Press Release

19 September 2014

President Zuma to lead the South African delegation to the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

His Excellency, President Jacob Zuma, will lead the South African delegation to the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA69), scheduled to take place in New York, in the United States from 24-30 September 2014.

The General Assembly is the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations (UN). Comprising all 193 Members of the United Nations, it provides a unique forum for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the Charter of the United Nations.

The President for the 69th Session is H.E. Mr Sam Kutesa, the former Foreign Minister of Uganda, who chose: “Delivering on and Implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda” as the theme for the General Debate.  The theme builds on that of UNGA 68 and is taking place against the rapidly approaching target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, and the start of the intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda, which is the major focal point in the multilateral arena.  

Furthermore the post-2015 negotiations will be taking place in the context of the global rebalancing of economic power as a result of a loss of comparative advantage by developed countries (and made more pronounced by the global economic melt-down).  This makes the negotiations of the post-2015 development agenda highly contested, with developed countries seeking to redefine development to support their economic recovery needs, whilst developing countries try to ensure that the outcome supports its own understanding of development.

In accordance with its strategic approach, South Africa’s participation will be informed by national interests and priorities, its regional and continental commitments, as well as its aspirations for a prosperous world at peace with itself.  In this regard, the General Debate provides a platform for South Africa to advance its strategic priorities in the world’s pre-eminent multilateral forum. 

President Zuma will address the General Assembly on 24 September 2014, in the afternoon session of the opening day of the General Debate. 

In addition to the General Debate, it is expected that South Africa will also participate in the following High-Level United Nations Events at UNGA69, which precede the opening of the General Debate namely:

  • Meeting of the High-Level Plenary of the General Assembly to be known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (Resolution 66/296) (22-23 September 2014);

  • Special Session of the General Assembly on the follow-up to the Programme of Action (PoA) of the International Conference on Population and Development (Resolution 65/234 and 67/250) (22 September 2014);

  • Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region (22 September 2014); and

  • The Climate Summit 2014 convened by the Secretary-General (23 September 2014).

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

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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