SA attends G20 ministerial summit

Pretoria - International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has joined 19 member states’ foreign ministers of the Group of 20 (G20) for their annual meeting in Bonn, Germany.

South Africa is one of the member countries of the G20 that have been meeting regularly since 1999 to discuss global economic policy coordination. 

The meeting brings together major advanced and emerging market economies, which together represent around 85% of global GDP, 80% of global trade and two-thirds of the world’s population.

This year’s meeting, scheduled from Thursday to Friday, will be held under the theme ‘Shaping the global order – foreign policy beyond crisis management’.

“South Africa’s participation in the G20 is informed by the National Development Plan and the strategic imperative to negotiate the best possible outcomes for South Africa, Africa and the developing world,” the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) said on Tuesday.

Given the increasingly political and foreign policy dimension of these new issues, Dirco said it is “anticipated that foreign ministers will play an increasingly more prominent role in the work of the G20”.

Germany, which assumed the Presidency of the G20 in December, unveiled its overarching theme for its term as “Shaping an Interconnected World” with the sub-themes of “Building Resilience”, “Improving Sustainability” and “Assuming Responsibility”. 

The sub-theme of “Building Resilience” will focus on the world economy, trade and investment, employment, strengthening the international financial architecture, financial markets and international tax cooperation.

Under the sub-theme of “Improving Sustainability”, the focus will be on climate and energy, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, digitalisation, global health, seizing the opportunities of digital technology and empowering women.

The sub-theme on “Assuming Responsibility” will focus on tackling the causes of displacement, the partnership with Africa, fighting terrorism, anti-corruption, and agriculture and food security. 

The ministers will also interrogate issues of contemporary and future global security and development matters. -