The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Candith Mashego-Dlamini, will attend the Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers' Meeting scheduled for 10 July 2019 in London, United Kingdom (UK).
The meeting will be chaired by the UK's Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt, in his capacity as the Commonwealth Chair-in-Office.
The meeting will provide an opportunity to take stock of progress made in the implementation of the mandates agreed to at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2018) held in London on 19-20 April 2018, related to the strengthening of democratic institutions and the promotion of peace and security; boosting intra-Commonwealth trade and inclusive economic growth; achieving sustainable development; and the advancement of gender equality and youth empowerment, amongst others.
Other items on the agenda of the meeting include an update on preparations for CHOGM 2020, which will take place in June 2020 in Kigali, Rwanda. The UK will conclude its two-year tenure as Chair-in-Office when Rwanda hosts CHOGM 2020 and assumes the Commonwealth Chair-in-Office until 2022.
The meeting will also consider the Board of Governors' agreed recommendations on the governance and reform of the Commonwealth Secretariat, and mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Commonwealth by reflecting on what this association has achieved in the last seven decades.
South Africa re-joined the Commonwealth in 1994 and, in November 1999, hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Durban and assumed the Chair for the next two years until 2001.
Since its return to the Commonwealth, South Africa has contributed to the work of the Organisation. South Africa and the UK announced on 05 March 2019, that they would jointly lead a Commonwealth initiative to boost digital connectivity amongst member countries. This initiative gives effect to the decision of the CHOGM 2018 to launch the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda, aimed at increasing intra-Commonwealth trade from $560 million to US$2 trillion dollars by 2030. South Africa is also a member of the Commonwealth Board of Governors and its Executive Committee, which approves the Commonwealth Secretariat's work plans and budgets.
The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 53 independent member countries, composed of 19 African members, 7 Asian members, 13 members from the Caribbean and the Americas, 3 members from Europe and 11 members from the Pacific. Members work together through various initiatives and activities to pursue common goals, and promote development, democracy and peace.
The Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers Meetings was first established in 2002 by the Commonwealth Heads of Government in order to discuss matters of collective interest. These meetings have provided political oversight and direction with regards to the implementation of mandates agreed at Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings.
Issued by: Department of International Relations and Cooperation
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