Judge Desai appointed as legal services ombud

13 December 2020

President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed recently retired Judge Sirajudien Desai as the Legal Services Ombud in terms of Section 47 of the Legal Practice Act No. 28 of 2014.

In terms of the Legal Practice Act, Judge Desai is empowered to investigate complaints, alleged maladministration, within the ambit of the Act, and actions which may affect the integrity of the legal profession, among others.

Following discussions with Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola, the President appointed Justice Desai to advance and safeguard the integrity of the legal profession in the country.

Qatar, a futuristic country

18 December 2020

Commemorating Qatar’s National Day on 18 December Mr Tariq bin Ali-Faraj Al-Ansari, Ambassador of Qatar to South Africa speaks of the good relations his country has with South Africa as well with Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Lesotho, which he also represents.

The day is a commemoration of the establishment of the State of Qatar by the late founder Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed bin Thani on December 18, 1878. Ambassador Al-Ansari says that Qatar has been continuous in its achievements generation after generation.

A Yemeni farewell and welcome

18 December 2020

Ambassador Ahmed Hassan, Chargé d'Affaires of Yemen to South Africa hosted a reception as a prelude to the celebration of 25 years of diplomatic ties between Yemen and South Africa which takes place on 3 January 2021.

Hassan also used this opportunity to welcome newly accredited ambassadors from Egypt, Mauritania and Sudan and said that he looked forward to working with them.

Praise was heaped on South Africa’s Deputy Chief of State Protocol, Ebrahim Edries, who Hassan said was always available to assist. Edries has been appointed South Africa's de facto Ambassador to Morocco (he will officially be charge d'affaires) and the reception was used as an opportunity to bid him farewell and wish him well in his new posting.

Climate Ambition Summit 2020
(Image by Pixabay)

18 December 2020

New York, London, Paris, 12 December — Global climate leaders took a major stride towards a resilient, net zero emissions future today, presenting ambitious new commitments, urgent actions and concrete plans to confront the climate crisis.

Co-convened by the United Nations, the UK and France, in partnership with Italy and Chile, on the 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement, today’s Climate Ambition Summit marked a major milestone on the road to the crucial UN climate conference COP26 in Glasgow next November.

75 leaders from all continents outlined new commitments at the Summit. This is a clear signal that the Paris Agreement - more than ever before the compass of international action - is working to steeply increase climate action and ambition.

20th IORA Council of Ministers Meeting

18 December 2020

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) hosted the 20th IORA Council of Ministers (COM) Meeting on 17 December 2020, virtually.

This year, IORA held its first Council of Ministers virtually, welcoming its 22 Member States and 10 Dialogue Partners, to discuss ways in coordinating efforts to achieve IORA’s vision for a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Indian Ocean region as outlined in the Jakarta Concord and IORA Action Plan.

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.

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