Zuma arrives in New York for UN General Debate

2016-09-17 17:13
Jacob Zuma

Jacob Zuma

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Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma has arrived in New York to attend the General Debate of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the Presidency said on Saturday.

The theme of the event is: "The Sustainable Development Goals: A universal push to transform our world."

The General Debate presents an opportunity for member states to take stock of the effectiveness of the United Nations, said Presidency spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga in a statement.  

Ngqulunga said it was expected that member states would use the General Debate to chart a way forward to improve the organisation’s efficiency and relevance by making it more democratic, responsive and transparent.

Deliberations are expected to focus on UN reform, including on the revitalisation of the UNGA; improvement of the work of the Economic and Social Council, and the substantive reform of the UN Security Council to expand its membership in both the permanent and non-permanent categories.

This would be the final General Debate for the current Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, whose term ends on December 31.  

The process of appointing his successor is underway and is expected to feature in discussions at the General Debate. 

“South Africa will use the opportunity to communicate progress made towards achieving Africa’s development, including the industrialisation and regional integration drives, with the aim of achieving a better life for South Africans and all in the continent,” said Ngqulunga.

“South Africa will also continue to raise concern regarding the strength of the institutions of global governance, including the United Nations, specifically the Security Council, and to advocate for the urgent reform of these institutions with the aim of correcting the historical injustice against Africa, reflected in their outdated structures.”

Zuma was also expected to participate in other high level meetings on the fringes of the General Debate.  

Read more on:    un  |  jacob zuma  |  ban ki-moon  |  us

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