22 SEPTEMBER 2013
President Zuma Arrives In New York, USA For The 68th Session Of The United Nations General Assembly
President Jacob Zuma has today, 22 September 2013, arrived in New York, United States of America, to attend the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA68), scheduled to take place from 23-26 September 2013.
The theme for UNGA68 is, “The Post-2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage.”
UNGA68 is taking place closer to the 2015 target date for achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Given the approaching deadline, international deliberations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda have become a major focal point in the multilateral arena.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the following:
Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education..
Goal 3: To promote gender equality and empower women.
Goal 4: Reduce child mortality.
Goal 5: Improve maternal health.
Goal 6: Combat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainabililty.
Goal8: Develop a global partnership for development.
President Zuma will address the General Assembly at the opening session of the General Debate on 24 September 2013 on the progress made by South Africa in these areas.
South Africa has achieved some of the goals for example access to primary education where we stand at 99 percent.
“What is more impressive with the achievement of this target is that the proportion of girls attending primary, secondary and tertiary education has improved significantly. The attainment of the MDG target on education is significant for a number of reasons. Education is central to development and can serve as a catalyst to address gender disparities. Moreover, education is the primary vehicle by which vulnerable children can lift themselves out of poverty and obtain the means to participate meaningfully in the economy,’’ said President Zuma.
South Africa is making progress in the attainment of other MDGs as well, for example through the advancement of women. On the improvement of health access, South Africa has also recorded impressive progress through the expansion of health infrastructure and improved access to health services for all South Africans.
We are also happy to be making progress in the reduction of both maternal and child mortality in the past three years. Mother-to-child transmission of HIV for instance, used to be 8,5% in 2008. It went down to 3,5% in 2010 and even further down to 2,7% in 2011.
However, in all these areas a lot still needs to be done. Work continues to further improve the delivery of services. South Africa will continue pursuing the implementation of the MDGs through the overarching National Development Plan and the New Growth Path, the Provincial Growth and Development Plans in the provinces as well as the Integrated Development Plans at the level of local government.
The President is accompanied by Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and Social Development, Ms Bathabile Dlamini.
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Issued by: The Presidency