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News                                                                               
 

BRICS ministers reaffirm commitment to Paris agreement  

21 May 2018

Environment Ministers from BRICS nations have reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris Agreement in dealing with climate change.

“We reaffirm our commitments to the Paris Agreement and urge developed countries to continue taking the lead and support developing countries, including the transfer of needed technology, which is one of the most critical enablers for climate action,” the ministers said in a joint statement.

(Image credit: Embassy of Russia in South Africa)

The ministers and their representatives from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa met in KwaZulu-Natal for the 4th BRICS Ministers of Environment Meeting which ended on Friday 18 May.

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An Incomplete Transition: Overcoming the Legacy of Exclusion in South Africa

21 May 2018

World Bank’s Systematic Country Diagnostic Report highlights applications on how South Africa can address challenges to create a more inclusive society

Brand South Africa welcomes the World Bank’s recently released a report which explores key development challenges and opportunities for South Africa and identified five binding constraints to tackling poverty and inequality.

The report titled ‘Systematic Country Diagnostic - An Incomplete Transition: Overcoming the Legacy of Exclusion in South Africa,’ indicates that the root causes of persistently high poverty, inequality, and unemployment are associated to South Africa’s history of exclusion, which is rooted in land, capital, labour and product markets. This is despite advancements made since the country’s democratic dispensation in 1994.

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Astana Economic Forum kicks off in Kazakh capital, focuses on global challenges

May 18, 2018

The eleventh Astana Economic Forum kicked off in the Kazakh capital May 17, welcoming 5,000 participants from 111 countries and more than 500 speakers, including former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former French President Francois Hollande and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Organised in Astana since 2008, this year’s event focuses on global trends and challenges.

Opening the event, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said the annual forum has evolved into a “good tradition” and a platform to “discuss acute issues in economy, investment and innovation.” He indicated five global trends and reiterated the need to establish G-Global platform under the aegis of the UN.

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30th Anniversary of the battle of Cuito Cuanavale

"Cuito Cuanavale was a milestone in the history of the struggle for southern African liberation," said Nelson Mandela.

To mark the 30th Anniversary of the battle of Cuito Cuanavale on 14 May 2018, dignataries gathered at Freedom Park honouring Nelson Mandela's legacy in solidarity with Cuba in the year of his centenary.

Photo: Cuban Ambassador Benitez Verson, Former President of SA Kgalema Motlanthe and Ambassador of Namibia Veiccoh K. Nghiwete give Diplomas to Cubans who fought for the liberation of Africa.

Cuban youth laid a wreath in front of the Wall of Names at Freedom Park in Pretoria to pay tribute to the heroes who sacrificed their lives in the struggle for justice and freedom. Among these names are 2 289 Cubans who sacrificed their lives as internationalist combatants on African soil. Diplomas were awarded to Cuban internationalists who fought in Africa. The battle spanned from August 1987 till March 1988.

Addressing guests Cuban Ambassador Benitez Verson said, "There is an African saying according to which: “The foot prints of the people that walked together can never be erased”.

The deep and special relationship between Cuba and Africa was cemented in the battlefields of southern Angola, where almost half a million of Cubans joined their fate with that of African combatants to reject the military intervention of apartheid and imperialism in the continent.

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Poland’s Lessons: History and Geography is Not Destiny

by Greg Mills

Despite the absence of a state for 123 years until 1918, the horror of the Second World War when it lost 85% of its capital and one-third of its population, and the trauma of the Soviet period, since 1990 Poland has become a normal country, and quickly. In so doing it shows that history, like geography, is not destiny writes Greg Mills.

THE GREAT SHIPYARDS OF GDAŃSK ON THE BALTIC gave birth to the Solidarity trade union movement in Poland in 1980. Despite its banning and the systematic state persecution of its members, by June 1989 the movement had triumphed over the Soviet-backed Polish United Workers’ Party (PZPR) in the first partially free elections after the Second World War.

The union leader Lech Wałęsa, instantly distinguishable by his walrus moustache, became president of Poland in 1990. He did not exaggerate when he said that ‘By knocking the teeth out of the Soviet bear, we helped other nations win their freedom.’ Solidarity’s victory precipitated the fall of the Berlin Wall and widespread political and economic change across the Soviet-controlled East bloc.

Today Gdańsk is the home of a revitalised shipping industry. Poland is the second biggest manufacturer, after the US, of motorised yachts. At the Northern Shipyard, now under private ownership, ocean going trawlers, Thames River ferries, oil platform tenders and shiny red Artic supply vessels are under various stages of construction.

