President to lead SA delegation to UNGA

President Cyril Ramaphosa will travel to New York on Saturday where he will lead the South African delegation to the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

This marks President Ramaphosa's inaugural participation in UNGA as Head of State and Government.

The President will participate in the annual general debate, which is an occasion for world leaders to gather at UN headquarters to discuss global issues.

President Ramaphosa and other world leaders will meet in New York from 25 to 27 September.

This year's UNGA takes place under the theme 'Making the United Nations relevant to all people: global leadership and shared responsibilities for peaceful equitable and sustainable societies'.

The theme is inspired by the commitment by the President of the General Assembly (PGA) , Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces, to making the UN a more relevant, efficient, transparent and democratic organisation.

The UN general debate will be preceded by the unveiling of a statue of former President Nelson Mandela and the historic Nelson Mandela Peace Summit.

In addition to this, a high-level plenary meeting convened by the PGA in honour of the centenary of the former President will take place ahead of the debate.

The Nelson Mandela Peace Summit will be an opportunity for Heads of State and Government to commit global support towards ending conflict in the world and on the African continent in particular, in line with the African Union's aspirations of silencing the guns by 2020.

In his inaugural address at the UNGA, President Ramaphosa is expected to outline South Africa's domestic and foreign policy goals and priorities.

These include the country's land reform programme aimed at fostering greater stability, inclusiveness and transformation within the South African economy, said Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko.

The President is further expected to lay out South Africa's priorities for its two-year term as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council from 2019 to 2020.

While in New York, President Ramaphosa will meet with CEOs of major global companies as part of the drive to attract foreign direct investment in order to ramp up the South African economy.

This will form part of the build-up to South Africa's International Investment Conference, which will take place on 26 and 27 October, with a focus on bringing investment of $100 billion into the South African economy over the next five years, said Diko.

President Ramaphosa will be accompanied by International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu; Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies; Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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