Pandor to lead SA delegation to UNGA

Thursday, September 12, 2019

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor will lead South Africa’s delegation to the United Nations General Assembly debate scheduled to get underway later this month as President Cyril Ramaphosa remains to attend to domestic matters.

“President Cyril Ramaphosa is no longer travelling as he will be focusing on domestic matters,” the Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s (Dirco) spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele said on Thursday.

The Presidency said Pandor has been delegated to lead the South African delegation, to allow President Ramaphosa to concentrate on critical issues in the country.

President Ramaphosa was due to participate in the 74th General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA74) and related global meetings in New York from 23 to 26 September 2019.

“The President has decided to remain in South Africa to attend to the implementation of government’s urgent measures on gender-based violence, the restoration of order and stability in areas affected by public violence, and to oversee initiatives to turn around the economy,” said the Presidency.

Over the next few days and weeks, President Ramaphosa will be meeting communities, civil society and structures of government on concrete actions to address public concerns and challenges.

“This is a time for leadership from across society to mobilise their respective constituencies in support of economic progress and rebuilding the social and moral fabric of society. Government is stepping up its own contribution to this collective effort,” said President Ramaphosa. 

President Ramaphosa and Deputy President David Mabuza and other Cabinet colleagues including the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster will be focused on the implementation of plans outlined in the State of the Nation Address of June 2019 and the Presidency Budget Vote 2019/2020.

President Rampahosa’s withdrawal from the New York trip follows several weeks of ongoing violent tensions in the country.

At the weekend President Ramaphosa condemned the resurgence of public violence.

The President stressed that lawlessness is a crime against the country’s prosperity and stability as a nation, and those who want to upset public order must expect to face the gravest impact of the law.

Two lives were lost in public violence incidents in Johannesburg on Sunday.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) had also announced that it has increased the deployment of members to cover all the areas identified as hotspots of violence, where shops have been looted and property set alight.

UNGA 74 will open on 17 September 2019 with the first day of the high-level General Debate scheduled for 24 September.

During the week of the debate, several other high-level events will also be convened. These include a meeting of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF)