PRESS RELEASE : United Nations Deputy Secretary-General arrives in South Africa on official visit, 24 November 2017

Johannesburg, South Africa: United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed arrived in South Africa today at the start of a two-day visit that will include delivering the 15th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture 2017 on Saturday in Cape Town. She was met at the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg by the acting head of the UN in South Africa, Rufaro Chatonga, and the chairperson and the chief executive officer of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Njabulo Ndebele and Sello Hatang respectively.

At the press briefing in Johannesburg, Ms. Mohammed said she was humbled to be delivering this significant lecture. She added that tackling gender-based violence begins in the home and in communities and “while progress has been made, a lot more needs to be done.” She cited her experiences with her own children and highlighted the importance of educating young boys and men about respecting women.

Speaking about developments in Zimbabwe, Ms. Mohammed welcomed the change in leadership adding that “Zimbabweans should congratulate themselves for the peaceful transition. This is a new dawn, and a new era, they can right the wrongs and it’s very important for them to reflect and not to be in a rush. It’s a sensitive time and they need the support from every Zimbabwean, African and global citizen to assist them through this transition.”

The Deputy Secretary-General’s lecture on “Centering Gender” coincides with the first day of the annual commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign. It is also the International Day of No Violence Against Women, whose theme this year is “Leave No One Behind: End Violence Against Women and Girls”.

The Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture series “invites prominent people to drive debate on significant social issues…and encourages people to enter into dialogue – often about difficult subjects – in order to address the challenges we face today,” according to the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s website. Past speakers have included former President Bill Clinton, several other heads of state as well as former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

During her visit, Ms. Mohammed will also hold discussions with senior officials from the South African government and projects aimed at empowering women and girls.

For further information, please contact:

Masimba Tafirenyika, UN Information Centre in Pretoria, Tel: +27-82-313-0051

Email: tafirenyika@un.org

Zeenat Abdool, UN Information Centre in Pretoria, Tel. +27-82-778-8080

Email: abdool@un.org

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