HAPPY EUROPE DAY 9 MAY

The Diplomatic Informer Magazine Wishes EU peace and unity in the midst of the Covid-19 challenges.

09 May 2021 Celebrating “peace and unity in Europe” this year marks 71ST anniversary of the European Union.

Europe Day is held on 9 May every year to celebrate peace and unity in Europe. The date marks the anniversary of the historic Schuman declaration, which started Europe on the path to today’s European Union. At a speech in Paris in 1950, Robert Schuman, the then French foreign minister, set out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would make war between Europe’s nations unthinkable.

His vision was to create a European institution that would pool and manage coal and steel production. A treaty creating such a body was signed just under a year later. Schuman’s proposal is considered to be the beginning of what is now the European Union.

United in diversity”, the motto of the European Union, first came into use in 2000. It signifies how Europeans have come together, in the form of the EU, to work for peace and prosperity, while at the same time being enriched by the continent’s many different cultures, traditions and languages.

To celebrate Europe Day, the EU institutions traditionally open their doors to the public in early May. Local EU offices in Europe and all over the world organise a variety of activities and events for all ages. Each year thousands of people take part in visits, debates, concerts and other activities to mark the day and raise awareness about the EU.

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, the EU is inviting citizens from across Europe and the world to discover it in a safe and mostly virtual way, with physical or hybrid events and visits taking place where sanitary conditions allow it.

REMEMBERING ALL MOTHER’S, IN THE MIDST OF COVID-19 CHALLENGES & ALL WONDERFUL THINGS THAT MOTHER’S DO. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL MOTHERS!

The Diplomatic Informer Magazine wishes all Mothers a Happy Mother’s Day.

Today, South Africa & Other Countries in the world Celebrates Mothers Day. We appreciate all Mothers and we are grateful for everything Mothers do every day. Mothers thank you for always being there!

Wishing a Happy Mother’s Day To All Mother’s, who have dedicated and continue to dedicate their everyday life to MOTHERHOOD. Our Shero’s, We Salute You & You are All Special.

May your Mother’s Day be filled with much love, joy and happines!!

FLAIR AND PLAYFULNESS CREATE CUISINE PERFECTION TO CELEBRATE JAPANESE CULTURE

MAY 7, 2021 DEBEERNECESSITIES

PICTURES: HENNIE FISHER

When the Japanese Ambassador invites you to lunch and there’s no specific directive, you pay attention. DIANE DE BEER gives you some table talk:

Perfectly placed Japanese sweetness.

As my dealing with the Japanese have been mainly about their beautiful country, where I lost a piece of my heart, and their magnificent cuisine, which I still know very little about but am learning step by step, I was excited.

Instinct told me I should take along my chef friend Hennie Fisher, who shares my obsession with all things food and Japanese – and he takes fantastic pictures.

I was right, and delighted when Ambassador Norio Maruyama received us and we discovered we were the only guests on the day. That meant personal attention and  ̶  we suspected  ̶  a spectacular meal.

We had no idea. I hadn’t met the ambassador before so I didn’t know that he had a specific interest in food, and is also a marvellous storyteller. He told us that he had only arrived a year before Covid and when the pandemic hit these shores, he had to come up with innovative plans.

Dining companions Hennie Fisher, Ambassador Norio Maruyama and Diane de Beer.

He is in the fortunate position of having a fantastic chef, and his wife as his assistant, in his employ. When he was leaving for South Africa, a friend of his suggested he check out a young chef who was in the process of opening his own restaurant in Tokyo. Maruyama persuaded Jun Suzuki and his wife Mutsumi to accompany him to South Africa, and after a few hours in the ambassador’s company, I know his powers of persuasion are impressive.

What he decided was instead of trying to host large functions in these hectic times, he would invite small parties to dine at his home in Waterkloof. He happens to have magnificent views and of course, the secret ingredient, a chef and his partner who are willing and able to play. How clever of him to allow these young ones to experiment with their country’s cuisine with such spectacular results.

Cold brewed green tea.

Maruyama explains that because of their relatively new emperor (since 2019), the current theme of the country is beautiful harmony. And as ambassadors do, he has decided with these meals to incorporate it in a way that honours both Japan and South Africa – hence the harmony between the different cuisines.

What that means is that while there is a strong Japanese influence and theme running through the menu, it is combined with food flavours and dishes we’re familiar with. This was a tasting menu with the added flourish of a green tea pairing. A silky smooth Sake, and a couple of South African wines, also with a particular story, were included.

