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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). 


June 2015

Statement on Behalf of the Group of 77 and China by H.E. Ambassador Jeremiah Nyamane Kingsley Mamabolo, Permanent Representative of the Republic of South Africa to the United Nations, Chair of the Group of 77 and China, at the Executive Board of UNDP, UNFPA And UNOPS Annual Session: UNDP SEGMENT, 4 June 2015

View older statements.

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