South African Government

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President Cyril Ramaphosa participates in 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, 21 to 27 Sept 

21 Sep 2021

President Cyril Ramaphosa will participate virtually in the General Debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA76).

UNGA76 refers to the 76 years of existence of the United Nations which was established in 1945 in the aftermath of World War 2.

UNGA76 takes place from 21 to 27 September 2021 under the theme: “Building resilience through hope – to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalise the United Nations”. 

Due to challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and the scale of the event, the General Debate and High-Level Meetings of UNGA76 will be held in a hybrid format combining in-person and virtual participation.
The overarching issues that are expected to be dominant and of relevance to South Africa during UNGA76 include:

- recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic;

- discussions on the UN Secretary-General’s report entitled “Our Common Agenda,” following the 75th anniversary of the United Nations;

- the implementation of the 2030 Agenda  on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);

- climate change and the upcoming Conference on Climate Change (COP26) to be held in Glasgow in November 2021;

- reform of the United Nations, and

- peace and security matters.
President Ramaphosa will deliver a pre-recorded video statement at the General Debate on 23 September 2021 at approximately 15h00 South African time. 

During the General Debate, heads of delegation are expected to state the positions of their governments on topical issues that the United Nations is seized with, pertaining to the three pillars of the work of the UN system, namely, peace and security, human rights, and development.

The General Debate will also provide member states with an opportunity to raise matters relating to priorities and concerns that are of a national, regional, and global nature.
President Ramaphosa will also deliver a pre-recorded video statement at the Opening Plenary Meeting of the High-Level Meeting on the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA), which will take place on Wednesday, 22 September 2021 from 15h00-17h00 South African time.

The theme for this session is “Reparations, racial justice and equality for people of African descent.”

President Ramaphosa will deliver a pre-recorded statement marking 20 years since South Africa hosted the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban.

At this conference, UN member states adopted a landmark plan for combatting these scourges.  
The 2001 declaration embodies the commitments of the international community to address the legacy of the past, as well as contemporary forms and manifestations of racism and racial discrimination, including the acknowledgement that slavery and the slave trade are a crime against humanity. 

The Programme of Action recommends how member states and other stakeholders should implement these commitments.
As an outcome of this week’s High-Level Meeting, member states will adopt a political declaration aimed at mobilising political will at the national, regional, and international levels for the full and effective implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and its follow-up processes.
The General Debate and High-Level Meetings of UNGA76 will be webcast live on  and on all PresidencyZA digital platforms.

Media enquires: 
Acting Spokeperson to the President
Tyrone Seale

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