By Colleta Dewa
Johannesburg- Tempers seemed ablaze during the United Nations General Assembly, as Heads of State expressed their philosophies most of which were against the United States dogma.
In his first address to the UN general assembly, President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa seemingly attacked US president Donald Trump for his stance against international co-operation and multilateralism, which the UN embodies.
Ramaphosa said the United Nations has to embrace the mandate of promoting peace and equality.
“Throughout its seven decades, the UN has been a source of hope for the oppressed, exploited and poor. During the dark days of colonialism and apartheid, we drew strength, inspiration and encouragement from the UN and its Charter in our quest for self-determination. With the support of the UN, we were able 24 years ago to bring an end to the nightmare of apartheid,” said Ramaphosa.
He expressed satisfaction that the UN has the potential to resolve the challenges faced by humanity today.
“To the poor, vulnerable, and marginalised, the UN today is a beacon of promise in a landscape of doubt. To billions across the world, the UN is the most powerful instrument we possess to achieve a more equal, more humane and more inclusive world. They are men and women with dreams and aspirations that transcend the hardships of the present, who want to contribute to a new global civilisation defined by care, justice and solidarity.
They want an end to the greed, ignorance and conceit that is driving the destruction of our only home, the earth. It is within our hands, as the leaders assembled here today, to forge a more representative, equal and fair United Nations that is empowered and equipped to lead the struggle to end poverty, unemployment and inequality in the world,” added Ramaphosa.
Trump was, however, fluent enough to tell the delegates that the US was not going to adhere to the UN strategies, directly attacking the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“The United States will provide no support and recognition to the International Criminal Court. As far as America is concerned, the ICC has no jurisdiction, no legitimacy, and no authority. The ICC claims near-universal jurisdiction over the citizens of every country, violating all principles of justice, fairness, and due process.
We will never surrender America’s sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable global bureaucracy. America is governed by Americans. We reject the ideology of globalism, and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism. Around the world, responsible nations must defend against threats to sovereignty not just from global governance, but also from new forms of coercion and domination.
Trump added that America comes first and his country was strong enough to stand by itself.
“Each of us here today is the emissary of a distinct culture, a rich history, and a people bound together by ties of memory, tradition, and the values that make our homelands like nowhere else on Earth. That is why America will always choose independence and cooperation over global governance, control, and domination.
I honour the right of every nation in this room to pursue its own customs, beliefs, and traditions. The United States will not tell you how to live or work or worship,” said Trump.
Trump also directly attacked Iran and China but Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani hit back though he did not mention Trump by name.
Rouhani condemned Trump’s policies saying the world has no place for “the fomenting of extremist nationalism and racism, and through xenophobic tendencies resembling a Nazi disposition, as well as through the trampling of global rules and undermining international institutions.”
Why can the leaders of terrorist operations including the organization that has publicly claimed responsibility for Saturday’s crime (the attack of Iran security forces) live and operate freely in Western countries, and even openly solicit funds,?”
Trump seems not to be a darling on many even those who used to be US allies.
Judging from the UN speeches, Munya Bonjo political analyst told The Southern Times that Rouhani likely got a more sympathetic reception.
Trump and Ramaphosa have also not been in good books ever since Trump’s reckless comments regarding South Africa’s land reform plans.
“The US is supposed to lead by example but the very day that they elected a leader with wild machinations, they missed it. Trump is just a pompous, selfish and undeserving leader with the potential of throwing nuclear bombs in all nations so that the US will survive solely and sorely,”
Today’s world does not need such kind of arrogant politics. He has stepped on almost everyone’s feet. Here in South Africa, he messed up, China, Iran, Syria, and Palestine. No one likes him and it seems he does not care. I am sure even the Americans have had enough,” said Bonjo.