South Africa: Tourism Minister to Deliver #MandelaDay Statement At UN

To mark International Nelson Mandela Day, Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane will deliver a national commemoration statement at the United Nations in New York, USA.

Celebrated annually on Mandela's birthday, 18 July, the 2019 leg of Mandela Day comes on what would have been the late statesman and global icon's 101 birthday.

The Minister is leading a South African delegation to the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development at the United Nations (UN) which kicked off on Tuesday and ends on Friday.

The forum is convened by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) under the theme "Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality".

"We are confident that deliberations at the High-Level Political Forum on sustainable development will enable all the country members to collectively work together in ensuring transformation is realised and we do not lose sight of our goal to empower our people and fast-track inclusivity and equality in our societies," said the Minister.

South Africa is one of 47 countries submitting their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) for the 2019 forum.

The Minister also attended a meeting held jointly with ECOSOC's annual high-level segment where she delivered the African Group Statement as chair of the month for July.

The meeting comes at a time which marks the last phase of the follow-up and review of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Speaking at the meeting, Kubayi-Ngubane called on countries to return to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda for guidance on how to achieve the SDGS.

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda notes financing as the linchpin for the success of the SDGs.

"We have heard this week that the finance needed to achieve the SDGs amounts to trillion of dollars annually. The Addis Ababa Action Agenda should therefore guide us as we mobilise the public and private investments to achieve the SDGs," said the Minister.

With climate change a potential threat to the achievement of SDGs in developing countries which are hardest hit, the Minister called on developed countries to ensure countries to play their part in reducing their effects of global warming.

"We urge the developed countries to deliver on their official development assistance (ODA) commitments of 0.7 percent of their gross national income.

"Developing countries have fully embraced the primary responsibility for their development - but this does not absolve developed countries from their responsibility to complement these efforts," she said.

At its conclusion the forum is set to adopt a ministerial declaration that embodies a political mandate and provides further guidance regarding the implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.

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