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South Africa says it will continue to advocate for the reform of the United Nations, in order to be more inclusive, democratic and representative.
Briefing the media on the work of the International Cooperation, Trade and Security (ICTS) Cluster, Dirco Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said calls on the reform of the UN are continuing at the UN mission in New York.
“Political leaders whenever we meet, particularly African leaders and those from developing world, we do not shut up.
“We continue to say to the global community and leaders-in particular to the five permanent members that – our experience in the past years has taught us that when they disagree – that’s when the lack of peace rears its ugly face. It is about time that the world democraticises to change things,” the Minister said on Tuesday.
Africa, supported by other developing nations in Asia, have been calling for the reform of the UN, and its entities like the UN Security Council, which has since World War II accorded veto rights on substantive resolutions to five permanent members.
The five permanent members of the Security Council also known as the “P5” are the – United States, United Kingdom, China, Russia and France – all with veto power.
While the 10 non-permanent members are elected by the General Assembly for a two-year term.
Of the 54-nations, the African continent has only three non-permanent members who do not influence major decisions.
It is for this reason that African leaders have repeatedly called on the UN to consider offering a permanent seat to Africa citing that it will be the only way it will acquire legitimacy and unconditional acceptance of its decisions, which have often been questioned in the past as they tend to protect their own national interests.
Minister Nkoana Mashabane said Pretoria will continue raising the matter on all platforms that it finds itself in.
“We now want to see action. The UN cannot pretend that the world has not changed since 1945,” the Minister added.
International Criminal Court
Turning on South Africa’s intention to withdraw from the Roman Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Minister Nkoana Mashabane said South Africa remains committed to upholding human rights despite that.
“South Africa’s commitment to the protection of human rights and the fight against impunity remains unshaken, despite this decision to withdraw.
“South Africa has always and will always condemn in the strongest terms human rights violations and international crimes wherever they may occur and call for accountability from those responsible,” the Minister said.
Pretoria is expected to send an ‘instrument of withdrawal’ letter to the United Nations Secretary-General explaining its intention after it found its obligations, with respect to the peaceful resolution of conflicts, at times incompatible with the interpretation given by the ICC.