‘Rebuilding a new global order’: Ramaphosa to join 75th UN Assembly
President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the 75th UN General Assembly via videoconference from the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his weekly letter, said the United Nations (UN) will this week begin the 75th session of its General Assembly, where the nations of the world gather to seek collective solutions to global challenges.
The president said South Africa, we will be addressing the General Assembly by videoconference from the Union Buildings due to the coronavirus and will be participating in several other meetings.
It has been 75 years since the UN’s formation following the destruction of the Second World War.
“The countries of the world were determined that never again should such a human tragedy be allowed to happen. They believed that through an organisation like the UN, the world’s problems could be peacefully resolved through cooperation. As the world confronts another global crisis, this time caused by a virus, the United Nations remains as important and relevant as ever,” said Ramaphosa.
STRENGTHENING THE UN
To resolve global challenges — be they health emergencies, transnational crime, conflict and war, climate change, migration or natural disasters — Ramaphosa said we must work together.
“We, therefore, need to strengthen bodies like the UN, ensure they are properly resourced and that they are representative. We must use this anniversary to push ahead with the reform of the UN and particularly its Security Council, which does not give equal voice to the different regions of the world,” said Ramaphosa.
“As South Africa, we will use our virtual presence in New York to continue to advocate for Africa – a continent of more than a billion people – to have permanent representation on the UN Security Council,” he added.
ENSURING THAT WOMEN OCCUPY THEIR RIGHTFUL PLACE AS EQUALS
Ramaphosa said one of the greatest challenges to the achievement of this goal is the continued exclusion of half of the world’s population through discrimination and marginalisation.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Conference on Women, which placed the emancipation of women firmly on the global agenda.
“It is a valuable opportunity to not only review the progress made over the last quarter-century, but most importantly to clearly outline the actions we must now take to ensure that women occupy their rightful place as equals in all areas of life in all societies,” said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa said for Africa, this means, among other things, that we must intensify measures to empower women economically. This is in line with the African Union decision to dedicate this decade to the financial inclusion of women.
“We, therefore, welcome the opportunity later this week to take part in a panel of G7 and African countries on women’s digital financial inclusion in Africa. It will look at how women can take advantage of technological advances to start businesses, trade and find meaningful employment,” he said.
“Our message is that unless women are brought into the mainstream of the economy they will continue to bear the brunt of exclusion and be vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. Our message is that a world that empowers women is a prosperous and sustainable world,” he added.
‘PROSPERITY FOR ALL OR JUST A FEW’ – RAMAPHOSA
Ramaphosa said this sitting of the UN General Assembly must also address the climate change crisis.
“As the world rebuilds in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic we have an opportunity to place the global economy on a low-carbon, climate-resilient path. We should be building green economies, not just for the sake of environmental sustainability but because of the opportunities for job creation and growth,” he said.
“This pandemic has presented the world with a choice – between the global cooperation envisaged in the UN Charter or the pursuit of narrow self-interest. It is a choice between prosperity for all or for just a few,” he added.
Ramaphosa said that at the 75th UN General Assembly, the leaders of the world have an opportunity to begin rebuilding a new global order based on justice and equality.