Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples 1960: A Milestone in Decolonization Process

17 December 2020

This year marks two most remarkable anniversaries: 75th anniversary of the foundation of the United Nations and the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the General Assembly of the United Nations. These two events, the way we see it, are tightly intertwined. The creation of the UN – the true embodiment of mankind’s intention to build a better world and prevent the horrors of World War II from happening ever again – laid the foundation for the adoption of the Declaration, 15 years later. We find natural – what kind of a better world would that be, if such abominable thing as colonialism would have still been in place? Since 24 October 1945, when the United Nations was established, over 80 countries which were earlier under colonial rule became the rightful UN members. The UN played a pivotal role in the decolonization process by defining the goals and norms which, in their turn, helped the colonized countries and their peoples to gain independence. The Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples of 1960 became one of the UN’s most efficient instruments in this endeavour. It is no exaggeration to say that the Declaration has changed the world’s legal order forever. It gave a powerful impulse to the colonial territories’ movement for independence and stated the necessity of putting a speedy end to colonialism, thus becoming a true milestone in the decolonization process and one of the finest achievements of the UN’s work.

Sri Lanka and South Africa deepen relations
Pictured here (l-r) Advocate Ajay Sooklal, Legal and Economic Diplomacy Specialist, Sirisena Amarasekara, High Commissioner designate of Sri Lanka and Kirtan Bhana, founding Editor, The Diplomatic Society at an introductory meeting to discuss deepening South Africa - Sri Lanka relations

17 December 2020

Mr Sirisena Amarasekara High Commissioner designate of Sri Lanka arrived in South Africa in December. South Africa and Sri Lanka relations were established in September 1994 soon after the 1st democratic elections in South Africa in April of the same year. Sri Lanka has also gone through a fundamental change after a 30 year civil war.

There have been several exchanges and high level visits between the two countries as cooperation between the countries deepen. Last year President Ramaphosa of South Africa made an official visit to the island nation that is strategically located in the waters of the Indian Ocean between Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Children on the Move
(l-r) EU Ambassador to South Africa, Dr Riina Kionka, UNICEF Representative, Christine Muhigana and Social Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu

15 December 2020

South Africa has over the years experienced the migration of unaccompanied and undocumented children, especially, from SADC countries such as Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Mozambique who for many reasons crossed the borders to live in the country. South Africa is a signatory to different international Conventions including the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child and the African Charter on the Rights and welfare of the Child which obligates South Africa to accord every child who lives within the borders of the country to receive all basic services including healthcare, education, food and shelter.

Poppie Nongena wins BRICS Film Festival

14 December 2020

As Russia’s presidency of BRICS draws to a close, the Embassy of Russia in South Africa hosted the screening of the movie ‘Poppie Nongena’ in Pretoria on Friday, 11 December. This South African movie won the main prize at the 5th BRICS Film Festival in October 2020 in Moscow.

In welcoming guests Alexander Arefiev, Press Attaché of the Embassy of Russia said, ‘It is safe to say that BRICS performance in 2020 is something truly inspiring. Amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, which almost dictates isolation from each other, BRICS remained united against all the odds. The five member countries lent each other a helping hand in the time of need proving that BRICS is a union, where members are building their relations on the principles of equality, mutual respect and understanding. This, I believe, is our sincere intention to get closer to each other, to understand each other better will allow BRICS to keep getting stronger in years to come. It is no coincidence that cooperation in humanitarian area was among the priorities of Russian Chairmanship. Russia has always considered BRICS as something more than just a format of economic or political cooperation. It is an integration of five nations that share the same vision of a better world for everyone.”

Japan Foreign Minister Motegi's Africa visit

11 December 2020

Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Toshimitsu Motegi, will be visiting South Africa on the 11th and 12th of December. His visit to Tunisia, Mozambique, South Africa and Mauritius is the first visit by a Japanese Foreign Minister to the African continent since the start of the Covid-19 Pandemic. This is also the first visit of a Japanese Foreign Minister to Africa under Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

During his visit to South Africa, Minister Motegi will have a bilateral meeting with Dr Naledi Pandor, the Honourable Minister of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO). Minister Motegi’s visit will also include a courtesy call on His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Intra-Africa trade kick-started

9 December 2020

African Union Heads of State and Government have underscored the urgent need for member states to kick-start trading activities, under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The decision was adopted during a virtual meeting of the 13th Extra Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union on the AfCFTA, held on Saturday 5 December 2020, under the Chairmanship of H.E. Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa and Chairperson of the African Union (AU). The summit is taking place just four weeks before the AfCFTA commences trading on the 1st of January 2021, to consider the adoption of the legal instruments that will facilitate its operation.

