United Nations Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-Moon with President Jacob Zuma chairing the United Nations Security Council on AU-UN Cooperation at the UN Security Council Chamber. President Zuma is accompanied by Minister of Intenational Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. 12/01/2012.

United Nations Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-Moon with President Jacob Zuma.

President Jacob Zuma has repeated the erroneous claim that South Africa is the biggest recipient of asylum seekers.

Punting his peacekeeping efforts and the African Union infrastructure programme he heads as two contributions South Africa was making to reduce the refugee population locally, Zuma told delegates at the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants on Monday that the country was “the largest single recipient of asylum seekers”.

This is despite Africa Check last month saying that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in a report last year listed the country as the tenth biggest recipient of asylum seekers.

It also said records were too poor to verify exactly how many asylum seekers there were in South Africa.

President Zuma said South Africa has been involved “in high-level political mediation and conciliation efforts [in Africa] as well as contributing to peacekeeping and peacemaking missions on the African Continent”.

South Africa has “also been closely involved in post-conflict reconstruction and development”.

The country “played an instrumental role, under the auspices of the African Union, in the establishment of the Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative aimed at ensuring the acceleration of regional infrastructure development around the African continent”, he said.

The UN General Assembly debate is set to kick off on Tuesday.