South African President Jacob Zuma has arrived in New York in the US to attend the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, scheduled to take place Tuesday through to Monday.
The theme for this year’s session is “Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for all on a Sustainable Planet”.
In a statement, the Presidency pointed to the fact that this will be the first General Debate for the newly-appointed Secretary-General, António Guterres, who started his term on 1 January.
“Mr Guterres identified his major priority as the achievement of sustainable peace and security through conflict prevention by establishing a ‘culture of prevention’ in the UN – which South Africa fully supports,” the Presidency said.
“For South Africa, this General Debate coincides with the centenary anniversary of Mr Oliver Reginald Tambo. President Zuma will host an event on 20 September 2017, at the UN, in honour of this global icon of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.”
The statement added that in addition to addressing the General Debate, President Zuma will also sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on 20 September 2017. “Signature of the Treaty reflects South Africa’s continued commitment towards the achievement of a world free from the threat posed by nuclear weapons and ensuring that nuclear energy is used for peaceful purposes only.”
The Presidency said that Zuma will participate in a number of high-level meetings, including the open debate on the Reform of UN Peacekeeping Operations, which be convened by the Ethiopian Prime Minister, whose country is currently serving as a rotating President of the UN Security Council for the month of September 2017, as well as the high-level event entitled: “African Union’s Theme of the Year Roadmap on the Demographic Dividend: from Commitment to Action”, which will be convened by the Chair of the African Union, President Alpha Condé.
Zuma is set to be accompanied by International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; Minister of State Security David Mahlobo; Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa, and Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane.