Media Statement

23 May 2019

Minister Sisulu challenges UN Country Team to support South Africa’s national priorities

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, has received a Letter of Assignment from Ms Nardos Bekele-Thomas following her appointment as the United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator to South Africa, the highest-ranking UN official in the country.

Ms Bekele-Thomas is a direct representative of the UN Secretariat and her role includes, but is not limited to, ensuring the coordination of all UN operational activities for its development programme in the country and to facilitate the alignment and coherence of UN operational activities for development in line with national priorities and development objectives of the host country. Prior to her appointment to this position, she was the Senior Director of the Office of the UN Secretary-General.

Minister Sisulu expressed the view that Ms Bekele-Thomas’ experience would offer deep insight into the development challenges confronted by South Africa, the continent and developing countries as a whole.

“We believe that the relationship between the UN entities and our government departments will be elevated in order to maximise the mutual benefits of the relationship between South Africa and the UN system”, Minister Sisulu said.

“It is important that the operations of the United Nations Country Team in South Africa are relevant and closely aligned with and supportive of South Africa’s national priorities such as job creation, education and skills development, healthcare and rural development”, added Minister Sisulu.

South Africa currently hosts 17 UN agencies engaged in activities and projects in support of South Africa’s national priorities and development objectives. These include UNICEF, UNAIDS and UNHCR.

Enquiries: Mr Ndivhuwo Mabaya, mabayan@dirco.gov.za, 083 645 7838

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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