Call to end Palestinian suffering

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

South Africa will continue to do everything within its power to preserve the existence of the Palestinian people as a group, and to end all acts of apartheid and genocide.

This is according to the International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor, who spoke in Russia on Tuesday.

The Foreign Ministers from the expanded BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) group of nations met for a two-day meeting focused on current international relations, global governance reform and conflict resolution.

Pandor told her colleagues that South Africa welcomes the order by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) of 24 May 2024, ordering Israel to halt military action in Rafah. 

“We see the provisional measures ordered by the court thus far as a signal of a decisive victory for the international rule of law and a significant milestone in the search for justice for the Palestinian people. 

“Nevertheless, the injury to International Human Rights Law, inflicted by Israel, remains significant. We, therefore, call on the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to also act to ensure accountability for those committing war crimes.” 

The meeting, chaired by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, is the first since the bloc expanded in 2023 to include Egypt, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Ethiopia.

Pandor reiterated South Africa’s call for a two-State solution, which is of the view that it would bring lasting peace and address the root causes of the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict. 

“A solution is long overdue, and an agreement must urgently be negotiated. The agreement must result in the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian State, based on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital that exists side by side, in peace and security with Israel.” 

She also echoed the country’s firm support for the full membership of Palestine as a member State of the United Nations (UN).

“Please allow me also to again emphasise the urgent need for BRICS to contribute to the reform of the UN Security Council. The inability of the Security Council to act and respond effectively to conflict situations such as in Gaza further supports the sentiments of this urgent call to reform.” 

She called on all UN member States to support Africa’s call for the historic injustice committed against the continent to be “remedied” through an acknowledgement of the role it plays in current global affairs.

Delaying reform of the Security Council, she said, presents serious negative implications for the multilateral system, undermining the credibility of global peace and security and threatening to reverse the gains made in the past 78 years.

“Please allow me to conclude my intervention today with a sincere call to all of us to capitalise on the current opportunities for partnership in this meeting and to tackle global challenges that stand in our way towards a stronger and more empowered global South in a stable multipolar world.” –