Minister Dlamini Zuma undertakes a Four Nation European Visit, 03 - 12 March 2009

Pretoria: South African Foreign Minister, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will depart South Africa today, 03 March 2009 for a four nation European visit that will include Geneva, London, Berlin and Copenhagen. This visit takes place within the context of South Africa’s priority to consolidate ties between the North and the South as well as its endeavour to strengthen co-operation within the multilateral fora.

Address to the High Level Segment of the 10th Session of the Human Rights Council, Geneva, Switzerland, 04 March 2009.

The first leg of the visit will be Geneva, where Minister Dlamini Zuma will address the High Level Segment of the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday, 04 March 2009 in Geneva, Switzerland. 

The 10th session of the HRC takes place within the context of the global economic and financial crises, likely to impact negatively on the work of the HRC and the number of delegations participating in this year’s session.

Issues for discussions on the Agenda of the Council will, among others, include:

- Israel-Palestine conflict

- Forthcoming Durban Review Conference

- Adoption of resolutions on a range of issues of global importance

The Human Rights Council will also receive an update on the implementation of paragraph 14 of HRC Resolution S-9/L1, adopted during the 9th Special Session held on 09 January 2009, on the “The Grave Violations of Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly due to the recent Israeli military aggression on the occupied Gaza strip”.

Dr Dlamini - Zuma’s statement will be followed by the address of the President of the General Assembly, H.E. Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann. The High Level Segment concludes on the same day, 04 Wednesday 2009. 

BILATERAL DISCUSSIONS WITH UK Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon David Miliband, 06 March 2009.

Minister Dlamini Zuma will then proceed to the United Kingdom, where she will meet with her counterpart, UK Foreign Secretary, Honourable David Miliband on Friday, 06 March 2009 at the Foreign Office, London.

 Issues for discussion will include among others:

- Exchange of views on developments in Zimbabwe;

- Discussion on the situation in Somalia and the UK response to persistent occurrence of piracy in the waters off Somalia;

- Discussion on the UK decision to impose a visa regime on South Africa as well as the travel advisory grouping South Africa as one of the 20 most dangerous destinations;

- Exchange views to foster and strengthen co-operation with the United Kingdom in the multilateral arena on international issues of common concern, with special reference to the UNSC and the restructuring of International Institutions, as well as the UK Chair of the G20 Finance Ministers in 2009.

- To promote South Africa’s candidate for the position of DG of the IAEA

Upon conclusion of the bilateral talks Minister Dlamini Zuma and her delegation will depart for Germany.

Minister Dlamini Zuma to hold bilateral discussions with German counterpart, 09 March 2009.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will hold bilateral discussions with her German counterpart, Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin on 9 March 2009.

Issues for discussion will include, among other things:

- Bilateral relations with South Africa.

- South Africa’s candidature for the position of Director-General of the IAEA

- 2010 Fifa World Cup

- Germany’s candidature for election onto a Non-permanent seat of the UN Security Council in 2011 and 2012

- Climate Change

- Development in the continent, Zimbabwe, DRC and Sudan

Bilateral relations between South Africa and Germany remain strong and considered to be of a strategic nature. The importance of Germany to South Africa’s national and international interests can be seen in Germany’s full support of South Africa’s domestic objectives such as fostering economic growth, overcoming poverty and social imbalances, increasing the skills base and supporting efforts to combat the effects of climate change.

On the international arena it is a like-minded partner which supports UN reform and a greater participation by Africa and the developing countries in institutions of global governance. More recently Germany has, since the G8 Heiligendamm in July 2007 and the Africa – EU summit in December in 2007, come out strongly in its support for the African Agenda and in particular in South Africa’s efforts to strengthen peace and stability on the African continent by entering into trilateral co-operation programmes in South Sudan, the DRC and SADC diplomatic training.

Bilateral trade between SA and Germany showed strong growth in 2007-2008 South Africa values existing German investment in South Africa, such as in the automotive industry, and encourage German investment in new areas such as renewable energy, infrastructure, industrial development and roads construction.

The Sixth SA – Germany Bi-national Commission, which was originally scheduled to take place from 01-02 September 2008, was postponed upon the request by Minister Steinmeier due to other international commitments.

8th Informal Nordic-Africa Foreign Ministers Meeting, 11 – 12 March 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will participate in the 8th Informal Nordic- Africa Foreign Ministers meeting scheduled for 11-12 March 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Issues for discussion include among others:

- Briefing on preparations to UN Climate Change Conference Copenhagen 2009 (COP 15)  
- Peace and Security in Africa

Recent democratic developments in Africa and the role of the AU in establishing effective mechanisms for promoting good governance and democratic transitions, particularly the AU Charter on Democracy, Governance and Elections and the African Peer review Mechanism.  Advancement of the concept of Responsibility to Protect based on the follow-up report from the UN Secretary-General, January 2009.

- Climate Change and Security in Africa

Prospects for climate change in Africa and the security implications which will follow as a result thereof.  Areas of particular vulnerability and factors that could play a decisive role in determining whether climate change becomes a security issue.  Potential responses to the security implications stemming from climate change from within as well as outside Africa, including possibilities for common Nordic-African initiatives.

- Topical Foreign Policy Issues

Current status on relevant foreign policy issues in Africa.  These issues could include: Somalia and the security challenges of piracy; Sudan/Darfur and the possible ICC arrest warrant against President Bashir; political developments in Zimbabwe; and the situation in the Sahara/Sahel area.

- Durban Review Conference

Discussions of a potential common approach towards the forthcoming UN Durban Review Conference to be held in Geneva in April 2009.

The Seventh Consultations took place in Gaborone, Botswana, on 3 – 4 March 2008.  wherein Minister Dlamini Zuma actively participated. The First Nordic – African Informal Consultations took place in Stockholm on 18 and 19 December 2000 in Stockholm, Sweden.  The Nordic Foreign Ministers attended the Consultations together with a number of their African counterparts.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 9904853

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag
Pretoria, 0002

03 March 2009




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