Media Statement

17 July 2020

Minister Pandor to participate in a Virtual Meeting of the UN General Assembly to observe the annual Nelson Mandela International Day

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, will participate in a virtual meeting of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly to observe the annual Nelson Mandela International Day. The virtual meeting is planned for Monday, 20 July 2020, from 16h00-17h30 (South African time) and can be viewed via webcast on UN WebTV (

The Minister will deliver a statement during the opening segment of the virtual meeting and will reflect on the life and heritage of President Nelson Mandela. Other speakers include the UN Secretary-General, HE Mr António Guterres, and the President of the UN General Assembly, HE Prof Tijjani Muhammad-Bande.

On 10 November 2009, the UN General Assembly declared 18 July as "Nelson Mandela International Day" in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace throughout the world. Since then, the UN General Assembly annually observes Nelson Mandela International Day to celebrate and keep alive President Mandela’s legacy of reconciliation, political transition and social transformation, including the promotion of freedom, justice, democracy, human rights, gender equality and conflict prevention.

The laureates of the 2020 United Nations Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize will also be announced during this commemorative event. The prize is awarded every five years to two individuals – one female and one male. The prize was established by the UN General Assembly in June 2014 with the aim of recognising people whose achievements have been in the service of humanity as guided by the purposes and principles of the UN, while honouring the life and legacy of President Mandela.

The provisional programme of the commemorative event can be found on the following link:

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, 082 884 5974


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