Minister Dlamini Zuma to lead South African Delegation to the 49th Session of United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

Pretoria - South African Foreign Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will today, Sunday - 27 February 2005 - depart South Africa for New York where she will lead a senior South African delegation to the 49th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women scheduled for Monday, 28 February to Friday, 11 March 2005.

The South African delegation will include, among others, South African Social Development Minister, Dr Zola Skweyiya and South Africa's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo. Minister Dlamini Zuma will, on Tuesday 1 March 2005, present a statement on behalf of South Africa, to the Plenary Session of the General Assembly on the Commission on the Status of Women.

On Thursday, 3rd March 2005, Minister Dlamini Zuma will participate in a panel discussion entitled, "the Linkages Between Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the Outcome of the 23rd Special Session of the General Assembly ("Beijing +5, 2000") and the Internationally Agreed Development Goals including those contained in the Millennium Declaration: Progress, Gaps and Challenges"

Although this Conference takes place ten years after the adoption of the historic Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, twenty-six years after the adoption of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and five years after the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (WCAR), women of the world remain largely disadvantaged and marginalised.

However, the African Union Summit in July 2004 adopted the historic Special Declaration on the Status of women in order to achieve gender parity in Africa.

In this regard, South African President Thabo Mbeki has recently committed South Africa to achieving gender parity in all sectors of South African society. In pursuit of this objective a firm foundation has been laid by government to improve on the quality of life of women both rural and urban and in top government echelons. Indeed there is hope for the women of our country to participate in all spheres of life as equals with their fellow countrymen in determining the destiny of our country.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152

27 February 2005

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