PRETORIA– President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa will join other world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at its 73rd session which began at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday to present their views on pressing world issues.
This year, the nine-day high-level segment of the Assembly when heads of State and government will take the floor, will begin on Sept 25. The assembly’s General Debate presents an opportunity for leaders to deliberate on key international issues covered by the UN Charter, such as development, peace and security and international law.
Speaking at the opening session of the UNGA on Tuesday, UNGA President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces, called on world leaders to be cognizant of their role as servants of the people. Each and every one of my actions will bear in mind the fact that the main recipients of our commitments and decisions are our peoples. We are working for them, she said.
The session comes at a time when South Africa was voted in June by member states of the UNGA to take up a two-year term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Councilfor 2019-2020. It will be South Africa’s third term on the Security Council, having previously served from 2007-2008 and 2011-2012.
During its 2019-2020 tenure, South Africa will be driven by the legacy of former president Nelson Mandela and his undying commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes and by the African Union’s aspirations under it Agenda 2063 development strategy, in particular that of “silencing the guns by 2020”.
At the general assembly, South Africa will use its participation to campaign for reform of the UN Security Council, including for a permanent seat for Africa.
South Africa is also expected to reiterate its call for the UN-assessed contributions to secure predictable, sustainable and flexible financing for AU-led peace support operations.
As the 73rd UNGA coincides with the centenary of former President Nelson Mandela, the United Nations, in collaboration with South Africa, will lead a Nelson Mandela Peace Summit on Sept 24 which will kick off with a number of activities in honour of the late statesman and global icon, including a debate on peace and a reception hosted by South Africa for about 300 delegates.
President Ramaphosa will unveil a statue of the global icon in New York City.
With the economy at the top of the President’s agenda, he is expected to continue his investment promotion drive by rallying potential investors to invest in South Africa.
The General Debate will be followed by a high-level discussion of the General Assembly on the financing of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which is a plan of action for the world to ensure that by 2030 poverty is eradicated, decent life for all people and peace are achieved.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK