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New York, 21 July 2011

President Joseph Deiss meets with President Jacob Zuma

During his official visit to South Africa, H.E. Mr. Joseph Deiss, President of the General Assembly, met today in Pretoria with H.E. Mr. Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic. They discussed Security Council reform, including the initiative of the President of the General Assembly to set up a Group of Friends to exchange views in an informal setting on the reform.

The situation in Libya, the implementation of Security Council resolution 1973 and the roadmap of the African Union for a political solution to the conflict were also discussed. President Deiss informed about the interactive dialogue on the Responsibility to Protect in the General Assembly and underlined the key role of regional organizations in operationalizing this important principle.

President Deiss and President Zuma discussed the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA), which will take place on 22 September 2011 in New York. President Deiss underlined the importance of a forward-looking political declaration to be adopted on this occasion and commended South Africa for the crucial role it plays in this regard.

The President of the General Assembly also thanked President Zuma for his participation in the Interactive Dialogue with the Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability.

On 20 July, President Deiss met with H.E. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, South Africa's Minister of International Relations and Cooperation. Issues discussed included the situation in Libya, the mediation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regarding Madagascar, the commemoration of the Durban Declaration and the 17th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be held in Durban, South Africa. President Deiss thanked South Africa for its role in South Sudan. On Security Council reform, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane reiterated the full support of South Africa for the efforts of the President with the Group of Friends.