Johannesburg, Friday 31 May 2019 – Brand South Africa has noted and welcomes the United Nations (UN) recognition and praise of South Africa’s role in peacekeeping missions on the African continent.
Speaking at the 2019 commemoration of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers held in Bloemfontein, South Africa – the newly appointed UN Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in South Africa Ms. Nardos Bekele-Thomas said that the country’s brave men and women should be celebrated for they put their lives at risk daily in their efforts to bring peace and security in the countries from which they operate. “Many other South African men and women have paid the ultimate price in the service for global peace,” added Bekele-Thomas.
Since the advent of democracy in 1994, domestic and international expectations have steadily grown regarding South Africa’s role as a responsible and respected member of the internationally community.
“South Africa has come a long way since the days when the sight of its armed forces used to instil fear among the peoples of neighbouring states. Since 1994, South Africa has transformed the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) into a symbol of hope and a defender of defenceless people. South Africa’s armed forces are celebrated today for their critical role in stabilising, reconstruction and development of infrastructure and the training of troops in war-torn countries,” said Brand South Africa Acting CEO, Ms Thulisile Manzini.
With a total of more than 1,190 troops stationed in UN Peacekeeping missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan and South Sudan, South Africa is considered as the 11th biggest troop contributor to UN Peacekeeping in Africa and the 17th biggest in the world.
Testament to South Africa’s efforts is also recognised in the 2018 Good Country Index, which sees the country ranking 3rd out of 163 countries for its contribution to international peace and security. The Good Country Index measures how much each of the 163 countries on the list contribute to the planet, and to the human race, through their policies and behaviours. The Index is a composite statistic of 35 data points mostly generated by the United Nations. These data points are combined into a common measure which gives an overall ranking, and a ranking in seven categories: Science and Technology, Culture, International Peace and Security, World Order, Planet and Climate, Prosperity and Equality, as well as Health and Well-being.
Brand South Africa would also like to express sincere congratulations to Ms Bekele-Thomas on her new appointment as a direct representative of the UN Secretariat. Ms Bekele-Thomas’ role includes, but not limited to, ensuring the coordination of all UN operational activities for its development programme in the country and to facilitate the alignment and coherence of UN operational activities for development in line with national priorities and development objectives.
Notes to the Editor
About Brand South Africa
Brand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.
About Play Your Part
Play Your Part is a nationwide programme created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa. It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing. A nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone.
Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates and individuals, NGOs and government, churches and schools, from the young to the not-so-young. It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills or goods to contribute to a better future for all.
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