The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 7th Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the parties (CMP7) to the Kyoto Protocol was held in the sunny city of Durban, South Africa.



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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). 

Statement by His Excellency President Jacob Zuma during the General Debate of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, 20 September 2017

President Zuma to attend the UN General Assembly in New York, 15 September 2017

His Excellency Ambassador Jerry Matthews Matjila Presents Credentials to United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon

The new Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations, His Excellency Ambassador Jerry Matthews Matjila, presented his credentials to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 5 July 2016. Read more.

Photo credit: Sherwin Bryce-Pease/SABC

Photo credit: Sherwin Bryce-Pease/SABC

Visit to the Permanent Mission by the National High School Model United Nations Delegation

3 March 2016

The National High School Model United Nations (NHSMUN) was founded in 1975 and has continued uninterrupted for over 40 years. The conference takes place at the United Nations Headquarters and at the New York Hilton Hotel. Currently the largest high school Model UN conference in the world, NHSMUN hosts participants from approximately 40 different countries each year.

Secretary-General appoints Jeremiah Nyamane Kingsley Mamabolo of South Africa as Deputy Joint Special Representative for Darfur Hybrid Operation

New York, 2 March 2016

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma announced today the appointment of Jeremiah Nyamane Kingsley Mamabolo of South Africa as Deputy Joint Special Representative for the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). Read more.

Statement by H.E. Mr Luwellyn Landers, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, at the Handover Ceremony of the Chairmanship of the Group of 77

12 January 2016

It is an honour that I address you on the occasion of the conclusion of South Africa’s Chairing of the Group of 77 and China. I wish to convey my Government’s sincere gratitude to all Members of the Group for the support, guidance and assistance accorded to our delegation during our tenure.

I would like to take this opportunity to pay a special tribute to the G77 Secretariat for its outstanding support and guidance. Their unwavering support throughout the year was vital to the successful work of the Group. Read full statement.

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

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.

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




Rev. Friday, 29-Sep-2017 12:43 PM