Rounded mountain the Japanese way

Even my wine connoisseur had not hear of the Stark-Condé winery and the first wine offered, Round Mountain (a sauvignon blanc) is actually the translation of Ambassador Maruyama’s surname. “The owner’s grandmother was Japanese and the wine was named in honour of her surname!”. This was followed by their rich cabarnet sauvignon, which was as impressive, but the focus of the day was the green teas, which were all cold brewed, a method which originated in Japan.

Just like the superior sake we were served as an aperitif, we have all had our own versions of green tea, but nothing to compare with what the Japanese themselves serve you. Each one is carefully selected to go with each particular tasting. It added to the overall taste as well as intrigue of the masterful menu.

I can’t think of many things I enjoy more than being served the food of a particular country by someone who is a specialist and then to have an expert explain everything you’re savouring from beginning to end. That’s soul food for me and the best way to get to know a particular country’s cuisine!

One bite Kobucha.Reiwa Monaka in macaron style with perfect Japanese detail.Salmon mi-cuit with Yuzu.

They started us off with something they named One Bite Happiness of which there were two sample tastes. The first was the Reiwa Monaka, a rice wafer that appears cheekily more like a French macaron filled with duck rillettes and topped with a Japanese spice called kuroschichimi. Paired with a one-bite Kobucha, a green tea beverage using dried seaweed and coagulated with a seaweed-based ingredient. In different fashion, both captured the essence of Japan in the fine detail and the delicate taste.

This was followed by something more familiar, or so we thought, but the Salmon mi-cuit, Yuzu (Japanese citrus best described as tart and fragrant) flavoured, is an extremely slow- and low-cooked salmon. It was melt-in-the-mouth.

This was followed by a green salad with Hoozuki  ̶  Cape gooseberrie, which the ambassador explained, are regarded as a fruit in South Africa, and a vegetable back home in Japan. The compromise in the salad was perfect and pretty.

Green salad with Hoozuki (Cape Gooseberry)Beef fillet with Kyoto miso.

The meat of choice was a beef fillet with Kyoto miso (soy bean paste) with the meat thoroughly cooked first, then roasted topped with miso and roasted again together with leeks. Stone-milled sansho (a citrusy Japanese pepper) is sprinkled carefully as a final touch. It had a spectacularly robust Japanese flavour because of the flavouring.

Perfection in plating.Pasta Japanese style.

To complete the main tasting, there was a Japanese-style pasta combined with fermented tuna and seasoned with Ume (Japanese plum), dried fish flakes and finished off with nori, all sparingly and subtly done and served in a spectacular dish. It’s all about the flavours, which make this Italian staple their own.

A Yamogi chiffon cake with Anko.

The sweet piece de resistance is a Yamogi (Japanese herb) chiffon cake accompanied by Anko (sweet bean paste). Light and airy as they are traditionally, yet in colour and taste, quite unique. The sensational tasting concluded as it started with two small bites in perfect harmony with a walnut mochi (tapioca) and a matcha coated cashew nut, so perfectly served as if offered to a fairy queen.

It was simply extraordinary and just the most exquisite meal to have in a mid-week breakaway lunch. And apart from the food, the plating and the presentation was  breathtaking.

Meeting the kitchen artists, dressed in kitchen couture perfectly suited for what I imagine a Japanese kitchen would need, was wonderful. We didn’t expect them to be quite so young, but in reflection, I thought the meal showcased exactly that.

The stylish couple Chef Jun Suzuki and his wife Mutsumi

The thing about young creatives in any artistic endeavour is that they show respect for what has come before and they honour it, but they also play around to reinvent in a manner that shows their personality and reflects the times – and that’s what keeps us interested.

UKRAINE EMBASSY IN PRETORIA, TODAY, 8 MAY 2021 ORGANISED AN EVENT AT THE FREEDOM PARK IN HONOR OF THOSE WHO LOST THEIR LIVES DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR

“Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation” Since 2015 Ukraine designated May 8 as a day of remembrance and reconciliation. The Embassy of Ukraine in Pretoria, South Africa organized an event to honor the victims of World War II, at the Freedom Park in Pretoria.

The Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War (May 8th) is an annual international day of remembrance designated by Resolution 59/26[1] of the United Nations General Assembly on November 22, 2004. The resolution urges ‘Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, non-governmental organizations and individuals’ to pay tribute to the victims of World War II.

