Minister Sisulu concludes Argentina visit

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has concluded her visit to Argentina, where she led a South African delegation to the G20 Foreign Affairs Ministers meeting.

The meeting, which was held in preparation for the November G20 Leaders' Summit, focused on strengthening multilateralism, improving global governance and achieving sustainable development.

“South Africa will lend its support to Argentinian efforts to use the G20 as an effective instrument for promoting peace and development,” Sisulu said at the end of the meeting.

The minister used the G20 platform to engage in bilateral discussions with several of her colleagues and secured their endorsement of South Africa’s candidature for the UN Security Council seat for the period 2019-2020, the department said on Tuesday.

“Minister Sisulu also engaged in a number of bilateral engagements, including with BRICS Ministers and UN Security Council members.”

South Africa's bid has already received an endorsement from the African Union during the summit in January this year.

If it wins the seat, it will be the third time South Africa is a member of the UN Security Council since 1994. The first was in 2007 and the second in 2011.

Tshwane views the UNSC as an important organ of the United Nations which was established with the aim of maintaining peace and security around the world after the Second World War.

The meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers, for its part, deliberated on gender issues, particularly the protection of the girl child in conflict areas. It also discussed fair trade, Africa free trade and partnership for development.

At a time when the world is experiencing numerous political and security challenges, including instances of unilateralism and protectionism, the meeting reaffirmed the centrality of the multilateral system, with the UN at its apex.

The G20 has a key role and stake in supporting a rules-based, open and fair multilateral trading system, anchored through the World Trade Organisation.

With the Fourth Industrial Revolution upon us, the ministers agreed on the need to develop appropriate responses to mitigate the possible disruptive impact of digitisation on the world of work.

South Africa’s emphasis on the principle of inclusivity, focusing on science, technology and innovation was supported by many delegations.

In this regard, Minister Sisulu noted that "measures should be taken to bridge the digital and physical infrastructure gap, through the transfer of technology, skills and financial resources”.

The meeting noted that, in the context of growing inequality between and within states, the G20 should promote inclusive growth with a specific focus on youth and women.

Deputy Minister Luwellyn Landers was among the delegation. -