Nkoana Mashabane heads to New York for UNGA

Friday, September 18, 2009

New York -International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane will later this morning depart for New York where she is expected to attend the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

According to the department, Nkoana Mashabane will engage in several bilateral meetings on the margins of the General Assembly aimed at strengthening South Africa's relations with a number of countries which will be participating at the 64th session.

South Africa will be participating within the government's position that the multilateral system of global governance remains the only hope against challenges facing humanity today.

Director General in the department, Dr Ayanda Ntsaluba, as well as the Deputy Director General Multilateral Affairs, Ambassador George Nene, will support Minister Nkoana Mashabane in preparing the ground for the arrival of President Zuma for the same session next week.

President Zuma will arrive in New York on Tuesday, ahead of his address at the General Debate.

The General Debate of the 64th Session of UNGA will run from 23 September to 2 October.

According to the department, this debate presents an opportunity for Heads of States and Government to interact on global issues that confront the international community.

The South African delegation will, in all its interactions during the assembly, contribute to debates around poverty eradication and the Millennium Development Goals; the global financial and economic crisis; reform of international institutions and the promotion of the African Agenda including NEPAD, among others.

On the margins of the assembly, President Zuma is expected to hold a series of bilateral meetings with his counterparts.

"This is in an endeavour to garner support on South Africa's positions on a range of issues of international importance and to consolidate cooperation on the multilateral level with other world countries."

Established in 1945 under the UN Charter, the General Assembly occupies a central position as the chief deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the UN.

Comprising all 192 members of the UN, it provides a unique forum for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the Charter. It also plays a significant role in standard-setting and international law codifying.