Ramaphosa points to UN “weaknesses”

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa maintains the Russia/Ukraine conflict “demonstrates weaknesses in the structure, practices and architecture of the United Nations (UN)”.

He put this to the National Assembly this week when answering questions from parliamentarians on issues ranging from protecting the South African economy from fall-out on the conflict, reducing red tape and empowering small business as well as making State-owned enterprises (SOEs) effective and sustainable.

On the Russia/Ukraine situation Ramaphosa told his questioner it showed a need for a multilateral approach to peace and security.

“The composition of the UN Security Council, in particular, does not reflect the realities of the prevailing global landscape. There is a tendency for the most powerful countries to use their positions as permanent UN Security Council members to serve national interests rather than the interests of global peace and stability.

“The Security Council needs to be overhauled so that there is equitable representation and a more inclusive mechanism for resolving international disputes,” his written response reads.

Ramaphosa also raised a Security Council overhaul with his Mozambican counterpart Felipe Nyusi when they met in Pretoria last week.

He is reported as “fully supporting” the east African country’s candidature for a non-permanent seat on the top UN body.

“Together with South Africa’s tenure in the AU (African Union) Peace and Security Council, this will provide an opportunity for our countries to further cement co-operation between the two Councils, especially in the area of financing peace support operations,” Ramaphosa said.

The world body’s top council has five permanent members – China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US). Its remaining 10 non-permanent members are elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly.

South Africa was most recently, from 2018 to 2020, an elected Security Council member.