Johannesburg - Minister for International Relations Naledi Pandor will represent President Cyril Ramaphosa at the opening of the UN General Assembly in New York next week.
Ramaphosa will not attend the gathering of world leaders as he has prioritised the implementation of initiatives to tackle gender-based violence and restoring stability to areas affected by recent violence.
“The UNGA’s theme for this year is galvanising multilateral efforts towards poverty eradication, quality education, climate action and inclusion as proposed by the Permanent Representative of Nigeria. This resonates with our seven priorities as outlined in the State of the Nation address,” Pandor told the media in Pretoria on Monday.
“The General Assembly debate addresses issues of national, regional and international importance. We will utilise the opportunity to speak of the unfortunately tragic events of the past two weeks and repeat our belief in African unity, peace and friendship.”
Pandor told journalists that while the government regrets what has happened, more must be done to build bridges and change perceptions, and build social cohesion. “While recent events cannot be tolerated, as human rights experts have said, it is wrong to call South Africans xenophobic.”