Johannesburg - International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor’s address to the UN General Assembly this weekend held particular significance, not only because it marked a quarter century into our democracy, but her grandfather addressed the UN 53 years before, in 1966.
ZK Matthews was the ANC stalwart who proposed the idea of a Freedom Charter in the 1950s, and would have been proud that generations later his granddaughter, representing the president, addressed UN member states.
“Our anniversary is due in large measure to the solidarity we enjoyed from most UN member states, and it is because of this history that South Africa is also vested in the ideal of a robust and coherent UN, as it is this organisation that has the ability to ensure that all who yearn for freedom achieve it,” Pandor said.
In a pointed reference to the commitment of the UN to the cause of freedom in South Africa, Pandor told delegates: “As early as 1946, shortly after the creation of the UN, the issue of apartheid South Africa's discriminatory policies was included as an agenda item in the first session of the UN General Assembly. We strongly believe a purposive system of multilateralism is necessary to deal with the global challenges we face.”
Pandor highlighted South Africa’s unwavering commitment to Africa.