Media Statement

27 February 2020

Deputy Minister Botes concludes working visit to Geneva

The Deputy Minister of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Alvin Botes, has concluded his working visit to Geneva, Switzerland, where he led a South African delegation at the High-Level Segment of the 43rd Session of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council from 24-26 February 2020.

South Africa's participation at the High-Level Segment focused on the following issues: outlining the country’s human rights priorities for 2020; giving an update on the government’s recent efforts in ensuring the promotion, protection, fulfilment, enjoyment and practical realisation of human rights; initiating the process of lobbying support for the 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA), in particular the convening of a one-day high-level plenary event to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the DDPA on the margins of the High-Level segment of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly in 2021; and delivering messages on advancing gender equality, empowerment of women, and combating violence against women and girls.

South Africa participated in two high-level panel discussions on human rights mainstreaming, whose theme focused on “Thirty years of implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Challenges and Opportunities”; and the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action adopted at the 4th World Conference on Women.

The Deputy Minister held a range of bilateral meetings with delegations on human rights issues and issues related to South Africa’s Chairship of the African Union, including with the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Nada Al-Nashif.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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