Ramaphosa demands fairer UN, slams Zim

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Johannesburg - South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on the United Nations to increase Africa’s representation in the Security Council.

He also called for the removal of economic sanctions on Zimbabwe and Sudan; as well as for suspension of interest on debts owed by African countries.

President Ramaphosa was contributing to the General Debate of the virtual 75th Session of the UN General Assembly this week, where he reiterated Africa’s position that the present composition of the Security Council did not reflect geopolitical realities.

“On the 75th anniversary of the UN we repeat our call for greater representation of African countries on the Security Council, and that this is taken up with urgency at the intergovernmental negotiations. It is only through a reformed and inclusive UN Security Council that we will be able to collectively resolve some of the world’s most protracted conflicts,” said President Ramaphosa.

He added that it was only through a reformed UN that some of the world’s most protracted conflicts could be resolved. 

President Ramaphosa, who is Chair of the African Union, told the United Nations that the continent was committed to silencing the guns through conflict resolution and peace-building.

“Co-operation between the UN Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council has contributed to improved peace and security in the Darfur region of Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Mali and the Central African Republic. It is imperative that this collaboration is institutionalised and that the financing of AU peacekeeping operations is addressed and resolved,” pointed out President Ramaphosa.

On widely discredited and unilateral embargos, President Ramaphosa said: “To ensure that no country is left behind we reiterate our position as the African Union that economic sanctions against Zimbabwe and Sudan should be lifted to allow their governments to respond adequately to the (COVID-19) pandemic. We also call for the suspension of interest payments on Africa’s external and public debt.”

He called on the end to the occupation of Palestine and Western Sahara, as well as the lifting of the unilateral American economic embargo and blockade of Cuba. 

President Ramaphosa called on the world to support developing countries following the devastating economic setbacks caused by the COVID- 19 pandemic.  

“This pandemic has highlighted the urgency with which we must strive to meet all the Sustainable Development Goals, but more importantly Goal 1 – to end poverty in all its forms everywhere.”

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