President Jacob Zuma will this week embark on a “charm offensive” at the United Nations General Assembly as he campaigns for South Africa’s return as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council the third time.
Zuma arrived New York on Sunday alongside seven members of the cabinet ahead of the busy schedule of speeches‚ meetings and negotiations.
The presidency, the ministers of international relations‚ defence and state security will during the meeting focus on securing South Africa a seat on the UN Security Council for 2019/2020.
“South Africa will be in a lobbying mood and will be going on some kind of charm offensive‚” said Mahlatse Mminele‚ deputy permanent representative for the South African mission to the United Nations.
As one of the top ten members contributing troops to the United Nations, South Africa’s National Defence Force has been implicated in cases of sexual assault in foreign countries.
“We have managed to turn a corner and have become a very good example, ” Mminele said, adding that Zuma would be addressing the General Assembly and will attend a reception hosted by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for heads of state and their spouses.
On Wednesday‚ Zuma will be one of 16 heads of state at a luncheon with United States President Donald Trump. All eyes will be on Trump‚ who will be attending the United Nations for the first time.
The 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 72) started on Tuesday 12 September 2017 at UN Headquarters. But, the debate will open on Tuesday, 19 September 2017, with a focus on the theme, ‘Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet’.
In preparation for the general meeting, the UN has released documents related to its agenda items on Education, Environmental Conventions, and Social Development
However, a number of events will take place in parallel to the opening of the 72nd session of the UNGA, including Global Goals Week 2017 and Climate Week NYC 2017 among this include Zuma’s campaign for SOuth Africa’s return as a member of the UN Security Council.