DEPUTY MINISTER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION (DIRCO) MR ALVIN BOTES, DELIVERED THE KEY NOTE ADDRESS, ON THE OCCASION OF THE UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
30 NOVEMBER 2020
I am honoured to address this august gathering in commemoration of the 43rd International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, as well as renewing South Africa (SA)’s shared commitments to a just and lasting solution to the Question of Palestine under the topic: “How will South Africa build renewed solidarity on the African continent and support the just cause of Palestine internationally.”
A wise man once said that ‘We make our own history, not in circumstances of our choosing’…however, we have an engagement with a future SA in 2030 and we must make SA work for an Inclusive Prosperity envision in the Africa we want in 2063. The wise man reminded us that ‘the Role of philosophers is to interpret the world’ and ours, Ladies and Gentlemen, is ‘to change it’.
SA’s National Interest displays a people-centred, progressive and developmental outlook evidenced in its foreign policy, particularly as this has been expressed in the post-liberation canon of promoting pan-Africanism, South-South solidarity, North-South cooperation, and multilateral cooperation.
We have been universal acclaimed for our role as country which errs on the side of most vulnerable. It therefore holds that we should leapfrog into a prosperous future, informed by a value proposition underpinned by the affirmation of multilateralism and rejection of unilaterialism.
We will strengthen our efforts to Reposition, Reclaim, Restore, and Re-Imagine SA’s credentials as a universally recognised African State; as a Trusted interlocutor NS good citizen in the context of a depreciating foreign policy currency.
We are commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995) and the approval of the Platform for Action unanimously adopted by 189 governments. The pandemic has underlined and exacerbated the continued deprivation and inequality faced by women and girls across the world. During this period, South African experienced some of the horrific incidents of Gender Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) as a result of the increased risk of victims of GBVF being confined in the same space with their abusers, unable to leave, escape or reach out for help and with limited or no mechanisms to support them. This has led to His Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa characterising GBVF as another pandemic facing South Africa in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our thematic approach is entitled: “Economic Justice for a Non-Violent and Non-Sexist South Africa”. We do appreciate that Financial and Economic Inclusion of Women in the Economy is a pre-requisite to remedy this primary contradiction of society, which is the definitive requirement of Gender emancipation.
I wish to confirmed that it is instructive that as Men we recognised and acknowledge that because we are a microcosm of our society, we have an additional burden to ensure that particularly toxic masculinity has no place, no repository in the society we find ourselves in.
When the world gathered last year to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, as observed by the United Nations (UN) annually on 29 November, none of us would have imagined that world would be engulfed by a common enemy – the COVID-19 pandemic. The outbreak of this pandemic unquestionably presents an era-defining challenge to public health and the global economy. Its political consequences, both short and long-term, are less well understood. But what we do know, contagious diseases know no borders; it is transnational in nature, straddling nations and states.
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