Celebrating the National Women’s Day of South Africa with Qatari Spirit

by Tariq Ali Faraj Al-Ansari, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to South Africa

7 August 2020

I would like to congratulate all women and girls in the Republic of South Africa on their National Women’s Day, August 9th, which is historical in making the change that they well-deserved. 74 years ago, exactly on 9 August 1956, more than 20,000 South African brave women marched in order to fight for their freedom and for attaining their inalienable right to freely move and protect their livelihood in their own country.

Today, we can witness the achievements of the Republic of South Africa in the field of women empowerment and advancement, where capable women are leading departments and state agencies. As a diplomat, I have the privilege to salute the role of H. E. Dr. Naledi Pandor – South Africa’s Foreign Minister, in leading the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of her country. Prominently, on 17 July 2020, Dr. Pandor strongly stated her country’s position on the role of women in peace and security in a message addressed to the UN Security Council. In her statement, Dr. Pandor presented the vision and achievements of South Africa in fulfilling the objectives of Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, important agenda item at the UN. She also considered the right of women as key for the true meaning of freedom when she quoted a phrase of President Nelson Mandela stating, “Freedom can’t be achieved unless the women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression”.

ASEAN and Viet Nam's membership

by H.E Mr. HOANG VAN LOI, Ambassador-designate of the S.R of Viet Nam to the Republic of South Africa

7 August 2020

August 8th is celebrated among Southeast Asian countries as ASEAN Day, a time to reflect on how far the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has come since its inception on August 8th, 1967 as well as its future prospects. To regional countries, including Viet Nam, ASEAN plays a central role in ensuring peace, security and prosperity in an increasingly uncertain regional and global situation.

 ASEAN was established on August 8th 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration by its founding members, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. The inclusion of Brunei (1984), Viet Nam (1995), Lao PDR and Myanmar (1997) and Cambodia (1999) expanded ASEAN’s scope to the whole of Southeast Asia, effectively transforming the region from the one clouded by the Cold War era’s enmity and division to the one of dialogue, trust and unity.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony on the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing

6 August 2020

Japan marked 75 years since the world's first and only atomic bomb attack carried out by United States Air Force bombers, which is estimated to have killed 140,000 people just in the months following the explosion. Survivors, their relatives and a small number of dignitaries commemorated the anniversary with prayers, songs and calls for world peace.

The ceremony at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial offered a minute of silence at exactly 8:15 a.m. local time, the time the first nuclear weapon was detonated over the city.

Address by the Prime Minister ABE Shinzo at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony

Today, at the opening of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony on the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing, I reverently express my sincere condolences to the souls of the great number of atomic bomb victims.
 
I also extend my heartfelt sympathy to those still suffering even now from the aftereffects of the atomic bomb.
 
This year, as the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) grips the world, people all around the globe continue to make resolute efforts at this very moment to overcome this trial.

Celebrating Swiss National Day virtually

1 August 2020

Dear fellow Swiss, dear friends of Switzerland

Please click on the picture to watch the 1st of August address by Ambassador Dr. Nicolas Brühl.


 
As 2020 is a special year and we will not have the opportunity to gather as usual for the Swiss National Day we are pleased to invite you to the virtual celebration on www.missione1agosto.org. Let’s celebrate and share pictures of your 1st of August moments on this website.

Happy #SwissNationalDay!

Foster Home and street in Kavala named after Nelson Mandela

 

 

Kavala, 17 July 2020

The foster Home of the "Smile of the Child" and the adjacent street in Kavala get named after the great political leader on the occasion of the Nelson Mandela International Day

On the occasion of Nelson Mandela Day Ambassador Beryl Rose Sisulu with a delegation of the South African Embassy travelled to Kavala to officially name the Home of the Organization "The Smile of the Child" in Nea Iraklitsa, Kavala, and  the adjacent “Socratous Street”, after the world icon Nelson Mandela. This initiative was taken to honour the great political leader and philanthropist who devoted his life to the fight for equality and justice, and to fulfil the wish of the late Greek – South African Ioannis Symeonidis, who donated the two houses, to the Organisation.  

The event was officiated by the Ambassador of South Africa to Greece, H.E. Ms. Beryl Rose Sisulu, the President of the Organization "The Smile of the Child", Mr. Costas Yannopoulos, the Honorary Consul of South Africa in Thessaloniki, Mr. Vassilios Takas, the Mayor of Paggaio, Mr. Filippos Anastasiadis, and the Mayor of Kavala, Mr. Theodoros Mouriadis.

Japan pledges ¥100,000,000 to The Kingdom of Eswatini's fight against Covid-19

22 July 2020

The Embassy of Japan signed the Economic and Social Development Programme grant to strengthen the health and medical system of the Kingdom of Eswatini and contribute to the economic and social development of the country.

At present, the rapidly expanding rate of new coronavirus infections in various parts of the world are threatening not only human life, but the social and economic impact on people’s dignity and wellbeing is enormous. The pandemic is a perfect example of a human security crisis–a priority in the TICAD (Tokyo International Conference of African Development (TICAD) Agenda.

In  response to such a crisis, health systems should be strengthened to adequately respond to infectious diseases in both the medium and long term, in addition to placing emergency measures to protect  lives  and minimize social and economic  impacts. In particular,  in  order  to prevent the most vulnerable people from being left behind, an inclusive response based on the idea of human security focusing on individual protection and empowerment is important.

Why Africa must become the Conservation Continent

It’s high time for Africa to carve out its own epithet. The Conservation Continent is a positive option for many good reasons.

by Greg Mills, Director, The Brenthurst Foundation and Hailemariam Desalegn, Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia

23 July 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic is likely to amplify Africa’s development challenges – essentially the result of high population growth and historically too low economic growth – and accelerate the pace at which governments will have to act and deliver to citizens.

