Media Statement

20 July 2021

Minister Pandor to deliver the Keynote Address at the Annual Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the occasion of the Nelson Mandela International Day

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, will deliver a pre-recorded Keynote Address at the Annual Meeting of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on the occasion of the Nelson Mandela International Day.

The meeting will take place on Wednesday, 21 July 2021, from 16h00-17h30 (South African time) and can be viewed via webcast on UN WebTV (

Other speakers at the event include Ms Amina Mohammed, Deputy-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly, as well as Chairs of the five regional groups in the UN and a representative of the host country, the United States.

The theme for the Nelson Mandela International Day 2021 is: “One hand can feed another,” which resonates with President Mandela’s legacy of building a peaceful, sustainable and equitable world for all.

“The theme chosen for this year is very important, in the context of the first and second goals of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are ending poverty and hunger by 2030,” said Minister Pandor.

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA) at the 2001 World Conference against Racism held in Durban, which is the most comprehensive programme for combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

“Nelson Mandela made huge personal sacrifices in his life-long commitment to fighting racism and discrimination. The biggest tribute we as the international community can accord him this year, is to reaffirm the importance of the DDPA, given the persisting challenge of racism around the world,” said Minister Pandor.

On 10 November 2009, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 64/13, tabled by South Africa, which 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 programme of the commemorative event can be found on the following link: PGA-letter-on-revised-final-program-Mandela-Day-19-July.pdf (

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


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