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Argentina – South Africa Bilateral Meeting on Oceanic and Antarctic Affairs

13 April 2018

Argentina and South Africa carried out a Bilateral Meeting on Oceanic and Antarctic Affairs, in a three days meeting carried out in Cape Town and Pretoria. The first step was a two days technical meeting in Cape Town (April 4/5), where specialists from the Department of Environmental Affairs welcomed the Argentine experts. The meeting was chaired by Judy Beaumont, Deputy Director General, Oceans and Coasts Branch, Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).

Photo: (l-r) Emiliano Ezcurra (Vice-President, National Parks Administration), Advocate Thembile Joyini (Principal State Law Advisor: International Law, DIRCO); Josefina Bunge (Office of the Legal Council, Argentine MFA); Silvia Cao (Chief of Staff, Undersecretary for the Malvinas Islands, Antarctica and South Atlantic Ocean, MFA); Amb. Figueroa; Simon Cardy (Director: Climate Change, Environment, Science and Technology, DIRCO); Ms Hester Pretorius (Deputy Director: Marine and Antarctica, DIRCO); Frida Armas Pfirter (Directorate for the Continental Shelf, MFA); Romi Brammer (State Law Advisor: IL, DIRCO)

Front: Bárbara Aubert Casas (Technical Cooperation, Embassy of Argentina)

From the South African side, there were several experts from the Oceans and Coasts Branch of the DEA, such as Alan Boyd, Herman Oosthuizen, Robert Crawford, Mbulelo Dopolo, Mduduzi Seakamela and Azwianewi Makhado. Ntsiki Van Averbeke, General Manager of the Petroleum Agency South Africa was also present.

On the Argentine side, participants included experts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship, including Silvia Cao (Chief of Staff, Undersecretariat for the Malvinas Islands, Antarctica and South Atlantic Ocean), Frida Armas  Pfirter, Josefiuna Bunge and Bárbara Aubert Casas, along with the Vice President of the National Parks Administration, Emiliano Ezcurra.

After opening statements from Ms Judy Beaumont and Ms Silvia Cao, experts from both countries took the floor in order to convey remarks regarding their areas of expertise. Thus, Antarctic affairs, continental shelf, synergies between Blue Pampa Initiative and Operation Phakisa, marine protected areas, and the protection of certain emblematic species (cetaceans and seabirds), were discussed.

After the technical presentations, and an on-site visit to the SA Agulhas II, the Delegations reconvened and discussed the way forward. In this regard, specific research areas or cooperation projects to be implemented during 2018 were identified. These priority projects relate to cetaceans, continental shelf and marine protected areas.

The last day of the meeting took place in the offices of the Department of International Relations & Cooperation (DIRCO). The Argentine Delegation was joined by Ambassador Javier Figueroa, while DIRCO was represented by Mr Simon Cardy (Director: Climate Change, Environment, Science and Technology), Ms Hester Pretorius (Deputy Director: Marine and Antarctica), Ms Khabiso Bengu (Assistant Director: Marine and Antarctica), Mr Martin Malan, Deputy Director Argentina Chile Paraguay and Uruguay, Ms Sandea de Wet (Chief State Law Adviser: International Law), Advocate Thembile Joyini (Principal State Law Advisor: International Law) and Ms Romi Brammer (State Law Advisor: IL).

Following the introductory remarks by Mr Cardy and Ambassador Figueroa, the Delegations discussed several issues considered crucial for strengthening bilateral relations between both countries. Indeed, a fruitful dialogue was established regarding the work of International Whaling Commission, the Antarctic Treaty System and the International Seabed Authority. Certain legal issues of importance to both countries were also brought to the table, such as Continental Shelf, Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction, Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment and other issues of mutual interest in the international arena.

After three days of extensive work, both countries agreed on continuing to strengthen their bilateral relation, finding areas of common interest in which to work together.

Embassy of Argentina in Pretoria, South Africa



January/February 2020










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