President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address the general debate of the 76th United Nations General Assembly on Thursday.
The in-person and virtual gathering will open on Tuesday with an address from UN Secretary General António Guterres and is expected to continue over the next week.
“During the general debate, heads of delegation are expected to state the positions of their governments on topical issues that the United Nations is seized with, pertaining to the three pillars of the work of the UN system, namely, peace and security, human rights, and development.
“The general debate will also provide member states with an opportunity to raise matters relating to priorities and concerns that are of a national, regional, and global nature,” the Presidency said.
The theme for this year’s General Assembly is “Building resilience through hope – to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalize the United Nations”.
Issues that are expected to be debated at the General Assembly include:
- recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic
- discussions on the UN Secretary-General’s report entitled “Our Common Agenda,” following the 75th anniversary of the United Nations
- the implementation of the 2030 Agenda on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- climate change and the upcoming Conference on Climate Change (COP26) to be held in Glasgow in November 2021
- reform of the United Nations and
- peace and security.
According to the Presidency, President Ramaphosa is also expected to address the Opening Plenary Meeting of the High-Level Meeting on the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action on Wednesday.
The President’s pre-recorded video address will reflect on the 20 years since Durban hosted the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.
“The 2001 declaration embodies the commitments of the international community to address the legacy of the past, as well as contemporary forms and manifestations of racism and racial discrimination, including the acknowledgement that slavery and the slave trade are a crime against humanity.
“The Programme of Action recommends how member states and other stakeholders should implement these commitments,” the Presidency said.
As an outcome of this week’s High-Level Meeting, member states will adopt a political declaration aimed at mobilising political will at the national, regional, and international levels for the full and effective implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and its follow-up processes. – SAnews
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