Slow food, good company, stimulating conversation Japanese Style

Anisha Pemjee, The Diplomatic Society, Chef Jun Suzuki, Kirtan Bhana, The Diplomatic Society and Ambassador Norio Maruyama of Japan

2 July 2021

The ascension to the throne of the new Emperor of Japan, Naruhito, in 2019 ushered in the Reiwa era, or beautiful harmony. The Emperor’s birthday is normally a big celebration, but this year due to Covid-19 restrictions, Ambassador Norio Maruyama opted for intimate meals with fewer guests at a time. This way, said Maruyama, he was able to spend quality time with each guest.

Upon coming to South Africa, Maruyama convinced a young, very talented chef to accompany him on his posting.  Chef Jun Suzuki was in the process of opening a restaurant in Tokyo but obliged Ambassador Maruyama’s request.  Suzuki and his wife were the creative artists responsible for the tantalising, magnificently presented dishes we had the pleasure of indulging in.

South Africa and Czech Republic strengthen bilateral relations

Pictured (l-r) Mr Martin Tlapa, Deputy Foreign Minister for non-European Countries and Economic Diplomacy of Czech Republic, Ms Naomi Ribbon Mosholi, Ambassador of South Africa to the Czech Republic, Dr. Pavel Řezáč, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to South Africa and Mr Alvin Botes, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa (Photo Jacoline Schoonees)

2 July 2021

The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, Mr Alvin Botes, held virtual Political Consultations with the Deputy Foreign Minister for non-European Countries and Economic Diplomacy of Czech Republic, Mr Martin Tlapa.

The Political Consultations took place as countries across the world are forging means of re-engaging internationally following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. South Africa is also looking at re-engaging international partners in pursuit of the priorities of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, which seeks to inject much-needed growth in our country’s economy.

Vaccine manufacturing hub will enhance SA’s local manufacturing capabilities

1 July 2021

Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande says the establishment of Africa’s first messenger RNA (mRNA) technology transfer hub for COVID-19 vaccines will ensure that South Africa’s local manufacturing capabilities of vaccines will be enhanced.

“This means that South Africa will move beyond just fill/finishing of vaccines, into the manufacturing of the active component or drug substance of vaccine. South Africa’s local manufacturing will be ready to move into commercial scale manufacturing of the drug substance, with relevant equipment, facility preparation, staff training, and doing validation runs,” Nzimande said.

Join the South African Royal Princess Network for Webinars on Gender Based Violence

28 June 2021

Tackling Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the times of Covid-19: Global traditional, academic and government stakeholders to participate on the South African Royal Princess Network webinars on Gender Based Violence

South African Royal Princess Network an association of Royal Princesses from various parts of South Africa who are committed to playing their part to uplift and make a difference to their communities, broader South Africa and the world at large will host two webinars on the 29 June 2021. The first webinar at 14h30 to 16h00 will focus on GBV with specific focus on child trafficking, child pornography, child prostitution, child marriages, ukuthwala, child abuse, child labour, cyber safety, bullying and GBV in the times of covid.

Commemorating 200 years of the Battle of Carabobo

Pictured (l-r) Ambassador Ilya Rogachev of Russia, Ambassador Mehdi Agha Jafari of Iran, Ambassador André William Anguile of Gabon, Ambassador Mairin Moreno Mérida of Venezuela, Ambassador Rodolfo Benitez Verson of Cuba, Ambassador Mohamed Yeslem Beisat of Saharawi and Ambassador Salih Omar Abdu of Eritrea at the bust of Simón Bolívar at the Pretoria Art Museum

25 June 2021

The Battle of Carabobo, on 24 June 1821, was fought between independence fighters, led by Venezuelan General Simón Bolívar, and the Royalist forces, led by Spanish Field Marshal Miguel de la Torre. Bolívar's decisive victory at Carabobo led to the independence of Venezuela and establishment of the Republic of Gran Colombia.

