Creating Marine Awareness

1 October 2020

October is National Marine Month in South Africa and it creates awareness of South Africa's marine and coastal environments and the benefits that our oceans bring to our nation.

(Image: Pixabay)

South Africa is nestled between two currents:

  • -the warm Agulhas Current with rich ocean biodiversity, but not a large fish stocks
  • -the cold Benguela system that supports large fisheries such as those focused on the small pelagic (anchovy and sardine) and the demersal (hake) stocks.
  • These currents, in addition to the cold southern oceans, are key drivers of South Africa climate and rainfall conditions.

South Africa's different climatic zones, with its different biodiversities, agricultural and economic activities, are shaped by the availability of one of our scarcest resources, namely fresh water.

Rainfall patterns dictate many activities as it is vital to defining natural habitats and ecosystems. Oceans, being the primary producer of moisture to the atmosphere that eventually produces rain over the country, are therefore playing a critical role in shaping the socio-economic activities in our land.

South Africa gradually reopens borders

30 September 2020

Guided by the World Health Organisation’s regulations, South Africa will gradually re-open some its international borders from 1 October 2020 after a six-month closure to manage COVID-19 infection rates.

Business and some leisure travel will take precedence as the country welcomes international travellers in a staggered approach.

“Travellers intending to visit the country will be expected to produce a PCR [polymerase chain reaction] test that is not older than 72 hours from the time of departure from the country of origin to South Africa.

“This test must be conducted by a certified medical practitioner and should have the name and signature of the practitioner who conducted such test,” said International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor.

The Minister - together with her colleagues from the Home Affairs, Transport and Tourism departments - fleshed out details for international travel on Wednesday, during a briefing on the easing of international travel restrictions.

The briefing comes as South Africa moved to alert level 1 on 21 September 2020 as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Celebrating the 71st Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China

29 September 2020

The embassy of the People's Repubilc of China in South Africa hosted a virtual reception to celebrate the 71st Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Photo: Ambassador-designate of China, Mr Chen Xiaodong

The program included remarks by newly arrived Ambassador-designate of China, Mr Chen Xiaodong and South African Minister of Public Enterprises, Mr. Pravin Jamnadas Gordhan. Messages of congratulations from many South African friends of China as well as Chinese living and working in South Africa were flighted. The program also included the embassy staff performing the Jerusalema, cultural Chinese dance, tai-chi, calligraphy and cooking demonstrations.  

Ambassador-designate Chen Xiaodong previously served as Assistant Foreign Minister covering Africa, where he made many trips to South Africa and other African countries and saw the fast and all-round progress of China-South Africa and China-Africa relations.

The virtual reception was a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and Chen said that our world is changing in profound ways, compounded by a pandemic unseen in a century. "Mankind faces severe challenges and difficult choices in 2020."

SA Celebrates World Tourism Day with a Commitment to Reignite Domestic Travel Markets

27 September 2020

South Africa joined the globe in celebrating World Tourism Day today with festivities at Maropeng’s Cradle of Humankind in the western corridor of the Gauteng Province.

World Tourism Day is a United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) initiative observed annually on 27 September to highlight the sector’s contribution to the socio–economic development of nations, and the advancement of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Clarens, Free State, South Africa (File photo)

Themed ‘Rural Development and Tourism,’ the celebrations highlighted the significant role the domestic tourism market will play in reigniting the sector, especially in spearheading tourism in lesser-visited rural communities in all nine provinces.

“Today’s celebration is a testament that the tourism industry is able to host an event in a safe manner under the current Covid- 19 pandemic.”

“As we navigate a path to recovery, and gradually re-open our borders to safely welcome international visitors, we urge South Africans to travel and explore their country responsibly,” said Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.

The tourism industry is one of the largest economic sectors in the world – creating jobs, driving exports and generating prosperous local economies. According to the UNWTO, the industry contributed 10.4% to the global GDP and created 319 million jobs in 2018.

Commitment to Build Back Better at Ministerial Meeting of the Alliance for Multilateralism

25 September 2020

Statement by Dr Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, on the occasion of the Ministerial Meeting of the Alliance for Multilateralism themed: “Our Commitment and Contribution to Building Back Better”

South Africa welcomes this discussion and hopes all of us will continue to ensure our global collaboration does serve the greater good.

Minister Pandor participating in a virtual Ministerial Meeting of the Alliance for Multilateralism (Photo: Jacoline Schoonees)

Africa has been severely impacted by the pandemic and gains made over many decades have been reversed. Our Alliance should devote time in the future to devising effective support measures to assist the most vulnerable. African countries have welcomed the debt stand still that has been agreed for 6 months of this year.

Much more relief and support is required for our economies to recover, for jobs to be created and for new industries.

Roundtable Devoted to Turkmenistan’s 25th Anniversary of Neutrality held in Brussels

On Friday 25 September, the Tangla Hotel in Brussels hosted a high-level roundtable on the topic of “Constructive Dialogue for Peace and Sustainable Development”, held on the auspicious occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan.

In his intervention, H.E. Tchary Atayev, Ambassador of Turkmenistan to the EU, discussed the historical background and distinguishing features of Turkmenistan’s neutrality, and outlined the international initiatives being undertaken by Turkmenistan for regional and global peace, security, stability and development.

