Pretoria: President Jacob Zuma’s participation in the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA67) this week has been hailed as a success.
The UNGA67 took place at the UN’s headquarters in New York under the theme: “Bringing about Adjustment or Settlement of International Disputes or Situations by Peaceful Means”.
According to the Presidency, Zuma used the event to raise the “crucial issue” of South Africa’s strong support for the reform of the UN, particularly the UN Security Council.
“We would like to see a more meaningful representation of Africa in the UN Security Council. About 70 percent of the agenda of the UN Security Council is taken up by issues from the African continent. The Security Council has to be expanded in both categories, with at least two seats for Africa in the permanent category and five in the non-permanent category,” the President said during his main address at the General Assembly.
Zuma also became one of the ten inaugural Member State Champions for the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s Education First Initiative, which was launched on 26 September.
The champions are to provide support to the Secretary General in order to ensure strong visibility and the success of the initiative, which aims at achieving quality, relevant and inclusive education for all.
Further to this, the President attended a number of high-level meetings on the sidelines of UNGA67, including the Rule of Law at International and National Levels, Access to Justice for Women, Global Initiative on Education, and meetings on Somalia and the Sahel Region.
At the Somalia summit the President said “the Somali leadership is expected to play a very critical role in developing a vision that will serve to rally Somali stakeholders and international partners in our efforts at post-transition development”.
He added that South Africa was committed to working with Somalia to strengthen relations between the two countries.
Zuma also encouraged the international community to assist the people and governments of the Sahel region to deal with the region’s challenges such as the trading of drugs, terrorist activities and the deteriorating humanitarian situation.
He was accompanied by International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Jeff Radebe, Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.