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President calls for world peace, global equality during UN address

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United Nations

Speaking at the 75th anniversary of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that now is the time for the world to stand together.

Because of Covid-19, around 200 countries' leaders were forced to hold the yearly high-level meeting online this year rather gather in New York, where the assembly usually takes place.

This year’s theme was “The future we want, the United Nations we need”,

Ramaphosa used this opportunity to emphasise the next step, appealing to nations to work towards a transformative and inclusive future, adding that the worth and dignity of every human being must still be respected in the process.

“To resolve our global challenges – be they health emergencies, transnational crime, conflict and war, climate change, migration or natural disasters – we must work together. 

“The UN system is the best means by which we can address and overcome these global challenges. And it is only through multilateralism that we can forge common strategies for the benefit and advancement of all,” he said.

The president added that the UN is, and must forever remain, the foremost icon of world peace.

To achieve this, the UN must be equipped for the role, well-funded and representative in its decision-making structures.

“We must ensure that the sovereign equality of nations is protected. Unilateral coercive measures and violations of international law must be dealt with firmly and consistently. 

“We must strengthen the UN’s coordination with regional bodies such as the African Union, to ensure our efforts are complementary and mutually reinforcing,” said Ramaphosa.

He added that global peace is not just about a world free of conflict – it’s also a world free of poverty, inequality and underdevelopment. 

“It is a world of inclusive economic growth and shared prosperity. It is a world where young people are able to grow and thrive, and where women have equal rights and opportunities,” concluded the President. 

 

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