Category Archives: United Nations

Former United Nations (UN) secretary-general Kofi Annan

Brand South Africa statement on the passing of former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan

This weekend, the world woke up to the sad news on the passing of the first African Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) Kofi Annan. News headlines report that the 80-year-old advocate for the African continent, and seventh Secretary-General who rose through the ranks of the UN, suffered with a short illness before he died.

The Ghanaian diplomat, and one of the United Nations’ most high-profile and well-respected former Secretary-Generals was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with the UN “for their work for a better organised and more peaceful world”. Annan served as the UN Secretary-General from January 1997 to December 2006 – and put development, human rights, the rule of law, good governance and peace at the top of the UNs agenda.

Commenting on the passing of Kofi Annan, Brand South Africa’s Chief Marketing Officer Mrs Linda Magapatona-Sangaret said: “2018 marks the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela – it is a year which has provided an opportunity for people around the world to reflect on his exceptional leadership. Kofi Annan too was such a great leader, and leaves behind a similar legacy as he dedicated his years in service of human development and peace. The world has lost yet another magnanimous and selfless model leader.”

Annan who delivered the 5thh Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture on 22 July 2007 which focused on the progress of Africa, also served as the Chair of the The Elders – an international non-governmental organisation of public figures noted as elder statesmenpeace activists, and human rights advocates, who were brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007. The goal Nelson Mandela set for the Elders was to use their “almost 1,000 years of joint experience” to work on solutions for seemingly insurmountable problems such as climate changeHIV/AIDS, and poverty, as well as to “use their political independence to help resolve some of the world’s most intractable conflicts.

Kofi Annan was a member of The Elders since its founding in 2007, succeeding Desmond Tutu as Chair in May 2013. Between February and August 2012 Kofi Annan temporarily recused himself as a member of The Elders during his UN and Arab League assignment as Joint Special Envoy on the Syrian crisis. Kofi Annan’s first engagement with The Elders came in November 2008 when, together with Jimmy Carter and Graça Machel, he drew the world’s attention on the humanitarian crisis affecting Zimbabwe.

UN Women, COMESA discuss Cooperation framework

UN Women Regional Director Ms. Izeduwa Derex-Briggs visited the COMESA Secretariat, Thursday, 17 August 2016 to discuss modalities of implementing an MoU signed between the two organizations in April 2016. Ms. BrUN Women Regional Director Ms. Izeduwa Derex-Briggs visited the COMESA Secretariat, Thursday, 17 August 2016 to discuss modalities of implementing an MoU signed between the two organizations in April 2016.

Ms. Briggs held talks with the Assistant Secretary General Ambassador Kipyego Cheluget that focused on the development of a framework to implement the MoU.

The UN Women Representative in Malawi, Ms. Clara Anyangwe, COMESA Director of Gender Mrs Beatrice Hamusonde and Gender Expert Talumba Banda participated in the meeting. Among the key initiatives to be undertaken are gender empowerment programmes particularly for women in agriculture. iggs held talks with the Assistant Secretary General Ambassador Kipyego Cheluget that focused on the development of a framework to implement the MoU. The UN Women Representative in Malawi, Ms. Clara Anyangwe, COMESA Director of Gender Mrs Beatrice Hamusonde and Gender Expert Talumba Banda participated in the meeting. Among the key initiatives to be undertaken are gender empowerment prog

United Nations

UN Secretary General’s Message for International Women’s Day

Women’s rights are human rights. But in these troubled times, as our world becomes more unpredictable and chaotic, the rights of women and girls are being reduced, restricted and reversed.

Empowering women and girls is the only way to protect their rights and make sure they can realize their full potential.

Historic imbalances in power relations between men and women, exacerbated by growing inequalities within and between societies and countries, are leading to greater discrimination against women and girls. Around the world, tradition, cultural values and religion are being misused to curtail women’s rights, to entrench sexism and defend misogynistic practices.

Women’s legal rights, which have never been equal to men’s on any continent, are being eroded further. Women’s rights over their own bodies are questioned and undermined. Women are routinely targeted for intimidation and harassment in cyberspace and in real life. In the worst cases, extremists and terrorists build their ideologies around the subjugation of women and girls and single them out for sexual and gender-based violence, forced marriage and virtual enslavement.

Despite some improvements, leadership positions across the board are still held by men, and the economic gender gap is widening, thanks to outdated attitudes and entrenched male chauvinism. We must change this, by empowering women at all levels, enabling their voices to be heard and giving them control over their own lives and over the future of our world.

Denying the rights of women and girls is not only wrong in itself; it has a serious social and economic impact that holds us all back. Gender equality has a transformative effect that is essential to fully functioning communities, societies and economies.

Women’s access to education and health services has benefits for their families and communities that extend to future generations. An extra year in school can add up to 25 per cent to a girl’s future income.

When women participate fully in the labour force, it creates opportunities and generates growth. Closing the gender gap in employment could add $12 trillion to global GDP by 2025. Increasing the proportion of women in public institutions makes them more representative, increases innovation, improves decision-making and benefits whole societies.

Gender equality is central to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the global plan agreed by leaders of all countries to meet the challenges we face. Sustainable Development Goal 5 calls specifically for gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, and this is central to the achievement of all the 17 SDGs.

I am committed to increasing women’s participation in our peace and security work. Women negotiators increase the chances of sustainable peace, and women peacekeepers decrease the chances of sexual exploitation and abuse.

Within the UN, I am establishing a clear road map with benchmarks to achieve gender parity across the system, so that our Organization truly represents the people we serve. Previous targets have not been met. Now we must move from ambition to action.