May 8, is the anniversary of the date when the World War II Allies accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany and the end of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich. World War II began in 1939 and ended in 1945. Nearly all nations at the time were divided into two warring factions, the Allies and the Axis. Allies included United Kingdom, U.S.S.R, the United States and others. The Axis included several nations including Germany, Italy, and Japan. It was fought in Europe, in Russia, North Africa and in Asia.

Honoring the victims of World War II, in her remarks the Ambassador of Ukraine Ms. Liubov Abravitova said “Ukraine joins the international community in solemn commemoration for the millions of victims, the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for a free world. In Ukraine alone, over 8 million lives were lost, over 2 million people were forcibly deported.
Today we pay tribute to millions of Ukrainian men and women who bravely fought in the World War II, among them over 250 000 Ukrainians who served in Polish, French, British, US and Canadian armed forces. We owe them an eternal debt that can never be repaid. A minute of silence was observed.

The event was attended by their Excellencies Ambassador and High Commissioners, of the Embassies of Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Japan, the United States, Canada, together with the Defence and Military Attaches of the Embassies as well as representatives of the South African National Defence Forces and veterans’ organizations.

After the speeches of the CEO of the Freedom Park Museum Ms. Jane Mufamadi, the Ambassador of Ukraine Ms. Liubov Abravitova, Ambassador of Germany Dr. Martin Schafer, Ambassador of Georgia Mr. Beka Dvali, Ambassador of Japan Mr. Norio Maruyama and the Representative of SANDF, Brigadier General T.P. Motaung, wreaths were laid.

The Ukraine Embassy thanked the Freedom Park and all the guests for attending the event.

By: The Diplomatic Informer Magazine SA
Images: Calvin Modirapula

QUEEN MANTFOMBI DLAMINI ZULU HAS RECOMMENDED THAT HER ELDEST SON, PRINCE MISUZUZLU ZULU, BE THE NEXT KING OF THE ZULU NATION

In her last will and testament, Queen Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu has recommended that her eldest son, Prince Misuzulu Zulu be appointed as the next King of the Zulu nation.

The late regent’s will was read out on Friday evening after her memorial service.

Prince Misuzulu Zulu, the eldest son of South Africa’s late Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithini and his recently departed regent queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu, has been named the new monarch of the Zulu nation.

King Zwelithini passed away in March this year after half a century on the throne following a battle with an illness. His wife died in April, weeks after she was named interim successor to her husband.

Prince Misuzulu Zulu, whose name means “strengthening the Zulus”, was named heir in the last will of his deceased mother and queen, Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu.

President Cyril Ramaphosa welcomes the support of the United States’ Biden-Harris Administration for a temporary and targeted waiver of intellectual property protections that apply to COVID-19 vaccines.

The United States government announced on Wednesday, 5 May 2021, that the COVID-19 pandemic was a global health crisis which called for extraordinary measures.

The United States said it believed strongly in intellectual property protections. However, in service of ending the pandemic, it would at forthcoming negotiations of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) support the waiver of those protections for COVID-19 vaccines.

President Ramaphosa welcomes the position adopted by the United States as an important reinforcement of a campaign led by South Africa and India on behalf of emerging economies that face vaccine shortages and production challenges.

The anticipated temporary waiver provides a global response to COVID-19. The proposal establishes a global solution to enhance manufacturing and boost supply capacity, and enables coordination and access to information currently under patent protection.

For countries that do not currently have manufacturing capacity on certain medical technologies, the waiver could open up more supply options and avoid countries being reliant on only one or two suppliers. Where supply-capacity currently exists, it can be repurposed to COVID-vaccine production and in this way improve the supply available to all nations.

Read more: https://www.gov.za/speeches/president-cyril-ramaphosa-welcomes-us-decision-formally-back-vaccine-ip-rights-waiver-6-may

PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA JOINS THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSLIM COMMUNITY FOR AN EVENING OF IFTAAR

President Cyril Ramaphosa joins the South African Muslim community for an evening of Iftaar, engaging with the Athlone Parliamentary Constituency Office in the Western Cape under the theme “We Shall Overcome COVID19: Giving Thanks, Celebrating our Courage & Unity” The President was then invited to share in the breaking of the fast this evening.

