International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. PHOTO: Katlholo Maifadi/Department of International Relations and Cooperation

Johannesburg - International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu on Monday lauded South Africa's late former permanent representative to the United Nations Dumisani Kumalo for what she called his important role in promoting multilateralism and strengthening and reforming the organisation.

"South Africans must celebrate the contribution Ambassador Kumalo made in the fight against apartheid during his years in exile in the United States, which culminated in the UN Security Council recognising apartheid as a crime against humanity," Sisulu said of the diplomat who died on Sunday.

"Ambassador Kumalo played an important role in promoting multilateralism and a strengthened and reformed United Nations. At a time when multilateralism is under threat, his experience is wisdom will be sorely missed."

Kumalo served as UN permanent representative in New York from 1999 to 2009, chaired advisory groups on Guinea Bissau and Burundi, was co-chair for the establishment of the UN Human Rights Council and chair of the Non-Aligned Movement, the Southern African Development Community and the Group of 77 plus China (G77)  at the United Nations. 

The department of international relations said he would also be remembered for mentoring many young diplomats at its head office and those deployed to  the UN In New York. 

African News Agency (ANA)