South Africa celebrates UN’s 73rd anniversary

Wednesday, October 25, 2018

The Government and people of South Africa joins the international community in celebrating the anniversary of the United Nations on United Nations Day, which is the day marking entry into force of the United Nations Charter in 1945.

The United Nations, born out of the ashes of a catastrophic world war, has become the embodiment of humanity’s resolve “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.”

In the last 73 years, the organisation has stood as a symbol of unity and collective will of all nations of the world to promote peace and security, human rights and development for all.

This year’s anniversary coincides with the centenary of the birth of two of South Africa’s iconic leaders, President Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu, whose lives and values embody the very spirit of the United Nations.

As a tribute to President Mandela’s legacy, the United Nations General Assembly hosted a Peace Summit in honour of his centenary on 24 September 2018. The Summit adopted a Political Declaration which expressed the political will of world leaders to pursue peace and security, development and human rights and furthermore called for a Decade of Peace from 2019-2028.

In a world characterised by increasing inequality, poverty and insecurity coupled with rising popularism and unilateralism, individual countries are ill equipped to deal with these challenges in isolation. Collective action through multilateral organisations, with the United Nations at its apex, remains indispensable in ensuring global peace and development.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, speaking at his inaugural address to the United Nations General Assembly on 25 September 2018, challenged Member States to resist efforts to undermine the multilateral approach to international relations. He reminded the General Assembly that no country can prosper at the expense of all others, and that no people can hope to live in comfort and security for as long as millions of others languish in poverty. President Ramaphosa noted that, “To the poor, vulnerable, and marginalised, the UN today is a beacon of promise in a landscape of doubt. To billions across the world, the UN is the most powerful instrument we possess to achieve a more equal, more humane and more inclusive world.”

South Africa continues to place its faith and trust in the UN system as a means for addressing the myriad of challenges affecting the globe. We will utilise our upcoming term of the UN Security Council as an elected member for 2019-2020 for continuing the legacy of Nelson Mandela and seeking a just, prosperous and peaceful World.