In his Remarks at the Iftaar dinner of The Greater Athlone parliamentary constituency office President Cyril Ramaphosa said”
It was a great honour to have been invited to share in the breaking of the fast this evening.

Thank you to the organisers who have prepared such a splendid iftaar dinner for us.
Ramadan is a sacred month with deep spiritual significance for our Muslim community and for the more than 1.5 billion Muslims around the world.

It is a month of prayer, discipline and sacrifice, when Muslims affirm and renew their commitment to their faith.

But it is also a month of solidarity, charity and empathy with those less fortunate.

This is my second iftaar here in Cape Town.

And as it was the first time, I feel deeply enriched both spiritually and mentally by my engagement with members of the community this evening.

I am also particularly glad to be here in Athlone, and in a community that has played such an significant role in our history.

During our struggle for liberation, Athlone was an important site of resistance politics, particularly among the student and civic movements.

Athlone was an active centre for the United Democratic Front and many of our leaders from the Muslim community were in its structures.

We know that this community paid a heavy price for its resistance, but, despite this, stood firm.

Islam has a rich and proud history in South Africa.

Acknowledging this contribution is key to having an inclusive history.

Our children must be taught about the bravery and heroism of all our communities and their leaders.

It gives a sense of belonging.

It reminds us that just as we struggled together and all shared in the victory over apartheid, we must also overcome today’s challenges together.

Our history affirms the integral place of Muslims, and indeed of all faith communities, in the rich cultural tapestry that makes South Africa the great country that it is.

It is a country of religious freedom, of cultural diversity, and, above all, a country that belongs to all who live in it.

Our history affirms the struggles of this community against intolerance of centuries-old traditions; against disrespect for customs; and against the onslaught of crime and disorder.

I remember how deeply touched I was by an image I saw of demonstrators outside Claremont Main Road Mosque at the height of the global Black Lives Matter protests.

They were holding placards reading ‘Bonteheuwel Lives Matter’, ‘Valhalla Park Lives Matter’, and ‘Cape Flats Lives Matter’.

They matter a great deal. Every single life affected by the many scourges that continue to plague our communities, matters.

It was the Prophet Muhammad, Peace be upon Him, who said: “No one of you is a true believer until he desires for his brother and sister what he desires for himself.”

Caring for the needy and showing empathy with one’s fellow man and woman are important tenets of Islam.

The Muslim community in South Africa is known for its contribution to community upliftment, to helping the poor, and for working to overcome poverty, inequality and under-development.

This is a tradition of charity that has been maintained regardless of the faith or non-faith of those in need.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live.

At a time when there was so much fear and uncertainty, the Muslim community, working with other faith communities, joined hands with us as government.

I want to salute the leaders who played such a pivotal role in mobilising communities, in raising awareness around the regulations, and in providing much needed moral support.

I want to thank our religious leaders who put health and safety first and made the extremely difficult decision to keep places of worship closed during the early days of the lockdown, and to comply with regulations in subsequent months.

I want to salute the ordinary men, women and children from this community whose actions brought comfort to those who needed it most.

I speak of the many soup kitchens opened, the food parcels distributed, and the water provided to destitute communities.

But I also speak of the community members who gathered outside hospitals in the city to offer prayers and songs of support to the patients inside.

And of the religious scholars who have been holding open-air devotional prayers in crime-affected areas in Cape Town to try to bring peace.

We know as the South African people that the spirit of selflessness and service is not confined to Ramadan, it is a defining feature of this community, for which we are eternally grateful.

Brothers and Sisters,

A time will come when COVID-19 has passed, and we will be able to return to our lives.

But we know the many ills that preceded the pandemic remain.

We have a monumental task to rebuild our country, and at the same time deal with the enduring legacy of our past.

We have to advance the cause of social justice, because the injustices of our past continue to be felt daily in the lives of our people, including in the Muslim community.

Ramadan is a time in which Muslims engage in the higher matters of the spirit. But it is also a time of cooperation, solidarity and unity.

This is a country that has been bestowed with much, and her greatest asset is her people.

The apartheid regime sought to make us enemies of each other, of African against coloured, of coloured against Indian, and of black against black.

Years later, we still have to contend with those who seek to pit us against each other and sow divisions.

But we were brought together by democracy, and we still stand together.

As this sacred month draws to a close, I want to call on the Muslim community to join hands with us in the national recovery and reconstruction effort.

