President Zuma arrives in New York ahead of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and UN Global Sustainability Programme (GSP) meetings.

President Jacob Zuma has today, 10 January 2012, arrived in New York, US, to attend a series of high-level meetings, beginning with South Africa officially assuming the rotating Presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and later co-chairing the meeting of the UN High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability.

South Africa will assume the presidency of the UNSC for the month of January 2012. Consistent with the practice of the UNSC, the Office of the President of the Security Council rotates monthly among its members on the basis of the English alphabetical order, and the Council is organized to be able to function continuously. The Permanent Representative of the relevant member state assumes the role of the President of the UNSC and his/her staff form the Presidency for a particular month.

In this context, South Africa will utilize its Presidency of the Security Council in January 2012 to continue exploring concrete measures for strengthening the relationship between the United Nations (UN) and regional organizations, in particular the African Union (AU), in the maintenance of international peace and security in terms of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter.  

At the same time, it is expected that the South African delegation will convene a high level thematic debate with the aim of adopting concrete measures to ensure greater coherence between the UN and the AU in the area of conflict prevention, management and resolution of conflicts on the African continent.

Still in New York, President Zuma and President Tarja Halonen of Finland will co-chair the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability at the UN Headquarters in New York. The Secretary-General launched the High-level Panel on Global Sustainability (GSP) on 09 August 2010 to formulate a new plan for achieving sustainable development and meeting the Millennium Development Goals and other development objectives.

Since its establishment, the Panel has explored approaches to growth that would translate into effective socio-economic development and poverty reduction. The Panel focused mostly on climate change as a sustainable development challenge, addressing the three pillars of sustainable development; namely economic, social and environmental. Moreover, the Panel also reflected on a new vision for sustainable growth and prosperity by assessing strategic solutions to climate change as a key point of departure to the management of global issues and challenges.

It is expected that the GSP will release its final report on 12 January 2012. The recommendations contained in the GSP’s report will feed into inter-governmental processes, including preparations for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio 2012), and the annual meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

“We will certainly take advantage of these important occasions to advance our international relations policy objectives, including supporting the African Agenda, South-South and North-South cooperation with a view to promoting democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights” said President Zuma.

For further information, please contact Mr. Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, on 082 884 5974.

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO)

OR Tambo Building

460 Soutpansberg Road

10 January 2012


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