NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) -- United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday congratulated South African Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on being elected to lead the African Union (AU) Commission, saying he is looking forward to working with her.
Dlamini-Zuma was elected by African Heads of State and governments during the 19th Ordinary Session of the African Union on late Sunday evening, making her the first African woman to lead the regional body, including its predecessor, the Organization of African Unity.
"[Ban] commends the African leaders for their decision and congratulates Dr. Dlamini-Zuma for the confidence they have placed in her as the first African woman to be elected to lead the Commission," Ban's spokesman, Martin Nesirky, said on Monday. "The Secretary-General looks forward to working closely with Dr. Dlamini-Zuma on peace and security issues, as well as on achieving the Millennium Development Goals and promoting sustainable development in Africa."
Ban also expressed his appreciation to the outgoing Chairperson, Dr. Jean Ping, for his stewardship of the Commission over the past four years. "The United Nations will continue to strengthen its strategic partnership with the Africa Union to consolidate peace, security and development in Africa in the years ahead," Nesirky added on behalf of Ban.
Dlamini-Zuma, who is currently South Africa's home affairs minister, defeated Ping during Sunday's vote. They met on Monday and exchanged views on a number of issues of common interest, including the transition, which is expected to last a maximum of 90 days. Ping also introduced his closest collaborators to Dlamini-Zuma.
South African President Jacob Zuma said his ex-wife will remain home affairs minister until all the requirements and processes relating to the assumption of her new position as Chairperson of the African Union Commission have been completed. "We extend our heartiest congratulations once again to the Minister. We will do our best to ensure that the good work that she has done in turning around the Department of Home Affairs is carried forward," he said.
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