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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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Book of Condolences

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa wishes to inform of the sad news of the passing away of Mr. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, Former President of the Republic of South Africa on Thursday, 5 December 2013.

Mr Mandela’s State Memorial Service, Lying-in-State and State Funeral will be held as follows:

State Memorial Service:

Date: Tuesday, 10 December 2013
Venue: FNB Stadium
  Corner Nasrec Road and Stadium Avenue
  Nasrec, Johannesburg South
Time: To be confirmed


Date: Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Venue: Union Buildings

State Funeral:

Date: Sunday, 15 December 2013
Venue: Qunu
Time: To be confirmed

New York Arrangements

Half Mast United Nations Flag

The United Nations flag will fly at half-mast for the whole day on Friday, 6 December 2013 as an exceptional honour to former President Nelson Mandela.

United Nations Memorial Service

The United Nations has scheduled a Memorial Service to be held on Tuesday, 10 December 2013. 

Public Memorial Service

The public memorial service will be held at Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive at 122nd Street, on 11 December 2013 from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm.   More information available at Riverside Church's website.

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). 

Ambassador Kingsley Mamabolo presents credentials to the Secretary-General of the United Nations

Ambassador Kingsley Mamabolo, the new Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations has today 13 March 2013, presented his credentials to H.E Ban ki-Moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Ambassador Mamabolo was accompanied by the Honourable, Advocate Ngoako Ramatlhodi, the Deputy Minister of Correctional Services and Advovate Doc Mashabane, the Deputy Representative of South Africa to the United Nations.

Following presentation of his credentials, Ambassador Mamabolo accompanied by Deputy Minister Ramatloadi and DPR Mashabane held a bilateral meeting Mr. Ban. The Secretary-General congratulated the Permanent Representative for his appointment and expressed appreciation of South Africa’s role in the UN as well as the country’s leadership roles in the Africa Group, Group of 77 and China and in the Non-Aligned Movement.

The Secretary-General emphasized that South Africa under the leadership of President Jacob Zuma continue to play a central role on the African continent, in particular in conflict prevention, management and resolution. Mr. Ban Ki Moon also recognized the role played by the political leadership of South Africa in the broader south and further noted that South Africa as the only African member of the G20, has a pivotal role to play in global economic governance.

The Secretary-General applauded South Africa under President Zuma for its role on the Framework Agreement on the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In this context, he thanked the role played by SADC and personal efforts of President Zuma.

Mr. Ban ki-Moon pointed-out to Ambassador Mamabolo that his appointment comes at a critical period in the history of the United Nations, given that the debate on the definition of a new global development agenda has begun and the target date for the achievement of MDGs in 2015 is drawing closer. He emphasized that South Africa has a crucial role to play in defining this Development Agenda.

On his part, Ambassador Mamobolo thanked the Secretary-General for welcoming him to the United Nations and expressed appreciation for the cooperation extended to his predecessors since the UNSG’s appointment in 2006.

The South African Permanent Representative reassured the Secretary-General of South Africa’s cooperation and support as he continues to tackle all global challenges facing the United Nations.

Ambassador Mamabolo specifically thanked the Secretary-General for his commitment to conflict resolution in Africa and for being a partner in addressing under-development on the continent. He mentioned that cooperation between the African Union and the United Nations remains critical and hopes that the Secretary-General will continue working with South Africa and SADC on issues on the continent, in particular the situation in DRC.

In closing, the Secretary-General asked Ambassador Mamabolo to convey his sincere gratitude to President Zuma and Minister Nkoana-Mashabane for their continued support to all his endeavours not only on the African continent but also across the globe.

The Secretary-General concluded by saying he looks forward to working with Ambassador Mamabolo and noted that the United Nations Secretariat stands ready to work with him to make his tenure at the United Nations a success.

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