Women political activists in conflict areas must be protected

1 September 2021

International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor, has called for the protection of women in countries affected by conflict. Minister Pandor was speaking during a virtual event themed “Ensuring Protection for Full and Equal Participation in Peacebuilding and Political Spaces”.

“All women must be protected and should enjoy security from any form of harm. In fact, all political activists should be able to exercise their democratic right to protest and exercise all the civil and political rights we enjoy as South Africa by virtue of our Constitution,” she said.

The event was organised by the International Peace Institute and hosted in partnership with the Kenyan, South African, Swedish and the United States governments.

Collaborative conservation continues between South Africa and Mozambique
 
Elephants captured at Kruger National Park (photo credit: instagram.com/diressh_parbhoo)

31 August 2021

In another victory for cross-border conservation, a series of successful wildlife translocations saw 27 Zebra and 62 blue wildebeest safely making the 1 250 km journey from Kruger National Park in South Africa to Zinave National Park in Mozambique. These new arrivals are welcome additions to the more than 2 300 reintroduced animals that are now thriving under the restoration and management programmes being implemented in Zinave.

Since 2018, more than 700 animals have been translocated under a donation from South Africa’s Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment to the Ministry of Land and the Environment in Mozambique, as they work together, supported by Peace Parks Foundation, to restock and rebuild key parks within the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area.

COVID-19 Cooperation from two Super Powers - China and USA: Lessons for Africa

By Sibusiso R Bakana, Ph.D. Candidate in Beihang University, President of SASCA, and Representative of The Diplomatic Society in China

27 August 2021

It is almost two years now since the outbreak of the coronavirus, Covid-19, when the first cases were reported, and since then the number of people infected with the virus has grown all over the world. As these two superpowers were seen to muddle in a blame game and intensified conspiracy theories directed at each other, more was and still can be done to support developing communities. Politics aside, let scientific evidence be the driver for robust win-win cooperation for a desired shared future in the global community.

Perhaps What the World Needs is a Little “Kamlangjai” (Inspiration of the Heart)

By Dr. Phiset Sa-ardyen*
 
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Goodwill Ambassador on the Rule of Law for Southeast Asia, Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol and UNODC Regional Representative Jeremy Douglas at the vocational training centre inside a prison in Thailand. The prison has recently been expanded and improved to help prepare inmates for life outside prison by equipping them with skills to make a living once they leave. Training and certificates are offered in massage and spa treatments, weaving and textiles, cooking, and in garment production and alterations – trades that enable a viable income. (Photo: tijthailand.org)
 

23 August 2021

In today’s increasingly globalised world where news from every corner is reported at a click, we are often inundated by a myriad of issues facing humanity. At times, the plethora of negative headlines may make one question whether our world is becoming increasingly tumultuous, or are we simply better-informed given the advancement of digital information technology. Nonetheless, the thought of the world never having made it ‘past its past’, with issues like gender-inequality, poverty and sexual abuse constantly reported, easily leaves one feeling disheartened and uninspired.

Women, Culture and Tradition - commemorating Women's Month

19 August 2021

The Diplomatic Society and the South African Princess Network in commemoration of Women’s Month hosted a webinar titled ‘Women, Culture and Tradition - National and Global practices, unpacking Gender Based Violence’.

The webinar was expertly facilitated and guided by Princess Lerato Mabalane with Princess Stella Sigcau welcoming guests and Kirtan Bhana concluding the discussion. And In between was an intriguing, enlightening discussion by the panelists about subjects varying from how traditional, cultural practices affect gender, the role of colonialism in oppression, suppression and violence, the role of legislature, the part played by women in oppression especially as regards cultural practices, the importance of language and communication, entitlement, re-education, the similarities of gender issues experienced all around the globe, and a huge array of other thought-provoking issues.

SADC elects new leadership

Outgoing Chairperson President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique hands over the chairship of SADC to President Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi at the 41st Head of States and Government Ordinary Summit in Malawi. (Photo:Kopano Tlape GCIS)

18 August 2021

The 41st Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has elected President of the Republic of Malawi, Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, as Chairperson of SADC, and President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo as the incoming Chairperson of SADC.

The Summit also elected President Cyril Ramaphosa as Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, and President of the Republic Namibia Dr Hage G. Geingob, as incoming Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.

Change in Zambia

18 August 2021

Zambia voted in a new President, Hakainde Hichilema, after holding general elections on 12 August 2021, the 7th since the reintroduction of multiparty politics in 1991.

In a media briefing on Monday Hichilema said, “It is with great honour, humility and gratitude that I stand before you today to say change is here. We have prevailed. Zambia has prevailed.

