Minister Dlamini Zuma arrives in New York ahead of the scheduled UNSC Debate on the Relationship between the AU Peace and Security Council and the UN Security Council

NEW YORK- South African Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma today Wednesday 18 March 2009 arrived in New York where she is leading a South African Government delegation to participate in a high-level debate in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) scheduled for later today.

Minister Dlamini Zuma is supported in this regard by Foreign Affairs Deputy Director-General George Nene, South Africa’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Baso Sanqu and Xolisa Mabhongo, Chief Director: UN Political.

The UNSC debate today will focus on how best the international community can support African Union peace operations that are conducted with a mandate from the Security Council.  During its term in the Security Council in 2007 and 2008, South Africa had focused on developing a strategic partnership between the UNSC and the African Union Peace and Security Council and on drawing attention to the need for the international community to assist with the funding and logistics associated with African peacekeeping operations.

The debate on Wednesday in the UN Security Council is expected to consider the African Union – United Nations Panel’s final report, which makes a number of important proposals on how to build up the African Union’s capacity to respond to crises as they occur and to promote long-term stability on the African continent. These include the establishment of new funding mechanisms to enhance the predictability, sustainability and flexibility of financing of United Nations-mandated peace operations undertaken by the African Union. Such funding mechanisms would not only allow for the expeditious and effective deployment of well-equipped troops and effective support arrangements, but would also provide a solid basis for longer-term capacity-building projects in Africa.

This South African initiative contributed towards the adoption of the landmark resolution 1809 (2008) and the establishment of a high-level African Union – United Nations Panel dedicated to exploring co-operation between the two bodies in greater depth, under the chairmanship of the former Prime Minister of Italy, Dr. Roman Prodi.

The Security Council proceeds from the premise that whilst it has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, regional organisations such as the African Union play an important and complementary role in conflict resolution and peacekeeping. It is also recognised that Africa has both the greatest need for peacekeeping and the biggest challenge in matching its willingness to act with the resources needed to secure the sustained success of its interventions.

BILATERAL DISCUSSIONS WITH US SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON

WASHINGTON –Following her participation in the UN Security Council debate on the relationship between the AU Peace and Security Council and the UNSC, Minister Dlamini Zuma will later in the day proceed to Washington where she is expected  hold bilateral political, economic and trade discussions with the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington, USA.

Minister Dlamini Zuma will hold discussions with Secretary of state Clinton within the context of consolidating existing strategic bilateral relations between South African and the United States of America. America remains one of South Africa’s largest trading partners.

In this regard, the USA ranks first as a destination for South African exports and is third below Germany and China as a source of imports. Exports to the USA increased in nominal terms from R30 billion in 2004 to R41 billion in 2006, while imports recorded an increase from R26 billion to R35 billion for the same period. The United States is the largest portfolio investor and the second largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) in South Africa, after the U.K. (Total U.S. FDI is $6.6 billion with total portfolio investment in South Africa at the end of 2007 amounting to $ 51.6 billion

The meeting between Minister Dlamini Zuma and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the first since the appointment and confirmation of Hillary Clinton as the new US Secretary of State.

In this regard, two are expected to discuss among others:

  • review of bilateral political, economic and trade relations between the two countries
  • discussion around the current global financial and economic crisis
  • discussions on regional political developments focusing on Africa and the Americas
  • issues of multilateral concern

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa at 082-990-4853

Department of Foreign Affairs
P/Bag X152
Pretoria
0001

18 March 2009

 



 

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