Media Statement

15 September 2017

President Zuma to attend the UN General Assembly in New York

President Jacob Zuma will travel to New York in the United States to attend the General Debate of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 72) and other activities at the UN Headquarters from 19-25 September 2017.

The President of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly is the Slovakian Foreign Minister, Mr Miroslav Lajčák, who has announced the theme for the General Debate as: “Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for all on a Sustainable Planet”.

For South Africa, this General Debate coincides with the centenary anniversary of Mr Oliver Reginald Tambo. President Zuma will host an event on 20 September 2017, at the UN, in honour of this global icon of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.

This will be the first General Debate for the newly appointed Secretary-General, Mr António Guterres, who started his term on 01 January 2017.  Mr Guterres identified his major priority as the achievement of sustainable peace and security through conflict prevention by establishing a “culture of prevention” in the UN – which South Africa fully supports.

In addition to addressing the General Debate, President Zuma will also sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on 20 September 2017. Signature of the Treaty reflects South Africa’s continued commitment towards the achievement of a world free from the threat posed by nuclear weapons and ensuring that nuclear energy is used for peaceful purposes only.

The Ethiopian Prime Minister, whose country is currently serving as a rotating President of the UN Security Council for the month of September 2017, has convened an open debate on the Reform of UN Peacekeeping Operations, in which President Zuma will participate.

South Africa will also participate in the High-Level Event entitled: “African Union’s Theme of the Year, Roadmap on the Demographic Dividend: from Commitment to Action" convened by the Chair of the African Union, President Alpha Condé.

President Zuma will be accompanied by International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane; Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; Minister of State Security, Mr David Mahlobo; Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Edna Molewa, and Minister of Water and Sanitation, Ms Nomvula Mokonyane.

Enquiries: Dr Bongani Ngqulunga on 082 308 9373 or

Issued by: The Presidency



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