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Compiled by Cornelia Le Roux

Digital Deputy News Editor


Bite of the Big Apple: Ramaphosa in New York to address UN General Assembly

President Cyril Ramaphosa and several Cabinet ministers arrived in New York for the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly.


President Cyril Ramaphosa jetted off to New York on Sunday, 17 September, to partake in the annual United Nations General Assembly, which takes place from 18 to 26 September. 

Ramaphosa met with UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Sunday ahead of the SDG Summit and a business roundtable on Monday and then the General Debate on Tuesday when he will deliver the country’s statement.

WATCH: President Ramaphosa arrives in New York

UN General Assembly: Strong development focus

The General Assembly is the main policymaking organ of the United Nations and is a forum for multilateral discussions by member states on a range of international issues covered by the UN Charter.

This year’s UN General Assembly is being convened under the theme of “Rebuilding Trust and Reigniting Global Solidarity”.

The theme was set by the incoming president of the UN General Assembly ambassador Dennis Francis of Trinidad and Tobago.

This week’s strong development focus includes a Climate Ambition Summit, a high-level meeting on financing for development, and the key issue of reforming multilateral institutions.

ALSO READ: WATCH: UN encouraged by ‘incredible work’ of Miss Earth South Africa

Ramaphosa’s programme

Ramaphosa will also lead discussions during the Presidential Roundtable that will be hosted by the United States Chamber of Commerce and US-Africa Business Centre.

In addition, the president’s programme will include several bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

SA participation

According to Presidential spokesperson Vincent  Magwenya, South Africa’s participation is directed by its international relations policy objectives of among others:

  • Mobilising support for South Africa’s domestic objectives, as outlined in the National Development Plan, including reducing inequality, unemployment, and poverty.
  • Support for the African Agenda and promoting Africa’s sustainable development by advocating for Africa’s priorities under the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063.
  • Influencing the reform of the global multilateral architecture; and advancing the agenda of the South in the North-South Dialogue platform.

ALSO READ: Climate change risk for small businesses in South Africa

Ministerial delegation

The ministerial delegation accompanying Ramaphosa, consists of:

  • Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Dr Naledi Pandor;
  • Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel;
  • Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Barbara Creecy;
  • Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla;
  • Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni; and
  • Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Maropene Ramokgopa. 

NOW READ: ‘Zuma private prosecution had no basis in law’ – Ramaphosa

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