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SG/T/2046
26 April 1996

ON SECOND DAY OF VISIT TO SOUTH AFRICA, SECRETARY-GENERAL DISCUSSES SITUATIONS IN SEVERAL AFRICAN COUNTRIES WITH PRESIDENT MANDELA

26 April 1996


Press Release
SG/T/2046


ON SECOND DAY OF VISIT TO SOUTH AFRICA, SECRETARY-GENERAL DISCUSSES SITUATIONS IN SEVERAL AFRICAN COUNTRIES WITH PRESIDENT MANDELA

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On the second day of his official visit to South Africa, Secretary- General Boutros Boutros-Ghali went to the capital of the country, Pretoria, to meet with the President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, as well as the Executive Deputy President, F.W. de Klerk. He thanked them for the support given by South Africa to the United Nations.

The Secretary-General met with President Mandela in tête-à-tête for 20 minutes. They were later joined by their delegations. The Secretary-General expressed his deep gratitude to President Mandela for the support of the Government and people of South Africa for the United Nations. The fact that South Africa had been one of the first Member States to pay its contributions in full to the regular budget of the United Nations had set an important example. Referring to President Mandela as "the Godfather of Africa", he expressed his gratitude to him for his moral support and his actions in favour of peace and justice in the world and in particular in Africa. They discussed a number of situations in Africa, including Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Western Sahara. President Mandela stated that his country would help the United Nations as the United Nations had helped South Africa.

President Mandela handed two cheques to the Secretary-General, one in the amount of $220,000 as a voluntary contribution to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and another one in the amount of $230,000 to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for its repatriation programme of Angolan refugees.

The Secretary-General met for 30 minutes this afternoon with Jose-Maria Figueres, President of Costa Rica and current President of the Group of 77. They discussed the support provided by the Group of 77 and China to the reform process of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The President stressed the importance that the Group of 77 and China attached to the success of that reform process. They underlined the complementarity existing between UNCTAD and the World Trade Organization.

Later the Secretary-General had an in-depth discussion on Angola with his Special Representative, Alioune Blondin Beye.

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In the evening, the Secretary-General was the guest at a dinner offered by the Secretary-General of UNCTAD and also attended by the President- designate of the ninth UNCTAD Conference, Alec Erwin, the Minister of Trade of South Africa.

Tomorrow, the Secretary-General will take part in Freedom Day in Pretoria and will open UNCTAD IX in Midrand.

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For information media. Not an official record.