In South Africa Mrs Mairin Moreno Mérida, Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela held a wreath-laying ceremony at the bust of Simón Bolívar at the Pretoria Art Museum on 24 June 2021 to commemorate the Bicentennial of the Battle of Carabobo. Ambassador Moreno Mérida said that Venezuelans and people throughout the world celebrate this day with with great pride, as this Battle led by Liberator Simón Bolívar sealed the independence process for Venezuela, the consolidation of La Gran Colombia and also led to the liberation of Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.

South Africa in solidarity with Cuba

22 June 2021

Organisations in solidarity with Cuba held car caravans across different cities around the world on June 20. The goal was to demand the end of the United States blockade against Cuba on the eve of the vote of the Cuban resolution against the blockade at the United Nations on June 23.

In South Africa political organizations of the South African government alliance made up of the African National Congress, the South African Communist Party and the Confederation of South African Trade Unions organized a car caravan in the city of Pretoria. Friends of Cuba Society (FOCUS), the Cuban Alumni Association of South Africa (CAASA), the Association of Cuban Residents in South Africa (ACRSA) and friends of Cuba participated in the motorcade.

Words of Farewell to the Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey

Elif Çomoğlu Ülgen, Ambassador of Turkey to South Africa with Ambassador Ahmed Hassan, Charge de Affairs of Yemen in South Africa during pre-covid times

21 June 2021

Ambassador Ahmed Hassan, Charge de Affairs of Yemen in South Africa recalls the good relations between Yemen and Turkey as Ambassador Elif Çomoğlu Ülgen ends her term in South Africa. Hassan and Ülgen worked together in Geneva more than 20 years ago, him as a seasoned diplomat and Ülgen at the beginning of her career when she served as Second Secretary at the Turkish Permanent Representation to the Office of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland between 1997-2000.

Farewell to a true leader, a great son of Africa, Kenneth Kaunda

Thabiso Magodielo with President Kenneth Kaunda

A tribute by Thabiso Magodielo, Diplomatic Society’s Travel Specialist

18 June 2021

You fought the good fight and ran a good race.

I will always remember and cherish the warm welcome I received when visiting you at your home in Zambia. I will also remember your kindness, humility, energy and warmth. I will never forget how you prayed for me and entertained me with your musical talent, while we were planning the launch of the annual Kenneth Kaunda Golf Day.

You became a father figure to me when I discovered you shared the same birthday, date and year with my dad, bless his soul. So sentimental to think that you and my father would have been twins.

Roundtable on Sustainability - From The Maldives to the World

18 June 2021

As we figure out how our future world will look like, it is important that we do not lose a sense of perspective, in reference to the all-important 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, which, if achieved, will provide a prosperous life for everybody, and ensure the health of our planet.

No country can achieve them alone, a combined effort and international solidarity and teamwork is key.

We need fresh and innovative ideas as we adapt to new circumstances, and this hybrid roundtable contributed to this, sharing inputs, ideas and expertise to build a better world, a world we want to leave behind to our children and grandchildren.

Africa-Asia Inter Regional

18 June 2021

Compiled by Dr Srimal Fernando and Kirtan Bhana

In recent months, African and Asian nations have been influenced by several internal and external factors. Certain regional blocs in Africa and Asia have made notable steps aimed at promoting regional cooperation amongst member states which requires a common economic commitment. The advantages of regional integration are diverse; hence increased interdependence in the financial and economic sectors has provided the impetus for deeper cooperation. In this regard, efficient regional integration is crucial for promoting interdependence among regional bloc countries and in reducing dependence on other external factors.

‘Poverty is not a characteristic of Socialism’ Deng Xiaoping

A webinar commemorating 100 years of the CPC and SACP was hosted by ChinAfrica magazine and the Diplomatic Society on 15 June. The webinar can be viewed here https://bit.ly/3xlTt6J

17 June 2021

By Kirtan Bhana

100 is a significant milestone, even though both China and Africa have histories that stretch back many millennia to ancient times. The period 1921 to 2021 is the century that could be considered an epoch in technological and societal transition and transformation. It is also the centenary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the South African Communist Party (SACP).

The emergence of China under the stewardship of the CPC has been as  profound as the communist doctrines. Only recently did President Xi announce that China has achieved its goal of lifting everyone in the country out of poverty, a goal many wealthy nations have not yet been able to achieve.

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