Welcome Remarks by Dr Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, on the occasion of Ubuntu Awards 2022, 12 February 2022

Welcome Remarks by Dr Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, on the occasion of Ubuntu Awards 2022, 12 February 2022


Programme Directors,
Ministers present here tonight,
My sister Ms. Sophie Wilmès, the Foreign Affairs Minister of Belgium,
The Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus,
Members of Parliament,
Your Excellencies, Ambassadors and High Commissioners,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Captains of Industry and Ubuntu Awards Partners,
Ladies and Gentlemen,


Allow me to welcome you, on behalf of our department to this important occasion.


The Annual Ubuntu Awards are an important and strategic platform that allows South Africans to see and connect the dots between what our diplomats do all over the world and how that translates into improving the life of the man in the street and the lives of our people in any corner of our country.


The White Paper on South Africa’s Foreign Policy speaks of the Diplomacy of Ubuntu”.


South Africa is a multifaceted, multicultural and multiracial country that embraces the concept of Ubuntu as a way of defining who we are and how we relate to others. The philosophy of Ubuntu means ‘humanity’ and is reflected in the idea that we affirm our humanity when we affirm the humanity of others. It has played a major role in the forging of a South African national consciousness and in the process of its democratic transformation and nation-building.


Since 1994, the international community has looked to South Africa to play a leading role in championing values of human rights, democracy, reconciliation and the eradication of poverty and underdevelopment. We believe that South Africa has risen to the challenge and continues to make a meaningful contribution in the pursuit of these goals in our region (SADC), on the continent and globally.


South Africa’s unique approach to global issues has found expression in the concept of Ubuntu. These concepts inform our particular approach to diplomacy and shape our vision of a better world for all.


This philosophy translates into an approach to international relations that respects all nations, peoples, and cultures.


We introduced the Ubuntu Awards to recognise South African citizens and organisations who fly the South African flag high on the global stage. Through excelling in their chosen fields, these patriots have become our country’s ambassadors. When the world sees them, they see South Africa.


Allow me then to take this opportunity to congratulate all the nominees and the winners who will be recognised tonight. Thank you for all you do, for going out of your way to make South Africa look good.




This occasion proves that international relations work is not the exclusive domain of government and its entities. It also involves participation by citizens. Ours is a participatory democracy.


Let me conclude by encouraging others to emulate the inspirational actions of the individuals and organisations that we are recognising here tonight.


South Africa is a beautiful country with wonderful people. Working together and through small individual efforts in everyday life, we can all contribute to be bigger goal of building a winning nation that takes care of the needs of all our people. And as His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa said during the SONA, leaving no one behind.


I thank you.




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