The immediate challenge for African leaders is to mitigate the worst effects of the crisis and to reposition the continent beyond Covid-19. The local-over-global reflex to the pandemic poses risks to African growth, such as those implicit in a deep-seated political call for businesses to go “home”, thereby reducing the reliance on outsiders.

As African leadership thinks about the longer-term imperative of diversification and transformation, they might have opportunities few of their counterparts elsewhere possess in allocating a greater share of land to conservancies, providing a new avenue for tourist development. A big policy bet on the environment today could pay unimaginable dividends, and quickly.

Egypt and South Africa share a long history and a common vision

23 July 2020

Statement of H.E. Ambassador Sherif Issa, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Pretoria on the occasion of the 68th anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution of the 23rd of July, 1952

Your Excellencies esteemed friends in the South African government and institutions, and dear members of the Diplomatic Corps;

Virtual warm greetings to you all, on a chilly winter day.

Photo: Mr Sherif Issa, Ambassador of Egypt and his spouse Ms. Dina Zeidan pictured at the 2019 celebration

I trust that you, your families and loved ones, are safe. And I hope that you have been spared the vicious effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

This year has been challenging on many fronts and in many ways. For some, more than others.

Invest in South Africa showcased in India

21 July 2020

The Indo – Africa Chamber of Commerce & Industry (IACCI) organized a Webinar entitled “Africa Connect – Opportunities for Business & Investment in Ethiopia and South Africa on 16th July, 2020. Andrea Kühn, Consul-General of South Africa in Mumbai and Demeke Atnafu Ambulo, Consul-General of Ethiopia in Mumbai and participated in the webinar.

Photo: Andrea Kühn, Consul-General of South Africa in Mumbai participating in the webinar

The Consul-Generals in Mumbai virtually presented opportunities for business and investment in South Africa and Ethiopia respectively, showcasing opportunities in the various sectors for investment by Indian business.

Sunanda Rajendran, Secretary General of Indo – Africa Chamber of Commerce & Industry in welcoming participants and members said that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed lives across the globe and in line with Prime Minister Modi’s call for Digitisation, the Chamber was excited to host the first of a series of digital seminars.

Africa Investment Forum unveil Unified COVID-19 Response to support Africa’s private sector

- 15 deals in the Africa Investment Forum’s portfolio, valued at $3.79 billion earmarked to address COVID-19 impacts

Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, 20 July 2020 – Increased and decisive investment will be the channel for Africa’s economic recovery post COVID-19, partners of the Africa Investment Forum said on Friday, expressing confidence in the continent’s potential to rebound from the ongoing health and economic crises.

“Africa will come out of this pandemic, tough as it is, and will build better and stronger economies. As partners of the Africa Investment Forum, the premier investment platform for Africa, our gaze must be clear; help Africa reboot its economy,” said African Development Bank President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, during a two-day virtual meeting for Africa Investment Forum founding, institutional and knowledge partners.

In a virtual marketplace which mirrored typical sessions of its annual Market-Days, the Africa Investment Forum convened over 190 participants including current and prospective partners, investors and project sponsors. The Forum showcased its Unified COVID-19 Response and provided an update on its activities, as well as opportunities for new partners and investors to engage with the platform.

14th European Union - South Africa Ministerial Political Dialogue

14 July 2020

Joint Press Release: 14th European Union - South Africa Ministerial Political Dialogue, July 2020 (by Video Conference)

The European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, Mr Josep Borrell Fontelles; and the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, Dr Naledi Pandor, co-chaired the 14th Session of the Ministerial Political Dialogue in the context of the Strategic Partnership on 14 July 2020, by video-conference. The meeting was also attended by the European Union Commissioner for Trade, Mr Phil Hogan, the European Union Commissioner for International Partnerships, Ms Jutta Urpilainen, the South African Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Ebrahim Patel and the South African Minister of Finance Mr Tito Titus Mboweni.

Both sides discussed how to adapt their strategic partnership within the challenging context of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact, political, social and economic priorities in South Africa and the European Union, and the preparation of the European Union (EU) - African Union (AU) Summit.

Both sides reaffirmed their goal of strengthening the rules-based international order, human rights, universal values and multilateralism. Both sides shared their concern about the impact of COVID-19 on developing countries and least developed countries, the majority of which are in Africa. They underlined the importance of global solidarity and multilateral cooperation in relation to COVID-19 response as demonstrated by the “Team Europe” support package and the EU hosted “Worldwide Vaccine Pledging Marathon” to accelerate development and production of diagnostics, treatments and vaccines against the Coronavirus, and their universal deployment. The appointment by President Cyril Ramaphosa - in his capacity as Chair of the African Union - of Special Envoys to mobilise international economic support for Africa’s efforts to address severe economic challenges that African countries are facing because of the COVID-19 pandemic, is an important contribution to fostering coordinated action.

COVID-19 shines the spotlight on injustice

18 July 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone the spotlight on injustice in the world while also exposing risks that have been ignored for decades, says United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres.

“The pandemic demonstrated the fragility of our world. It has laid bare risks we have ignored for decades: inadequate health systems; gaps in social protection; structural inequalities; environmental degradation; [and] the climate crisis,” said Guterres.

The Secretary-General said this as he delivered the 18th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture on what would have been former President Nelson Mandela’s 102nd birthday.

As the world commemorated Nelson Mandela International Day, Guterres noted that regions that were making progress on eradicating poverty and narrowing inequality, have been set back years, in a matter of months.

He said COVID-19poses the greatest risk to the most vulnerable, including those living in poverty, older people, and people with disabilities and pre-existing conditions.

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