Zuma to depart for Commonwealth meeting

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma is expected to depart for the Port of Spain, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

The President will lead the South African delegation and will be supported by International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoane Mashabane.

The minister arrived in the country ahead of the President to attend a meeting of Commonwealth Foreign Ministers to take place today. This meeting is aimed at discussing and making recommendations to Heads of State regarding various political issues, the global economic situation, climate change and the youth.

This year's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting will take place from Friday to Sunday under the theme "Partnering for a more equitable and Sustainable Future".

Top on the meeting's agenda is the report of the ministerial action group, the global economic situation, its impact on small states and vulnerable states and the reform of international institutions.

South Africa will participate in the meeting within the context of North-South Cooperation as government seeks to exchange views on a range of challenges facing the world today such as climate change, sustaining biodiversity and conserving water resources.

South Africa rejoined the Commonwealth in 1994, shortly after the first democratic elections, and in November 1999 South Africa hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Durban.

It assumed the chairmanship for two years before handing over to Australia in March 2002.