Global Eco-Industrial Parks Programme launched

9 December 2020

The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic) and the National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA), in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), has launched the Global Eco-Industrial Parks Programme (GEIPP) in South Africa.

GEIPP aims to demonstrate the viability and benefits of Eco-Industrial Park approaches in scaling up resource productivity and improving economic, environmental and social performances of businesses and thereby contribute to inclusive and sustainable industrial development in the participating developing and transition economies.

Ghana’s election: A play for change or continuity

7 December 2020

On 7 December, Ghanaians go to the polls. On one side of the political spectrum is the call for continuity — four more years for incumbent president Nana Akufo-Addo — and on the other is a call for change, or more likely, back to the old, with former president John Mahama.


by Marie-Noelle Nwokolo, Researcher, The Brenthurst Foundation


Ghana’s election will be one of a dozen others on the continent in 2020. So far, the trend has been mixed with countries like Malawi demonstrating the power of independent and transparent institutions while others like Tanzania are doing a dangerous dance away from their commitment to democratic values. Ghana’s elections need to be free, just and incorruptible, not merely to demonstrate its leadership on the African continent, but to uphold the hard-fought-for Fourth Republic, especially in light of the recent passing of its flawed giant, Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings.

A sacred land at peace with itself?
Ambassador Hanan Jarrar of Palestine, Deputy Minister Alvin Botes of South Africa, Deputy Minister Machesetsa Mofomobe of Lesotho and Ambassador Salim Ali Zakwani of Oman (Photo by Jacoline Schoonees, Dirco)


7 December 2020

Palestine was a secular land before November 29, 1947. It was on this day that the newly established United Nations (UN) divided the land to create Israel. In a twist of irony it also became the day the United Nations pledged solidarity with the Palestinian people. 73 years later the pledge is still commemorated as the conflict caused by the division still rages on.

Israel continues unabated to develop settlements on Palestinian land as they have not declared their international borders, while Palestinians hope for a secular state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

‘Politics, Economics and Connectivity: In Search of the South Asian Union’

a book authored by Dr Srimal Fernando

Politics, Economics and Connectivity: In Search of the South Asian Union, a book authored by Dr Srimal Fernando develops a powerful framework for the analysis of regional integration in South Asia that informs the policy-making apparatus of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. An in depth knowledge of South Asia’s history, politics and its people across all classes of society has been an innate motivator for the author in penning down his findings.

The successful governance of China

2 December 2020

Having gradually opened up the Peoples Republic of China to the world over the past several decades the country has created a new dynamic in world affairs. Their ideology of solidarity and the benefit for the collective will always be the basis of a governance model that has enabled a nation to re-invent itself, adapting to circumstances and situations.

In South Africa, HE Chen Xiaodong, recently accredited Ambassador of China to South Africa, launched the 3rd edition of President Xi Jinping’s book ‘The Governance of China’. A digital seminar organized by the National Press Club and hosted by its Chairperson Val Boje with the participation of prominent and eminent persons made for an informative discussion.

The Beauty of Batik and Seshweshwe

1 December 2020

The aesthetic of fashion is forever evolving and in today’s globalised world traditions and cultures are crossing over to create new and exciting trends.

In Pretoria, the Indonesia Embassy collaborated with the Tshwane North TVET College and initiated a competition with the theme "The Beauty of Batik and Seshweshwe: A Collaboration of Creativity in South African Bride Fashion Design"

The competition kicked off in September 2020 and coincided with Heritage Day on 24 September in South Africa and Batik Day in Indonesia which falls on 2 October.

Eight students from the vocational college successfully completed their designs of a South African wedding dress which combined traditional Indonesian Batik with traditional South African Seshweshwe fabric. The designs were presented to judges in two stages, on 19 and 25 November.

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