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World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day

15 May 2017

The International Committee of the Red Cross Head of Regional Delegation for southern Africa, Mr Vincent Cassard, hosted a reception in Pretoria on the occasion of World Red Cross and Red Crescent day on 8 May 2018.

World Red Cross Day has become an important day in the history of humanitarian work and is commemorated annually on the 8th of May to celebrate the role that is played by National Societies, Red Cross Federation (IFRC) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the life saving events as well as assisting the vulnerable social people all around the world. It is on the birthday of Henri Dunant who was the founder of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in the year 1863 in the Geneva, Switzerland that this day is celebrated.

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South Africa's foreign policy re-energised

16 May 2018

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu delivered the Budget Vote Speech of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation in Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa on 15 May 2018.

Speech by Minister Sisulu

This year marks the centenary of Nelson Mandela, a world icon that we have produced. This is one year in which we should once again use the space created by Nelson Mandela to leapfrog into a future that we all dreamt of. It is an especially important year for us as we invite the world to focus on the example we have set for the rest of mankind.  We need to drive this celebration of the man who not only led us into this democracy, but one who captured the world’s imagination on what is possible. We had the most fertile ground on which to build further on the immense work done by Oliver Tambo in our international relations. Mandela picked up the baton and charted our foreign policy in the new dispensation and we remember him for what he bequeathed to us: freedom, peace, forgiveness. And the world opened its arms to us.

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The Revolutionary Faces of Africa

11 May 2018

The Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies within the Institute for Global Dialogue (IGD), in collaboration with the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Gordon Institute of Business Science, will be hosting a series of Africa Month events to celebrate and share commonalities and culture linked to the Afro-Latin American and Caribbean communities. Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean share ties that range from colonial histories, the need for human and economic development, liberation politics as well as cultural and ethnic ties.

During the colonial era, about 15 million Africans were taken into slavery and records show that about 90% of these Africans were taken to Latin America and the Caribbean and African heritages have been found and thrive in the  region. In addition, the African Union recognizes Latin American and the Caribbean diaspora as the Sixth Region of Africa.

The Revolutionary Faces of Africa Exhibition was opened on 10 May by Ambassador Mairin Moreno of Venezuela and will run till 25 May.

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Veteran photographer Sam Nzima passes away

14 May 2018

President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed deep sadness at the sudden passing of veteran photographer and recipient of the National Order of Ikhamanga, Sam Nzima.

Nzima, who took the iconic photograph of a dying Hector Peterson, passed away in Mpumalanga on Saturday 12 May 2018.

“Mr Sam Nzima was one of a kind, his camera captured the full brutality of apartheid oppression on the nation’s psyche and history from the defiance campaign through to forced removals and the Soweto student uprisings.

“We will especially remember his iconic photograph of a dying young Hector Peterson which became a symbol of resistance against the imposition of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in the black schools,” said the President.

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One hundredth anniversary of the restoration of Poland’s independence

10 May 2018

Poland celebrates Constitution Day on the 3rd of May. It was on this day in 1791 that Poland's first constitution was adopted. It was a document "based on Enlightenment values being adopted. A new, bold, moral idea. Article V of the Constitution reads: All authority in human society takes its origin in the will of the people. Instead of advancing the interests of the few, the government must put the nation first," said Ambassador of Poland, Mr Andrzej Kanthak at a reception in Pretoria to mark the one hundredth anniversary of the restoration of Poland’s independence.

Photo: Polish Ambassador Andrzej Kanthak with SA Deputy Minister of Social Development,  Mrs Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu (Credit: Grażyna Koornhof)

Guests were treated to Polish words of wisdom, Polish music and authentic Polish cuisine.

Speech by Polish Ambassador Andrzej Kanthak on the occasion

Imagine! We go back in time!

To 1791. The date of an oldest surviving unopened bottle of Groot Constantia wine: a treasured artefact, belonging to the estate.

But we move north: about 10 000 km north of Constantia. And we go back exactly eleven thousand, eight hundred and forty-five (11,845) weeks.

It’s Tuesday, 3 May 1791. The Royal Castle in Warsaw. Something momentous is happening. Europe’s first full constitution based on Enlightenment values is being adopted.

A new, bold, moral idea. Article V of the Constitution reads: All authority in human society takes its origin in the will of the people. Instead of advancing the interests of the few, the government must put the nation first

It takes generations of wars and imperial rivalry before that’s accepted as Europe’s guiding principle. It takes even longer for Europe to accept that that principle applies elsewhere. To people living in territories around the world that Europe has seized as its own. Including your own country. South Africa.

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April 2018

 
 
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