Full details of internationally accepted protocol for visiting heads of state and government.

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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION NO: 845  (NW1022E)

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 9-2012 OF 20 APRIL 2012
           
Dr W G James (DA to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation:

With reference to her reply to question 87 on 30 March 2012, what are the full details of internationally accepted protocol for visiting heads of state and government?

REPLY:

The Vienna Convention of April 1961 is a cornerstone of modern international relations. It is instructive in terms of providing guidance on internationally accepted protocol. Each country establishes courtesies within their capacity and extends it within the context of reciprocity. It is accepted internationally that the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations forms a guide and minimum standard with regard to the conduct of international relations.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation is responsible for managing all aspects of South Africa’s relations with the world including facilitating direct interaction between the President or Deputy President and other foreign Heads of State or Government. 

Branch: State Protocol is responsible for the management, organisation, co-ordination of all protocol activities including logistics for incoming visits to South Africa by foreign Heads of State or Government, former Heads of State or Government, Kings/Queens, Ministers or Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs and their spouses as well as outgoing visits by the South African President, Deputy President, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation and the spouses of the President and Deputy President.

Beyond these services, State Protocol also extends its reach to visits by Heads of regional and multilateral organisations such as the United Nations, African Union, Southern African Development Community, the Commonwealth, the European Union, Arab League and the Economic Community of West African States.

State Protocol is mandated to uphold diplomatic practice, in order to advance South Africa’s national interests and values through bilateral and multilateral interactions.

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