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73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly​

South Africa will from 24 – 27 September 2018 participate at the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) taking place at UN Headquarters in New York. The annual debate brings together Heads of State and Government to present their views about pressing world issues.


This gathering coincides with the centenary anniversary of former President Nelson Mandela who would have turned 100 this year. In honour of this global icon, the United Nations in collaboration with South Africa will lead a Nelson Mandela Peace Summit on 24 September 2018 which will include:


  1. A debate on peace in honour of former President Nelson Mandela;

  2. Unveiling a statue of Nelson Mandela; and

  3. A reception hosted by South Africa for about 300 delegates.

The General Debate will also be followed by a high-level discussion of the General Assembly on the financing of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda is a plan of action for the world to ensure that by 2030 poverty is eradicated, decent life for all people and peace are achieved.


The gathering comes at a time when South Africa was recently voted by member states of the UN General Assembly to take up the two year seat as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the period 2019-2020. This is South Africa's third term on the Security Council, having previously served from 2007-2008 and 2011-2012.


South Africa's tenure at the UN will be driven by the legacy of former President Nelson Mandela and his undying commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes. The country will dedicate its two-year term on the Security Council to continue to build on the peaceful resolution of conflicts on the continent, guided by the African Union's aspirations of Agenda 2063, in particular 'silencing the guns by 2020'.​

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