In pursuit of peace in Africa

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Minister Naledi Pandor

“We are singularly committed to the pursuit of peace and security on the continent,”

Minister Naledi Pandor

South Africa will use the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly to reaffirm its commitment to the pursuit of peace and security on the African continent, says International Relations and Cooperation Minister Dr Naledi Pandor.

“The African Union (AU) has over several years adopted the concept of silencing the guns and really getting our continent to arrive at a point where we no longer have conflict that is so disruptive to the agenda of development,” said the Minister.

Pandor, who arrived in New York on Sunday ahead of the start of UNGA74, said South Africa has appropriated the theme of silencing the guns to its chairship of the AU in 2020.

“We are singularly committed to the pursuit of peace and security on the continent,” said the Minister, who is leading a delegation of Cabinet Ministers to UNGA74 following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s withdrawal from the trip.

President Ramaphosa withdrew from trip in order to attend to domestic matters.

Pandor, who participates in her inaugural UNGA since becoming International Relations and Cooperation Minister, will partake in the annual General Debate, which is the occasion for world leaders to gather at UN Headquarters to discuss global issues.

This year’s UN General Assembly is scheduled for 23 to 30 September under the theme ‘Galvanising multilateral efforts for poverty eradication, quality education, climate action and inclusion’.

The theme was announced by the President of the General Assembly (PGA), Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande of Nigeria.

In her address to the UN General Assembly, Pandor is expected to outline South Africa’s domestic and foreign policy goals and priorities.

“These include South Africa’s objectives as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council from 2019 to 2020 and the country’s commitment to multilateralism in addressing current challenges facing the international community, including in the areas of peace and security, sustainable development, human rights and the reform of global governance,” said DIRCO spokesperson Clayson Monyela.

Pandor will attend several high-level meetings, side events and summits taking place on the margins of UNGA.

The Minister and four other members of the delegation are also expected to take part in bilateral meetings with their counterparts.

Other members of the South African delegation include the Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize; Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy; Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu; and Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

Switching focus to the economy, Pandor said South Africa remains an attractive destination for investors.

“We will call on [investors] to respond to the President’s invitation to his annual investment conference,” she said.

Pandor said the country is doing all it can to build appropriate incentives for those who wish to invest.

South Africa has also done work in changing immigration laws to in order to allow more tourists access to South Africa.

 “We believe tourism is a big growth area for the country,” she said. – SAnews.gov.za