European Union External Action

Ambassador Riina Kionka's Nelson Mandela Day Message

17/07/2020 - 23:36
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On the occasion of Mandela Day I take this opportunity to encourage all who are in a position to make a positive difference, to do so. The Covid-19 pandemic has fast grown into this millennium’s opening global crisis. Millions of people have been directly affected and there is every indication that the biggest challenges brought on by the disease – I’m talking about hunger, unemployment and poverty – are going to be with us for some time. It is a time for solidarity.

For those of you following the news on EU-South Africa relations and Team Europe’s commitment to the country, we have just had an intensive week in our Strategic Partnership with a number of meetings between EU commissioners and South African Ministers culminating in the 14th EU-SA Ministerial Political Dialogue. All these meetings dealt with our new reality in a world with Covid-19 and we jointly looked at how to recover going forward.

But also on an individual level, solidarity is important. In line with the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s call to action, and aligned to its #Each1Feed1 campaign, the staff of the EU Delegation and the broader Team Europe in South Africa are invited to contribute to a local food voucher initiative that will see a number of families, including child-and pensioner-headed households, receiving support. In addition, the Delegation has contributed to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s support action for two schools.

I wish you the very best as we join hands to fight this pandemic together.

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