Statement by Deputy Minister Candith Mashego-Dlamini on the occasion of Procurement Seminar, 24 June 2022

Program Facilitator,
Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Thandi Modise,
Distinguished Representatives of the United Nations namely:
Under Secretary General of Operational Support, Mr Atul Khare,
Assistant Secretary General of the Office of Supply Chain Management, Mr Christian Saunders,
Representatives of South African Business Entities,
Colleagues from invited South African Partner Departments,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to extend a warm welcome to everyone present at this important Procurement Seminar which is jointly hosted by the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the United Nations Office of Supply Chain Management.

The objective of this Seminar is to brief South African vendors on the procurement activities, including policies, processes, business opportunities and vendor registration of the United Nations Office of Supply Chain Management.

We therefore extend our deepest appreciation to the United Nations Secretariat, through the Office of Supply Chain Management, for availing themselves to brief our business community on opportunities available in the United Nations procurement sector, and most importantly to sensitise them of the guidelines of registering in the United Nations vendor database.

I also wish to thank the representatives of South African business organisations for honouring this invitation. It is our view that the business community has a key role to play in supporting the United Nations to deliver on some of its programs and mandates, particularly on our Continent. I have no doubt that the outcomes of this event will be valuable for South Africa, particular its business community.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As top-ranking troop and police contributing country to the UN authorised peace operations, South Africa remains dedicated to the maintenance of international peace and security. We continue to serve as an active role player in the pursuit of global peace and security and have made valuable contributions in the decision-making process on peacekeeping. The spike in fatalities of peacekeepers compels us to highlight the that the safety and security of the peacekeepers remains a cardinal concern. We must protect our protectors.

We live in an era of infinite possibilities with the advancement of technology and innovation. These widely available and cost-effective technologies can make huge strides towards improving the safety and security of UN personnel and assets, as well as the UN’s capacity to protect civilians and to implement mandates effectively.

As an African and developing country, South Africa has consistently requested in the General Assembly, as per UN Resolution A/RES/70/286, that the Secretariat explore additional innovative ways to promote procurement from developing countries as well as encourage local vendors to apply for registration on the Secretariat vendor roster, with a view to broadening its geographical base.

As the global economy embarks on a trajectory of steady economic recovery following the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on the developing economies, including South Africa, it thus gives us great encouragement that through this Procurement Seminar, the Secretariat has remained true to the implementation of the objectives of this Resolution. We note with satisfaction that South Africa and the United Nations have collaborated on similar initiatives in the past, and hope that this Seminar will further deepen our collaboration.

On that note, it gives me great pleasure to hand back the floor to the Program Facilitator to introduce our first guest speaker.

I thank you for your attention.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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