On International Women’s Day, let us all pledge to do everything we can to overcome entrenched prejudice, support engagement and activism, and promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.

ECOWAS

Joint ECOWAS-AU-UN Statement on the occasion of the swearing-in Ceremony of H.E. Adama Barrow, President-Elect of the Republic of the Gambia

The ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations congratulate H.E. Adama Barrow, President of the Republic of The Gambia on the occasion of his swearing-in and assumption of the mantle of leadership to the highest office of the land following his victory at the presidential election of 1stDecember 2016 and in
accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia.

The ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations equally congratulate the people of The Gambia who have demonstrated patience, discipline, maturity and resolve to defend their popular will, as expressed in the 1st December, 2016 presidential election and during the post-electoral crisis.
The ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations once again commend the independence, professionalism and commitment of members of the Independent Electoral Commission of The Gambia and all political parties for exercising the needed restraint that paved way for the peaceful conduct of the
1st December, 2016 presidential election.

The ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations commend the leadership and commitment demonstrated by Her Excellency (Mrs) Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia and Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, as well as His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari,
President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and ECOWAS Mediator, and H.E. John Dramani Mahama, former President of the Republic of Ghana and CoMediator, for the efforts undertaken for the resolution of the post-electoral impasse in The Gambia in full compliance with constitutional legality to ensure peaceful
transfer of power.

The ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations urge His Excellency Adama Barrow to take all necessary steps to strengthen national unity, social harmony and peace in the Gambia with a view to addressing the sociopolitical and economic challenges that have hampered poverty reduction in the country.
The ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations once again urge the Security Forces to observe neutrality and conduct themselves in a civil manner, and to strongly support President Barrow by maintaining public order and security which are essential to the stability and development of the country.
The ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations reaffirm their commitment to continue accompanying The Gambia in consolidating democracy and rule of law in the country.

ECOWAS

Joint ECOWAS-AU-UN Statement on the occasion of the swearing-in Ceremony of H.E. Adama Barrow, President-Elect of the Republic of the Gambia

The ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations congratulate H.E. Adama Barrow, President of the Republic of The Gambia on the occasion of his swearing-in and assumption of the mantle of leadership to the highest office of the land following his victory at the presidential election of 1st December 2016 and in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia. The ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations equally congratulate the people of The Gambia who have demonstrated patience, discipline, maturity and resolve to defend their popular will, as expressed in the 1st December, 2016 presidential election and during the post-electoral crisis. 

 The ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations once again commend the independence, professionalism and commitment of members of the Independent Electoral Commission of The Gambia and all political parties for exercising the needed restraint that paved way for the peaceful conduct of the 1st December, 2016 presidential election. 

 The ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations commend the leadership and commitment demonstrated by Her Excellency (Mrs) Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia and Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, as well as His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and ECOWAS Mediator, and H.E. John Dramani Mahama, former President of the Republic of Ghana and Co-Mediator, for the efforts undertaken for the resolution of the post-electoral impasse in The Gambia in full compliance with constitutional legality to ensure peaceful transfer of power. 

 The ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations urge His Excellency Adama Barrow to take all necessary steps to strengthen national unity, social harmony and peace in the Gambia with a view to addressing the socio-political and economic challenges that have hampered poverty reduction in the country. The ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations once again urge the Security Forces to observe neutrality and conduct themselves in a civil manner, and to strongly support President Barrow by maintaining public order and security

which are essential to the stability and development of the country. The ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations reaffirm their commitment to continue accompanying The Gambia in consolidating democracy and rule of law in the country.

PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA

President Zuma to lead the South African delegation to the 69th session of the UN general assembly

20 September 2014. The Government Communications and Information Service(GCIS) announced that President Jacob Zuma, will lead the South African delegation to the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA69), scheduled to take place in New York, in the United States from 24-30 September 2014.

The General Assembly is the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations (UN). Comprising all 193 Members of the United Nations, it provides a unique forum for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the Charter of the United Nations.

The President for the 69th Session is H.E. Mr Sam Kutesa, the former Foreign Minister of Uganda, who chose: “Delivering on and Implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda” as the theme for the General Debate.  The theme builds on that of UNGA 68 and is taking place against the rapidly approaching target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, and the start of the intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda, which is the major focal point in the multilateral arena.

Furthermore the post-2015 negotiations will be taking place in the context of the global rebalancing of economic power as a result of a loss of comparative advantage by developed countries (and made more pronounced by the global economic melt-down).  This makes the negotiations of the post-2015 development agenda highly contested, with developed countries seeking to redefine development to support their economic recovery needs, whilst developing countries try to ensure that the outcome supports its own understanding of development.

 

In accordance with its strategic approach, South Africa’s participation will be informed by national interests and priorities, its regional and continental commitments, as well as its aspirations for a prosperous world at peace with itself.  In this regard, the General Debate provides a platform for South Africa to advance its strategic priorities in the world’s pre-eminent multilateral forum.

 

According to GCIS,President Zuma will address the General Assembly on 24 September 2014, in the afternoon session of the opening day of the General Debate.

In addition to the General Debate, it is expected that South Africa will also participate in the following High-Level United Nations Events at UNGA69, which precede the opening of the General Debate namely:

 

  • Meeting of the High-Level Plenary of the General Assembly to be known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (Resolution 66/296) (22-23 September 2014);
  • Special Session of the General Assembly on the follow-up to the Programme of Action (PoA) of the International Conference on Population and Development (Resolution 65/234 and 67/250) (22 September 2014);
  • Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region (22 September 2014); and
  • The Climate Summit 2014 convened by the Secretary-General (23 September 2014).