Mr Ilya Rogachev, Ambassador of Russia to South Africa welcoming guests
by Dilon Bhana
The 22nd of June is the day of Remembrance and Sorrow for Russian Soldiers. It marks the first day of the Russian Patriotic war which commenced on the 22nd of June 1941 at the Fortress of Brest. The Russian Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa organised a photo-exhibition to commemorate the day in June of this year. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 lockdown regulations, the event was postponed until the 14th of September, and took place at Apogee hotel.
The photo-exhibition was titled “Symbols of Victory” and it showcased and honoured Russian Soldiers who gave their lives defending their country. In addition to the photo-exhibition, a Russian movie titled “The Fortress of War” was screened. The film shows the defense of the Brest Fortress in Soviet Belarus. It is a beautifully sorrowful film which portrays the lives and the stories of the very same soldiers who are celebrated as Russian Heroes on this day and every day.
by Minister Gabriela Colín Ortega, Embassy of Mexico in South Africa
It is a privilege for me to address you all on the occasion of the celebration of the Bicentennial of the Independence of Mexico, a revolutionary movement that started in the early hours of the sixteenth of September 1810, when the priest Miguel Hidalgo congregated the people of his parish in the town of Dolores and encouraged them to join him to fight for the freedom of Mexico. Hidalgo’s call is known as “el Grito de Independencia” (the Cry for Independence), which Mexicans both locally and abroad celebrate annually to renew our bonds to freedom and sovereignty.
The independence war lasted eleven years. During this period, the insurgentes -as we refer to our freedom fighters- were so ahead of their time, that Hidalgo abolished slavery as early as December 1810, and José María Morelos -a brilliant Afro-Mexican- proclaimed the first Constitution in 1814.
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United Nations General Assembly – A President of Hope
By Advocate Ajay Sooklal, Dr Srimal Fernando and Mr Kirtan Bhana
Maldive’s Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid was elected as the 76th president of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) currently in session in New York in the USA. It’s the first time a Maldivian has been elected to this position and is regarded as a boon for the South Asian Island state, especially as its neighbour, India, assumes its position of the presidency as a non permanent member of the all-powerful UNSC.
“We have seen humanity at its best,” said Shahid as he outlined key priorities as he assumed his position at the UNGA and termed it the “Presidency of Hope”. He was referring to the collective response of people of all nationalities and walks of life to the Covid-19 global pandemic. He had special praise for all frontline workers and their commitment inspired hope that humanity will rise to the occasion to face this challenge and overcome it.
Address by H.E. Mr. Hoang Van Loi, Ambassador of Viet Nam to South Africa on the occasion of the 76th Independence Day of Viet Nam
On the 2nd day of September every year, Vietnamese people at home and abroad celebrate a day of freedom, liberty and independence, a day of history, remembrance, hope and promise. 76 years ago, on September 2nd 1945, President Ho Chi Minh delivered the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming the birth of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam, now the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. On this year’s 76th Anniversary of the Independence Day of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, I would like to convey my warmest greetings to you and best wishes of health, peace and prosperity.
2021 has been an eventful year. The COVID-19 pandemic still rages on around the world, reversing years and even decades of development, affecting the global economy, international relations and people’s livelihoods. In Viet Nam, as I write these words, thousands upon thousands of health workers, medical students, military servicemen, police officers and volunteers from all over the country are marching to COVID-19 hotspots in Southern provinces, risking their own lives for their fellow countrymen’s. The image speaks to Viet Nam’s national solidarity and strength. And in these unprecedented times, we are grateful for the global community’s support and generous donations of vaccines and medical equipment.