Status on the Countries with which South Africa has formalised Bilateral Commissions and/or Arrangements

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION NO: PQ616

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 16 OF 9 JUNE 2006

MR LB LABUSCHAGNE (DA) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

(1) (a) With which countries does South Africa have formalised bilateral commissions and/or arrangements,
(b) when were they established and
(c what is the frequency of the meetings of each commission or arrangement:

(2) whether the schedule of meetings is adhered to: if not,
(a) why not and
(b) which countries in respect of which meetings are behind schedule? N766E

REPLY:

1 (a) Australia (Joint Commission); India (Joint Ministerial Commission); Indonesia (Joint Commission): Iran (Joint Commission); Japan (Partnership Forum); Malaysia (Joint Commission); New Zealand (Senior Officials Meeting); Pakistan (Joint Commission); People's Republic of China (Bi-National Commission): Republic of Korea (Policy Consultative Meeting); Saudi Arabia (Joint Commission); Sri Lanka (Partnership Forum); Taiwan Dialogue Forum); Vietnam (Senior Officials Meeting); Angola (Joint Commission of Cooperation); Algeria (Bi-National Commission); Botswana (Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation); Burundi (Technical Task Team); Central African Republic (Joint Committee); Chad (Joint Commission of Cooperation); Congo Rep. of (Joint Cooperation Commission); DRC (Bi-National Commission); Egypt (Joint Bilateral Commission); Equatorial Guinea (Joint Bi-National Commission); Ethiopia (Joint Ministerial Commission); Gabon (Joint Cooperation Commission); Ghana (Joint Commission of Cooperation); Guinea Rep. of (Joint Cooperation Commission); Lesotho (Joint Bilateral Commission for Cooperation); Libya (Joint Bilateral Commission); Mali (Joint Commission of Cooperation); Morocco (Joint Bilateral Commission); Mozambique (Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation); Namibia (Joint Commission); Nigeria (Bi-National Commission); Rwanda (Joint Commission of Cooperation); Senegal (Joint Commission on Bilateral Co-operation); Sudan (Joint Bilateral Commission); Swaziland (Joint Bilateral Commission for Cooperation); Zambia (Joint Permanent Commission for Economic, Social, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation); Zimbabwe (Joint Commission for Economic, Social, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Co-operation); Germany (Binational Commission); Switzerland (Working Group); Sweden (Binational Commission); Finland (Bilateral Consultations); Cuba (Joint Bilateral Commission); Cuba (Consultative Mechanism); Bahamas (Joint Bilateral Commission); Chile (Joint Consultative Mechanism); Argentine (Joint Binational Commission); Brazil (Joint Commission); Russia (ITEC); Bulgaria (Political Consultations); Croatia (Declaration of Intent on Co-operation); Czech Republic (Political Dialogue); Hungary (Political Consultations); Poland (Political Consultations); Netherlands (Joint Commission); Belgium (Joint Commission); European Union (Joint Co-operation Council); Canada (Annual Consultations); France (Annual Consultations); France (Joint Commission); United Kingdom (Bilateral Forum); Ireland (Partnership Forum); Italy (Bilateral Consultations); Spain (Annual Political Consultations); Portugal (Regular Ministerial Consultations).

