Pretoria, 20 July 2021: The Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, has been appointed as Co-Chair of the High-Level “Halving Global Violence Task Force”. This was confirmed by the Pathfinders, an institution for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies with 38 Member States, international organisations and global partnerships committed to accelerating the delivery of the Agenda 2030 targets for peace, justice and inclusion (SDG16).
South Africa enjoys a conducive working relation with Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies. Hosted by the New York University Center on International Cooperation, these partners are dedicated to the role of accelerating action for peace, justice and inclusion globally. We are also pleased that Dr Vasu Gounden, CEO of the globally recognised conflict management organisation, ACCORD, which was established here in South Africa in 1992, is a member of the “Halving Global Violence Task Force’’
In her new role, the Minister will be participating in the process of global efforts to reduce violence worldwide by the year 2030. The year 2030, is historic for the country as it is a national target which the South African Government has set for itself to improve the living conditions of all her people by reducing poverty, unemployment and inequality. The National Development Plan: Vision 2030, which is a national blue print of South Africa, and an overarching plan which seeks to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by the year 2030 through uniting all citizens so they may contribute towards an inclusive South Africa capable of working together to bring solutions to complex societal challenges.
Responding to her new role, Minister Zulu said; “Our Governments significant experience and leadership on several aspects of violence reduction, peacekeeping especially on the African continent, as well as combatting violence against women and children here at home, is what we hope to bring to this global forum. This also speaks directly to the role of Social Development in the fight against gender-based violence and femicide, which has been declared to be the second pandemic in the country and globally after COVID-19. There is also a need to mobilise other government departments, civil society organisations, religious and traditional leaders, and even the business community towards this initiative”.
She further said that she is humbled by “this new role as Co-Chair of the High-Level “Halving Global Violence Task Force’’ which will amongst other functions; provide a critical platform to share best practices, spotlight evidence-based solutions, and demonstrate that a 50% reduction in violence by the year 2030 is imperative and achievable.” This she said is not only about contributing and sharing of ideas but impacting on the lives of the most vulnerable persons, in particular, children, women and persons with disabilities, who are affected every day by many forms of social ills and violence.
Minister Zulu’s appointment reaffirms South Africa’s vision of making its contribution as a beacon of hope and an exemplary embodiment of global unity and multilateralism; especially, in the midst of a global COVID-19 pandemic which continues to impact negatively on many lives.
The Minister looks forward to contributing in a positive manner, especially towards the realisation of the SDGs which promotes inclusive protection and empowerment of marginalised women and children. The Ministers appointment also complements South Africa's foreign policy objectives is based on the country’s commitment to the values and ideals of Pan-Africanism and solidarity with global citizens which is characterised by the need to cooperate with all peace-loving people across the globe in pursuit of shared prosperity and a just, equitable and rules-based international order.
ISUED BY THE NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT