South Africa was one of the 51 founding member of the United Nations in 1945. Since its inception in 1945, UN membership has grown to 192 States. The United Nations General Assembly on 12 November 1974 suspended South Africa from participating in its work, due to international opposition to the policy of apartheid. South Africa was re-admitted to the UN in 1994 following its transition into a democracy. Since 1994 the democratically elected government has pursued a foreign policy based on the centrality of the UN in the multilateral system.
Twelve years after re-admittance to the UN, South Africa was honoured to be endorsed by the African Union (AU) and subsequently elected with an overwhelming majority to serve as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council during the period 2007-2008. During its tenure as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), South Africa promoted the African Agenda namely peace, security and development. South Africa is honoured to once again serve as a non-permanent member for the period 2011-2012.
The United Nations plays an indispensable, role in addressing contemporary and future global challenges. In this regard, the primary role of the United Nations is to maintain international peace and security, promote economic development as well as to promote and protect human rights.
South Africa is faithful to the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations Charter. It strongly advocates rules-based multilateralism. In pursuance of this objective, South Africa is an active participant in the main deliberative and subsidiary bodies of the United Nations, i.e. the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Security Council, Peace Building Commission (PBC) as well as the Human Rights Council.
South Africa is committed to promoting and achieving its vision of an African Continent, which is prosperous, peaceful, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and united, and which contributes to a world that is just and equitable through effective multilateralism at the sub-regional (SADC), regional (AU) and global level (UN).
President Zuma to lead the South African delegation to the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
22 September 2015
His Excellency President Jacob Zuma will lead a South African delegation to the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA70) under the theme: “The United Nations at 70 – the road ahead for peace, security and human rights.” Read full media statement.
President Jacob Zuma addressing the 70th session of United Nations General Assembly.
Photo Credit: DIRCO.
Link to Photo Gallery
Statement by Ambassador J.M. Matjila Director-General, DIRCO and BRICS Sherpa BRICS Foreign / International Relations Ministers’ Meeting on the margins of the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA70), New York, 29 September 2015
Press Release: Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs, 29 September 2015
Statement by President Jacob Zuma at the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, 28 September 2015
Statement by President Jacob Zuma, at the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, during the “UN Summit for the Adoption of the Post 2015 Development Agenda” UN General Assembly Hall, 27 September 2015
Thirty-Ninth Annual Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the Group of 77, New York, 24 September 2015
Remarks by Ms. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation and Chair of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the G77+China at the 39th Annual Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77+China, United Nations Headquarters, 24 September 2015
Statement on Behalf of the Group of 77 and China on the Draft Resolution: Promoting Inclusive and Accountable Public Services for Sustainable Development, L.81/Rev.1 by Mr. Mahlatse Mminele, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of South Africa to the United Nations, New York, 14 September 2015
Introduction on Behalf of the Group of 77 and China of the Draft Resolution: Venue of Annual Sessions of the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme/United Nations Population Fund/United Nations Office For Project Services Under Agenda Item 24 (A) by Mr Mahlatse Mminele, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of South Africa to the United Nations, New York, 11 September 2015
Statement on Behalf of the Group of 77 and China by H.E. Ambassador Kingsley J.N. Mamabolo, Permanent Rresentative of the Republic of South Africa to the United Nations, Chair of the Group of 77, at the High-Level Committee on South-South Cooperation's Special Inter-Sessional Meeting, New York, 8 September 2015
Statement on Behalf of the Group of 77 and China by Mr Thembile Joyini, Legal Adviser, Permanent Mission of South Africa to the United Nations, at the Meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group of the Whole of the General Assembly on the Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment, Including Socio-Economic Aspects, New York, 8 September 2015
Statement on Behalf of the Group of 77 and China by H.E. Ambassador Kingsley J.N. Mamabolo, Permanent Representative of the Republic of South Africa to the United Nations, Chair of the Group of 77, at the Executive Board Of UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS Annual Session, New York, 1 September 2015
Take Action! Inspire Change
Every year on 18 July — the day Nelson Mandela was born — the UN joins a call by the Nelson Mandela Foundation to devote 67 minutes of time to helping others, as a way to mark Nelson Mandela International Day.
For 67 years Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity — as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.
How the Day came about
In November 2009, the UN General Assembly declared 18 July "Nelson Mandela International Day" in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.
General Assembly resolution A/RES/64/13 recognizes Nelson Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity, in the fields of conflict resolution, race relations, the promotion and protection of human rights, reconciliation, gender equality and the rights of children and other vulnerable groups, as well as the upliftment of poor and underdeveloped communities. It acknowledges his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world. More information.
South Africa has assumed the Chair of the Group of 77
Photo Credit: DIRCO
Deputy Minister Luwellyn Landers at the ceremony during which SA took over from Bolivia as Chair of the G77+China. The G77+China is the largest grouping of developing nations in the UN system and plays a leading role in advancing the common interests and aspirations of its member states.
Holidays Observed (2015)
|Thursday, 1 January||New Year's Day|
|Monday, 16 February||President's Day|
|Friday, 3 April||Good Friday|
|Monday, 6 April||Family Day (Easter Monday)|
|Monday, 25 May||Memorial Day|
|Friday, 3 July||U.S. Independence Day|
|Friday, 17 July||Eid al-Fitr|
|Monday, 7 September||Labour Day|
|Thursday, 24 September||Heritage Day|
|Monday, 12 October||Columbus Day|
|Thursday, 26 November||Thanksgiving Day|
|Friday, 25 December||Christmas Day|
South Africa elected to the ECOSOC
9 November 2012
Pretoria - South Africa was yesterday, the 8th of November 2012, overwhelmingly elected by the Members of the UN General Assembly to the 47-Member Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. ECOSOC is one of the Principal Organs of the United Nations alongside the Security Council and General Assembly. South Africa finishes its two-year non-renewable, non-permanent membership of the Security Council on 31st December 2012 and immediately assumes the membership of ECOSOC on the 1st January 2013. South Africa last served in ECOSOC in 2004 to 2006. Read full media statement.
Celebrating South Africa's Progressive Role at the United Nations