDOĞAN on the

7th January 2016 in Ankara, Turkey. The Ambassador was accompanied by Mr. Selim

BORA who is the Kingdom of Swaziland’s Honorary Consul based in Ankara, Turkey.

 

The presentation of Credentials was preceded by meetings with the Chief of State Protocol and Director General, Ambassador Sevki MUTEVELLIOGLU, the Deputy Undersecretary, Ambassador Ali Kemal AYDIN and the Director General for Africa, Ambassador Hulusi KILIC.

During his meeting with the Chief of State Protocol, His Excellency, Joel Nhleko was informed that Turkey is host to a Diplomatic Community of 150 countries, of which 32 are African Embassies and also the fact that Turkey is represented in 39 countries in Africa. His Excellency enquired about the possibility for Turkey to provide assistance in training of diplomats, to which Ambassador MUTEVELLIOGLU responded to the affirmative. He mentioned that each year in June, there is diplomatic training for a month and invited the Kingdom to submit applications for diplomats to attend the training. He further informed His Excellency, Joel NHLEKO that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also offers internships and exchange programmes of two to three months to diplomats which the Kingdom of Swaziland could also take advantage of. Ambassador NHLEKO thanked him for the fruitful deliberations and assured him that the Kingdom of Swaziland would take up the opportunities availed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

His Excellency the Ambassador also held discussions with the Deputy Under Secretary, Ambassador AYDIN where  he informed His Excellency of the vibrant business community of Turkey which is located in Istanbul and also stated that the business community would be willing to identify areas of cooperation with the business community of the Kingdom of Swaziland. Ambassador Nhleko expressed the Kingdom of Swaziland’s interest in cooperating with the Republic of Turkey in the area of energy since Turkey is well known for their expertise in this field and requested for possible assistance. He further enquired on the Development Assistance Programmes that are available in Turkey which could be of great benefit to the Kingdom.

In response, Ambassador AYDIN stated that the Republic of Turkey offers Development Assistance Programmes in the area of Project development to which the Kingdom could be eligible. He added that the Republic of Turkey has an office in the Republic of Namibia which looks at the interests of the SADC region, which the Kingdom of Swaziland is party to. He also welcomed the request for assistance in the energy sector and urged that Swaziland submit a programme of needs where they can be assisted.   He further referred to the TIKA Programme which is the Turkish International Cooperation Development Agency responsible for Development Assistance to developing countries. It focuses on issues of Health, Education, Rural Development (water boreholes amongst others) and urged the Kingdom to submit project proposals for consideration.

His Excellency Ambassador then met with the Director General for Africa, Ambassador Hulusi KILIC. During the discussions, Ambassador KILIC also informed His Excellency about DEIK which is the Foreign Economic Relations Board which helps identify areas of business cooperation and urged the Kingdom to take advantage of these opportunities.

Presentation of Credentials

His Excellency Ambassador Nhleko, presented his Credentials to His Excellency Recep Tayyip ERDOĞAN on the 7th  January 2016. During his presentation, His Excellency conveyed greetings and felicitations from His Majesty King Mswati III, the Indlovukazi and the entire Swazi nation for the overwhelming landslide victory in the Parliamentary elections that were held in November 2015. He further wished him success and pledged the Kingdom of Swaziland’s unwavering support in executing his duties.

The President, expressed his appreciation for the congratulatory message and also for the presentation of Credentials. He pointed out that the Republic of Turkey had expectations that the Kingdom of Swaziland would consider opening up an Embassy in the Republic of Turkey. He further emphasized that Turkey is represented in 39

African countries and would be willing to set up in Swaziland. He further underscored the importance of Africa as a strategic partner which the Republic of Turkey highly appreciates.

In response, His Excellency the Ambassador expressed the Kingdom’s wish and interest in opening an Embassy in the Republic but stated with regret that due to resource challenges, it was difficult. He further acknowledged the great success of the Republic of Turkey in the tourism industry and expressed Swaziland’s keen interest in identifying areas of cooperation especially in the Tourism industry which is very key to the development of the Kingdom. He requested possible assistance in training officers in the Tourism industry to which His Excellency stated that Turkey would be more than willing to assist and also referred to TIKA and DEIK where he said the Kingdom could identify various areas of cooperation and assistance. His Excellency, also mentioned with great appreciation the scholarships that had been awarded to 19 students who are studying in various places in Turkey and thanked the Government of the Republic of Turkey on behalf of the Government of the Swaziland  for such support. The President expressed the country’s willingness to enrol more students in the country.

In his closing remarks, His Excellency the President conveyed his best wishes to His

Majesty King Mswati III, the Indlovukazi and the Swazi nation.

The Netherlands – Swaziland Tourism and Investment seminar held on Thursday, 12th March 2015 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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