International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has today, Wednesday, 15 February 2017, arrived in Germany where she will lead the South African delegation to the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, scheduled for 16-17 February 2017 in Bonn.
South Africa is one of the 19 member countries of the Group of 20 (G20) which, in addition to the European Union (EU), the 20th member, have been meeting regularly since 1999 to discuss global economic policy coordination.
The G20, conceptualised to stabilise and strengthen the global economy, brings together the major advanced and emerging market economies, which together represent around 85% of global GDP, 80% of global trade and two-thirds of the world’s population.
Given the increasingly political and foreign policy dimension of these new issues, it is anticipated that Foreign Ministers will play an increasingly more prominent role in the work of the G20.
Germany assumed the Presidency of the G20 in December 2016 and unveiled its overarching theme for its Presidency of “Shaping an Interconnected World” with the sub-themes of “building resilience”, “improving sustainability” and “assuming responsibility”.
The sub-theme of “building resilience” will focus on the world economy, trade and investment, employment, strengthening the international financial architecture, financial markets and international tax cooperation. Under the sub-theme of “improving sustainability” the focus will be on climate and energy, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, digitalisation; global health, seizing the opportunities of digital technology and empowering women. Finally, the sub-theme on “assuming responsibility” will focus on tackling the causes of displacement, the Partnership with Africa, fighting terrorism, anti-corruption, and agriculture and food security.
G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting will convene under the theme, “Shaping the global order – foreign policy beyond crisis management”. In this connection, contemporary and future global security and development issues will be interrogated by the Ministers. The themes to be discussed include, “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, “Maintaining peace in a complex world” and “Cooperation with Africa”.
South Africa’s participation in the G20 is informed by the National Development Plan and the strategic imperative to negotiate the best possible outcomes for South Africa, Africa and the developing world.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of International Relations and Cooperation.
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