Following Ambassador Atayev’s speech, representatives from the Energy Charter, the Embassy of Afghanistan, the European Institutions, the European Institute for Asian Studies and Diplomatic World Institute took the floor and offered their perspectives on, among other topics, the implications of Turkmenistan’s neutrality status for relations with the European Union and its Member States (including increased trade relations); regional relations; solving the conflict in Afghanistan; engagement with the Energy Charter Treaty and strengthening connectivity across Eurasia.

Reshaping a new Regional Integration: The SAARC and SADC Nations

By Srimal Fernando and Vedangshi Roy Choudhuri

21 September 2020

Southern African and South Asian nations have resorted to the fact that one of the most significant methods for accomplishing a more prominent economic autonomy is through regional integration of economies. Cultivating economic discretion between the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) is one of the key foreign policy objectives that both regional alliances can cooperate on within the following decade.

South Africa and India would thus be able to exercise a significant and persuasive foreign policy focus in connecting these two regions.  From the governments' side, the essential enquiries rotate around the viability of its current strategies.

Towards a Prosperous and Sustainable World - UNGA 75

By Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa

21 September 2020

The United Nations will this week begin the 75th session of its General Assembly, where the nations of the world gather to seek collective solutions to global challenges.

In any other year, heads of state and government would travel to the UN headquarters in New York to address the General Assembly. But this year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, this gathering is taking place virtually, using technology to bridge the distance between the capitals of the world.

As South Africa, we will be addressing the General Assembly by videoconference from the Union Buildings and will be participating in several other meetings.

This is an important moment for the United Nations. It is 75 years since its formation following the destruction of the Second World War. The countries of the world were determined that never again should such a human tragedy be allowed to happen. They believed that through an organisation like the UN, the world’s problems could be peacefully resolved through cooperation.

Tribute to Mpondo Culture and Heritage 2020

By Dr Nomvuyo N. Nokwe, Secretary General of IORA

21 September 2020

COVID-19 has negatively impacted global travel and brought the world to an abrupt standstill. For the first time in history, close to 90% of the world’s population is now in countries with travel restrictions. Airlines, travel companies and the tourism sector as a whole are among the most affected businesses.

Photo: Ms Verena Gauthier, CEO of Impulse NGO from Basseland, Switzerland and Dr Nomvuyo Nokwe, Secretary General of IORA, during the Mpondo Culture and Heritage Festival 2018 at Lwandlolubomvu Great Place, Ntabankulu, Mpondo Kingdom

The UN Secretary-General stressed, “It is imperative that we rebuild the tourism sector.” He went on to say in order for it to “regain its position as a provider of decent jobs, stable incomes and the protection of our cultural and natural heritage.” tourism’s role is one of the most important economic sectors, providing livelihoods to hundreds of millions of people while “boosting economies and enabling countries to thrive.

Shaping Peace Together

21 September 2020

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.

The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly. Two decades later, in 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire.


"Shaping Peace Together" is the theme for world peace day this year. The United Nations encourages people to "celebrate the day by spreading compassion, kindness and hope in the face of the (COVID-19) pandemic."  This year, the UN said, has been clearer than ever that we are not each other’s enemies. “Rather, our common enemy is a tireless virus that threatens our health, security and very way of life. COVID-19 has thrown our world into turmoil and forcibly reminded us that what happens in one part of the planet can impact people everywhere.”

DWI Launches Wholistic World Innovation Trophy, WIT

Brussels, September 15, 2020: Diplomatic World Institute proudly announces the launch of the first ever Wholistic World Innovation Trophy.

The rapid technology-driven change has a huge impact on our societies, now fuelled by the pandemic crisis, by making people feel uneasy and longing for the stable structures of the past that had made them feel secure. However, post Corona innovation is no longer purely technology driven. Globalisation and business itself need to be thought of in a different, wholistic way.

The TIME industries (Technology, Internet Media & Entertainment) are playing a significant role for our societies. Media is content, and content is data. Thus, it takes a key role in both innovation cycles and how to monitor and comprehend it.

Therefore, once a year, we identify one exclusive innovation with the potential of global impact. Our independent board of senior experts from the TIME industries selects the most influential innovation of the year. DWI is the facilitator, providing the framework to reach an independent decision, free from any industry or social groups’ interest.

Israel - UAE - Bahrain Normalization Ceremony

by Hanan Jarrar, Ambassador of Palestine to South Africa

As Palestinians, on this eve of September 15, 2020, we feel betrayed by the step taken by the United Arab Emirates, and the Kingdom of Bahrain to normalise relations with the Israeli settler-colonial regime.  The signature by the foreign ministers of the two Arab Gulf states today in Washington D.C  of the agreement, does not only go against the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative -which offers Israel  normal relations in the region in exchange for ending  occupation- and against tens of  other Arab League resolutions that go in the same sense, but it is also a betrayal to the simple principles of Justice, emboldening Israel to continue oppressing the Palestinian people.
At a time where Israeli bulldozers are intensifying their work of tearing down Palestinian lands and homes to grow the illegal settlement enterprise, and Israeli strikes and blockade are suffocating the Gaza Strip, in addition to the daily threats and desacralizations of Muslim and Christian holy places, this move cannot be seen as a step towards peace. This agreement which comforts the Israel international stand is rewarding the crime perpetrators and an encouragement to the current rampant culture of impunity. As such, it will only draw nearer a movement of unrest in the region to oppose the growing injustices. Most notably, when the Israeli government is unapologetically stating that it will not allow a sovereign and viable Palestinian state to exist, and that annexation of Palestinian land shall persist.

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