Africa and South America organize the ASA Summit to be held in Ecuador in 2016

África y Suramérica planifican Cumbre ASA que se efectuará en Ecuador en el 2016

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility, Ricardo Patiño, opened on Monday, September 8 , the First Meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee Group of the Bi- regional Integration Forum South America – Africa (ASA), as the first step towards the IV Summit that will take place in Ecuador in the year 2016.

During his speech, Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño mentioned that during the 18 months before the ASA Summit takes place, there should be a constant work to ensure that this meeting “has an effective, concrete meaning and value for our countries and citizens”.

“So that ASA can progress, we have to work hard, this is not a pretty meeting to raise the glass and toast, it motivates us to work hard to make the relationship between the two regions a useful relationship that allows us to get rid of the shackles and dependencies that we have with northern countries”, said the Minister.

Vista ampliada de Reunión del Grupo Ad Hoc del Foro de Integración Birregional ASAIn addition, the Chancellor said that Ecuador will consider the specific identification areas of collaboration, in order to establish agile and operational mechanisms that allow practical trade for all countries.

“This means, first, that we should cooperate on an equal footing; no dependencies or covert enforcement. Second, assuming that the opportunities for financial cooperation are not comparable to those offered elsewhere in the world. And thirdly, placing at the center of our exchange, accumulated lessons in the transit of the various routes to development which are currently going through most of our countries”, said the Chancellor.

In addition, the country , explained Minister Ricardo Patiño “has proposed to take this event to accelerate this historic partnership between the two regions; to continue opening the path of a common future between our peoples. Therefore , we face the task with great responsibility, but also the humility of those who know that the collective processes require to understand and listen to each other, and see it as an equal one”, he said.

Intervención del Embajador Jean Baptiste Natama, Delegado de la Comisión de la Unión AfricanaFor his part, Ambassador Jean Baptiste Natama, Delegate of the Commission of the African Union, said that the ASA Summit to be held in Ecuador should serve to strengthen the group and make it visible and sustainable over time and provide tangible results which must be visible to the people.

“We emphasize the need to boost activities of several ASA groups and develop proposals to improve the alliance, it is crucial for Africa, especially on how it is changing the continent, which has embarked on a development plan for the following years and works to address issues such as global warming, security and transnational crimes. Our alliance must be effective and must demonstrate its effectiveness in addressing these issues and global challenges, Latin America can give us their input and support on these issues”, said Jean Baptiste Natama.

Ernesto Samper, in his first public speech as Secretary General of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), said that the relationship between the region and Africa must be based on three agendas, “the first has to do with social issues which involves the fight against inequality; second competitiveness, to finally grow; and politics, to find the identity of these two regions”.

“We have to organize our relationships, we cannot continue submitting this kind of strategic alliances only to documents and meetings. We need to prioritize the objectives, and according to UNASUR with these three agendas”, said Samper.

During the Ad Hoc Group Meeting prior to the IV Summit South America – Africa (ASA), which will be held until Tuesday September 9, the transfer of the Secretariat pro tempore of ASA of Equatorial Guinea to Ecuador will also be discussed, the commitments made at the III Malabo Summit 2013 will be evaluated, the Working Groups will be reactivated and a roadmap will be drawn towards the accomplishment of the IV Summit 2016 to be held in Quito.