“This victory does not belong to me, but to the men and women of Zambia. You came out in large numbers, with great energy and passion, and you sent a clear and resounding message that has reverberated around the world. It is time for change.”

Merdeka Indonesia

By Salman Al Farisi*

17 August 2021

Indonesia considers South Africa as a strategic partner. The profound sentimental and historic links between the peoples of the Indonesian archipelago and the African continent is a special bond that is evolving in this modern epoch. In the face of the challenges of a new dynamic in social behaviour and value systems new opportunities for engagement and exchange present themselves.

Now, 76 years have passed since Indonesia attained its independence from the Dutch colonialist and the withdrawal of the Japanese imperial forces after their defeat at the end of the Second World War. After several centuries of colonial subjugation the Indonesian people have reclaimed their heritage and have built a unified nation with its 273 million people of diverse cultures and the largest number of people as followers of Islam in the world.

UNCLOS – Enhancing Maritime Security

16 August 2021
Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh delivering his remarks at the UNSC High-level Open Debate on “Enhancing Maritime Security – A Case for International Cooperation” held virtually on August 9, 2021
 

‘Prompted by the desire to settle, in a spirit of mutual understanding and
cooperation, all issues relating to the law of the sea and aware of the historic
significance of this Convention as an important contribution to the
maintenance of peace, justice and progress for all peoples of the world’

This is the first paragraph of the preamble of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS). (https://www.un.org/depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/unclos_e.pdf)

168 countries are party to this noble UN convention that comprehensively sets out a legal order for the seas and oceans, the ocean floor, the subsoil thereof and the air space above.

At the first-ever UN Security Council Open Debate on Enhancing Maritime Security which was held virtually on August 9, 2021 Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said, “Even when the world is devoting much resource to the fight against COVID-19, the topic of our discussion is of strategic and substantial importance. Vietnam especially commends and echoes India's Five S Approach at the Security Council. Vietnam is committed to working with India and other Council members in promoting dialogue, cooperation and mutual respect, for global peace and prosperity.”

Mother India at 75

By Advocate Ajay Sooklal, Dr. Srimal Fernando and Mr. Kirtan Bhana

Women ministers in PM Modi's team don handloom saris reflecting India's sartorial diversity. Seven women MPs took oath as union ministers in the expansion of the council of ministers in July this year. Pictured (l-r) Darshana Jardosh - Minister for Railways and Textiles, Pratima Bhoumik - Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Shobha Karandlaje - Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Smriti Z Irani - Minister for Women and Child Development, Nirmala Sitharaman - Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Bharati Pravin Pawar - Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Meenakshi Lekhi - Minister of External Affairs and Culture, Anupriya Patel - Minister for Commerce and Industry and Annapurna Devi - Minister of Education.

15 August 2021

As the Indian tri-colour lights up buildings around the world and Jai Hind rings out not only in the sub-continent, but in many parts of the world, India celebrates and commemorates 75 years of progressive India and the glorious history of its people, culture and achievements.

Bharat, as India is also known, was a source of higher knowledge and wisdom for several thousand years as documentation of calendars and other historical records show. They also show that there was a deep understanding of the cosmos and its effects and influence on seasonal changes, weather patterns and climate conditions among others. Having this kind of information led to a multitude of discoveries in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics, which are evident in the rich heritage of the Indian sub-continent.

International Youth Day - Transforming food systems

12 August 2021

Youth innovation for human and planetary health

With the world’s population expected to increase by 2 billion people in the next 30 years, it has become recognized by numerous stakeholders that simply producing a larger volume of healthier food more sustainably will not ensure human and planetary wellbeing. Other crucial challenges must also be addressed, such as the interlinkages embodied by the 2030 Agenda including poverty reduction; social inclusion; health care; biodiversity conservation; and climate change mitigation. It has been acknowledged that there is a need for inclusive support mechanisms that ensure youth continue to amplify efforts collectively and individually to restore the planet and protect life, while integrating biodiversity in the transformation of food systems.

South Africa and Kenya cement bonds

South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya, Ambassador Raychelle Omamo at the First Session of the South Africa – Kenya Joint Commission of Cooperation (JCC) in Nairobi, Kenya. (Photos: Katlholo Maifadi/DIRCO)

12 August 2021

While South Africa and Kenya enjoy strong bilateral relations, the two countries will work together to address hindrances to bilateral cooperation.

The two countries held a two-day South Africa-Kenya Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC), attended by South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, and her counterpart, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya, Ambassador Raychelle Omamo.

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