The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 7th Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the parties (CMP7) to the Kyoto Protocol was held in the sunny city of Durban, South Africa.


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About the Permanent Mission of South Africa to the United Nations

South Africa at the United Nations

The United Nations, through its global membership and the wide mandate it enjoys through the member states in terms of its charter, is in the centre of the global system of governance. South Africa recognizes the need for social and economic development. The country expects the UN to advance the global development agenda by addressing underdevelopment and the eradication of poverty.


Through participation in the multilateral forums, South Africa supports the peaceful resolution of international conflict, with the UN Charter and international law being central.


The UNGA is the central forum of the UN to develop countries through its global interest and democratic decision-making processes. South Africa supports the initiatives to strengthen the UNGA and its role in multilateralism.

United Nations reform

Intergovernmental negotiations were launched on 29 February 2009 in line with Decision 62/557 of the UNGA. It focuses on key aspects of categories of membership, the veto, regional representation and the size of an enlarged council.

The working methods and the relationship between the UNGA and the UNSC are also scrutinized. South Africa supports and actively participates in all negotiations. The UN Secretariat and management reform are focus areas. South Africa continues to demand better accountability and levels of system supervision. The country also promotes a more efficient, transparent and service-orientated secretariat that responds more effectively to its mandates.

United Nations Security Council

In October 2010, South Africa was elected a non-permanent seat on the UNSC for the second time. The country served on the UNSC in 2007/08. 

The UNGA also elected Germany, India and Colombia to two-year seats on the council, commencing 1 January 2011. Each non-permanent country sits on the council for two years alongside the permanent powers Britain, China, France, Russia and the USA who have the right to veto any council resolution.

South Africa will be guided by its commitment to multilateralism, the advancement of the African Agenda and the peaceful resolution of conflict.  


The Permanent Mission of South Africa to the United Nations is located in midtown Manhattan, on 38th Street, between First and Second Avenues.

Need directions?   Click on the red balloon to get help from Google Maps.

Mailing Address

333 East 38th Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10016-2772
Tel: (212) 213-5583
Fax: (212) 692-2498 

Holidays Observed (2017)

Monday, 2 January *New Year's Day
Tuesday, 21 March Human Rights Day (South Africa)
Friday, 14 April Good Friday
Monday, 17 April Family Day (Easter Monday)
Monday, 29 May Memorial Day
Friday, 16 June Youth Day (South Africa)
Monday, 4 July Independence Day (U.S.)
Monday, 4 September Labour Day
23-24 November Thanksgiving
Monday, 25 December Christmas Day
Tuesday, 26 December Day of Goodwill (South Africa)

*In South Africa, the Public Holidays Act (Act No. 36 of 1994) determines whenever any public holiday falls on a Sunday, the Monday following it shall be a public holiday.

In the USA, Diplomatic Missions follow guidelines issued by the Federal Government. The Federal Government's Human Resource Agency (Office of Personnel Management) determines the work conditions of federal employees. OPM states that when a holiday falls on a non-workday -- Saturday or Sunday -- federal employees will observe the holiday on Monday (if the holiday falls on Sunday) or Friday (if the holiday falls on Saturday).