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Bilaterale Beziehungen, Topnews

08. November 2016

Preparing for the German-South African Binational Commission

The German-South African Binational Commission co-chaired by the respective Foreign Ministers is held every two years, alternating between Berlin and Pretoria. The two partner countries debate global challenges and coordinate possible collaboration in politics, the economy, environment, development cooperation, defence, education, science, technology, culture and labour and social affairs.

A recurring topic is reform of the United Nations Security Council – both Germany and South Africa are non-permanent members of the SC.  Similar values form the basis of the intensive and manifold bilateral relations which constitute a solid partnership.  Former Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said at the BNC in 2012 that even though Germany and South Africa are separated by thousands of kilometres, they are bound together by the same experience: “the longing of their people for freedom, fundamental principles of law and human dignity – all of this is stronger than barbed fences.”

The Commission was established as a result of President Nelson Mandela's state visit to Germany in 1996. Ever since, the Binational Commission has contributed immensely to further strengthening German-South African relations. In 2014, the Commission met for the eighth time, in Pretoria.

The next session will take place in Berlin from 15 to 16 November 2016.

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