(b) Australia (9 July 1997); India (25 January 1995); Indonesia (23 March 2004); Iran (15 August 1995); Japan (9 April 1998); Malaysia (2 September 2003); New Zealand (28 October 2004); Pakistan (9 March 1999); People's Republic of China (10 December 2001); Republic of Korea (12 April 1997); Saudi Arabia (20 May 1999); Sri Lanka (1 December 2003); Taiwan (12 June 2005); Vietnam (24 November 2004); Angola (November 2000); Algeria (April 1998); Botswana (March 2003); Burundi (General cooperation arrangements); Central African Republic (April 2006); Chad (December 2004); Congo Rep. of (November 2003); DRC (August 2004); Egypt (March 1995); Equatorial Guinea (December 2003); Ethiopia (March 2004); Gabon (November 2003); Ghana (November 2004); Guinea Rep. of (December 2005); Lesotho (April 2001); Libya (June 2002); Mali (December 2000); Morocco (February 1996); Mozambique (June 1994); Namibia (June 1997); Nigeria (October 1999); Rwanda (June 2001); Senegal (November 2004); Sudan (May 2006); Swaziland (December 2004); Tunisia (April 2005); Zambia (October 2005); Zimbabwe (October 1996); Germany (7 November 1996); Switzerland (3 August 1998); Sweden (4 September 2000); Finland (12 November 2001); Cuba (5 February 2001); Cuba (18 March 2003); Bahamas (11 August 2005); Chile (12 November 1998); Argentine (18 September 2005); Brazil (13 December 2000); Russia (28 April 1999); Bulgaria (5 June 1995); Croatia (28 April 2002); Czech Republic (18 July 2000); Hungary (21 January 2000); Poland (19 September 1995); Netherlands (11 October 2005); Belgium (November 2004); European Union (2000); Canada (1 November 2003); France (October 1997); France (4 November 1994); United Kingdom (25 November 1997); Ireland (April 2004); Italy (January 2003); Spain (2004); Portugal (22 November 2002).

(c)Australia (no fixed frequency): India (annually); Indonesia (annually); Iran (annually) Japan (annually); Malaysia (Annually); New Zealand (annually); Pakistan (annually); People's Republic of China (every two years); Republic of Korea (annually); Saudi Arabia (no fixed frequency); Sri Lanka (annually); Taiwan (annually); Vietnam (Every two years); Angola (every two years); Algeria (Annually); Botswana (March 2003); Burundi (ad hoc); Central African Republic (every two years); Chad (every two years); Congo Rep. of (every two years); DRC (Annually, with quarterly reviews); Egypt (Annually); Equatorial Guinea (every two years); Ethiopia (every two years); Gabon (every two years); Ghana (Annually); Guinea (Annually); Lesotho (Quarterly); Libya (Annually); Mali (every two years); Morocco (every two years); Mozambique (every two years); Namibia (ad hoc); Nigeria (Annually); Rwanda (Annually); Senegal (Annually); Sudan (every two years); Swaziland (every two years); Tunisia (every two years); Zambia (every two years); Zimbabwe (every two years); Germany (every two years); Switzerland (annually); Sweden (every two years); Finland (every two years); Cuba (every two years); Cuba (every two years); Bahamas (every two years); Chile (no frequency stipulated); Argentine (annually); Brazil (annually - by mutual agreement); Russia (annually); Bulgaria (annually); Croatia (no fixed frequency); Czech Republic (no fixed frequency); Hungary (no fixed frequency); Poland (no fixed frequency); Netherlands (every two years); Belgium (annually); European Union (annually); Canada (annually); France (annually); France (bi-annually); United Kingdom (annually); Ireland (annually); Italy (annually); Spain (annually); Portugal (annually).