I call on our community and its leaders to continue to be part of the moral regeneration of our society so we can free ourselves from of vice, from crime, from violence, from corruption, and from ignorance and discrimination.

We must continue to be champions of gender justice and inclusion of women in our communities in everything we do.

We must take a firm stand against all forms of gender-based violence and gender discrimination; we must stand firmly for justice, even if it is against our parents, our relatives, or our very selves.

In just five months from now, we will hold our sixth local government elections.

The vote is the most potent weapon in the hands of all who aspire to a better society that is more compassionate, that is kinder to the suffering and the needy, that is more equal, and that respects the fundamental rights and freedoms of all.

It is a society that the illustrious anti-apartheid leaders from the Muslim community fought for, and it is our responsibility to uphold this legacy.

We are one nation that is united in its diversity.

We can only build South Africa if we each play our part.

Not as Muslim people or as Christian people. Not as any other grouping, but just as South Africans who love this country.

May the cherished values of peace, charity and solidarity that characterise Ramadan continue to prevail, and is spread around.

Just as the kramats in the mountains and hills form a protective ring around the city and its people, let us hold firmly to the rope of unity, for it is our strongest shield.

Let us keep our eyes fixed on the common goal of a better South Africa and a better life for all.

Shukran. I thank you.

South Africa and the UK holds a Joint Ministerial Commission in the UK

06 May 2021

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, Dr Naledi Pandor and the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs of United Kingdom (UK), Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP, co-Chaired the 12th Session of the Joint Ministerial Commission on 6 May 2021 in the UK.

South Africa and the UK are strategic partners with a broad and vibrant relationship, led by a commitment to liberal values, democracy and the rule of law.

The two countries share a wide array of mutual interests and continue to deepen collaboration to jointly tackle today’s global challenges.

The UK and South Africa have both contributed significantly to the global COVID-19 response since the pandemic’s outbreak.

The two Ministers discussed their shared concern for global health security, in particular vaccine access for all.

The two countries agreed to continue the collaboration, including on genomic sequencing. Ministers also committed to working together through the G7 and G20 to strengthen the global international health system.

South Africa and the UK are alive to the importance of increased vaccine manufacturing capability, including in Africa, and agreed to work together on this priority.
Ministers committed to further develop UK-South Africa science and innovation partnerships, in support of both countries’ economic recovery from COVID-19.

The trade and investment relationship between the UK and South Africa is valued at £8.0 billion per annum. Ministers discussed the opportunity the UK-Southern African Customs Union + Mozambique Economic Partnership Agreement holds to grow this and agreed on a set of actions to capitalise on the freedoms provided by the new bilateral free trade agreement.

They welcomed the establishment of a new UK-South Africa Investment Taskforce that would support the expansion of existing investment and the entry of new UK investors into South Africa.

In light of the UK’s COP26 Presidency during 2021, climate – in particular the transition to a lower-carbon economy – formed a significant part of discussions. The UK noted that it has contributed over £220m in multilateral funding since 2015 and has added £3.5m bilaterally in support of this transition.

The Ministers also discussed their support for rules-based multilateralism and actions that could be taken in support of regional peace, stability and good governance.

The Foreign Ministers agreed that the implementation of the commitments secured through the Joint Commission would be overseen by Deputy Minister Alvin Botes and the UK’s Minister for Africa, James Duddridge MP.

Upon the meeting’s conclusion, the Ministers reaffirmed the bonds of friendship and solidarity that exist between South Africa and the UK and looked forward to the next meeting of the Bilateral Forum to be hosted by South Africa.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

MAY 5TH WORLD DAY OF PORTUGUESE LANGUAGE, THE MOST SPOKEN LANGUAGE IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE AND THE 9TH IN THE WORLD

EMBASSY OF BRAZIL IN PRETORIA

May 5th isWorld Day of the Portuguese Language. Created in 2009 by the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP – Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa CPLP), the date was also adopted by UNESCO in 2019, in recognition of the importance of our language.

Portuguese is the most spoken language in the Southern Hemisphere and the 9th in the world. There are 274 million speakers in 9 countries and on 4 continents: Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe, and East Timor.

Ministério das Relações Exteriores actively promotes the Portuguese language, one of the greatest expressions of our national culture and history. Besides the Brazilian representation at CPLP, the Brazilian Cultural Network (Portal dos CCBs e Leitorados Brasileiros) has 24 Cultural Centers and more than 9,500 students enrolled.