Press Release

12 November 2013

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane to participate in the pre-CHOGM Meeting of Commonwealth Foreign Ministers

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has arrived in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 12 November 2013, ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held on 15-17 November 2013.

President Jacob Zuma, who is scheduled to arrive on 15 November 2013, will lead the South African delegation to CHOGM.

Whilst in Colombo, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane will participate in the pre-CHOGM Foreign Ministers Meeting, which will take place prior to CHOGM, on 13-14 November 2013.

The pre-CHOGM Foreign Ministers Meeting will focus on the special CHOGM theme: "Growth with Equity: Inclusive Development." The theme indicates the importance of equity in economic development and that inclusive development should provide opportunities to all members of society to contribute and benefit from it as it can promote progress and advance the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

According to the World Wealth Report 2012, less than 1% of the world's adult population owns nearly 40% of the global household wealth, while 8% owns over 82% of the world's wealth. Disparities between urban and rural areas also exist.

In this regard, it is expected that the Commonwealth would focus on how to make economic growth more inclusive and sustainable, including by sharing experiences in addressing these issues and forming beneficial partnerships.

Consequently, CHOGM 2013 is taking place against the prominent international focus on the 2015 target date for achieving the MDGs and a number of initiatives examining the Post-2015 Global Development Agenda.  Due to the diverse membership of the Commonwealth, this organisation has a special interest in both the MDGs and the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Discussions at the pre-CHOGM Foreign Ministers Meeting will cover a number of global issues affecting Commonwealth members including: the global financial crisis; attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); development of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); the Post-2015 Development Agenda; employment and decent work for all; renewal of the Commonwealth Youth Programme;  education; entrepreneurship; international trade and investment; the Doha Development Agenda of the WTO; and climate change financing.

Since rejoining the Commonwealth in 1994, South Africa has worked closely with the Commonwealth, contributing politically, financially and in terms of capacity and expertise in the work of the organisation. South Africa consistently uses its membership to promote the African Agenda and to monitor the implementation of the mandates given to the Commonwealth Secretariat by the Heads of CHOGM.

For further information, please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, on 082 884 5974


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