International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor is set to lead South Africa’s delegation to the extraordinary G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.

The virtual meeting is scheduled for Thursday, 3 September 2020.

“As was the case following the global financial crisis in 2008 and in line with the G20’s historical role of finding solutions to the globe’s most pressing challenges, the world will be looking to the G20 countries to lead and coordinate international efforts to counter the human and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO).

At their Extraordinary Summit on COVID-19 held in March 2020, G20 leaders tasked the relevant officials to coordinate closely in support of the global efforts to counter the pandemic’s impacts. This includes proportionate border management measures in accordance with national regulations and providing assistance where necessary to repatriate citizens.

While border management is an essential element of national sovereignty, enhanced international coordination in the implementation, monitoring and phasing out of cross-border measures in the future will amplify their impact and minimise disruptions on people and trade.

“In this regard, the Saudi Presidency has called a meeting of G20 Foreign Ministers to assess lessons learned and to draw collective experiences for dealing with future pandemics,” said DIRCO on Wednesday.

It is expected that the G20 Foreign Ministers will, among other things, exchange national experiences and discuss lessons learned from the cross-border management measures taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is also expected that ministers will enhance G20 coordination and possible areas of future cooperation, including the repatriation of nationals and treatment of third-country nationals; and consider possible ways to reinforce the overall preparedness framework for cross-border measures.

The Minister of Home Affairs, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi and senior government officials, will join Pandor in the meeting.

The meeting, which will take place under the theme, ‘Strengthening International Cooperation across Borders’, has been called by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, current President of the G20.

The meeting is set to get underway at 2pm, South African time.

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