2. (a) and (b) Australia (on schedule next meeting in Oct 2006); India (the schedule is not quite adhered to due to difficulty to find mutually acceptable dates for both Foreign Ministers - However, meetings have taken place regularly within a maximum of 18 months); Indonesia (The first session had to be postponed due to the Asia/Africa Summit that took place in Bandung, Indonesia in April 2005 - discussion under way to establish mutually accepted date); Iran (on schedule - discussion under way to establish mutually accepted date); Japan (on schedule - next meeting scheduled for August 2006); Malaysia (on schedule - the first meeting took place in June 2005); New Zealand (on schedule - next meeting to take place in October 2006); Pakistan (no meeting has taken place since 1999 due to sanctions imposed by the Commonwealth - since lifting of the sanctions in 2004, the first meeting was scheduled for November 2005 - was then postponed due to the earthquake in Pakistan in November 2005 - discussion under way to establish mutually accepted date); People's Republic of China (on schedule - however meeting planned for 2006 to be rescheduled to early 2007 due to the Sino/Africa Summit in November 2006); Republic of Korea (on schedule - next meeting scheduled for November 2006); Saudi Arabia (meetings only take place when there is a need for consultation - last meeting was in March 2006); Sri Lanka (first meeting took place in October 2005 - next meeting scheduled for November 2006); Taiwan (on schedule - next meeting scheduled for November 2006); Vietnam (no meeting took place due to difficulty to find mutually acceptable dates - currently under discussion for second half of 2006); Angola (no, unable to ensure agreement on dates between programmes of chairpersons); Algeria (yes); Botswana (yes); Burundi (yes); Central African Republic (Agreement not yet implemented); Chad (Agreement not yet implemented); Congo Rep. of (recently inaugurated, session planned for 2006); DRC (yes); Egypt (No, unable to ensure agreement on dates between programmes of chairpersons); Equatorial Guinea (still to be launched); Ethiopia (to be launched in 2006); Gabon (not launched, meeting to be held in 2006); Ghana (Agreement not yet implemented); Guinea Rep. of (Not launched yet); Lesotho (yes); Libya (yes); Mali (no, unable to ensure agreement on dates between programmes of chairpersons); Morocco (No, unable to secure agreement on dates); Mozambique (yes); Namibia (yes); Nigeria (yes); Rwanda (yes, however latest meeting was postponed at request of Rwanda - new dates sought for 2006); Senegal (No, unable to ensure agreement on dates between programmes of chairpersons); Sudan (pattern of meetings scheduled to begin from 2007); Swaziland (meetings delayed owing to appointment of new Swazi Minister of Foreign Affairs, as meetings can only convene once the two Foreign Ministers have formally met); Tunisia (yes); Zambia (No, unable to ensure agreement on dates between programmes of chairpersons); Zimbabwe ((No, unable to ensure agreement on dates between programmes of chairpersons); Germany (Overdue, due to elections in Germany in October 2005, next meeting scheduled for 23 - 24 October 2006); Switzerland (On schedule, next meeting scheduled for November 2006); Sweden (On schedule, next meeting scheduled for last quarter of 2007); Finland (On schedule, next meeting scheduled for June 2007); Cuba (On schedule, next meeting scheduled for 2007); Cuba (On schedule, next meeting scheduled for 2007); Bahamas (On schedule, next meeting scheduled for 2007); Chile (No schedule, last meeting was held on 19 August 2005, no frequency stipulated); Argentine (Inaugural meeting scheduled for late 2006); Brazil (On schedule, next meeting scheduled for the second half of 2006); Russia (On schedule, next meeting scheduled for July 2006); Bulgaria (On schedule, next meeting not yet scheduled); Croatia (Last meeting held in 2004, next meeting scheduled for October 2006); Czech Republic (Last meeting held in 2005, next meeting scheduled for late 2006); Hungary (Last meeting held in February 2006, next meeting not yet scheduled); Poland (Last meeting held in 2004, next meeting still to be scheduled); Netherlands (To be activated in October 2006); Belgium (To be activated in 2006); European Union (On schedule, next meeting scheduled for 14 November 2006); Canada (On schedule, next meeting scheduled for 2007); France (On schedule, next meeting not yet scheduled); France (On schedule, next meeting scheduled for November 2006); United Kingdom (On schedule, next meeting schedule for 2007); Ireland (Inaugural meeting held on 22 June 2006); Italy (On schedule, next meeting scheduled for end 2006 - beginning 2007); Spain (On schedule, next meeting scheduled for 4 - 5 July 2006); Portugal (On schedule, next meeting scheduled for 2006).

2) The schedule of the meetings is adhered to in the main unless there are circumstances that
prevent the meetings from taking place. Such circumstances vary from country to country and include for example, in the case of Indonesia, the first meeting was postponed due to the Asia/Africa summit that took place in Bandung. Discussions are underway to establish mutually acceptable dates to proceed. In the case of Germany the meetings were postponed due to the German elections and have since been rescheduled."

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