Calls for two African permanent UNSC seats

Friday, September 14, 2018

The African Union will at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly call for the continent to be allocated two permanent seats on the UN Security Council (UNSC), President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday.

Ramaphosa made the remark while addressing the diplomatic community accredited to South Africa, among them ambassadors, high commissioners, consuls-general and Chargé D'affaires.

“As we go to this assembly, South Africa will strongly advocate for the comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council. We are calling for the expansion in the permanent and non-permanent category of the Security Council from 15 to 26 seats.”

For Africa to be fully represented at the Security Council, President Ramaphosa said it should get no less than two permanent seats and a total of five non-permanent or elected seats.

The position was reiterated by Dean of Diplomatic Corps and DRC Ambassador Bene M’poko, who said South Africa had the expertise and commitment to the peace agenda based on its past and mediating in issues of conflict in Africa.

In June, South Africa was elected at the United Nations General Assembly to serve as a non-permanent seat in the UNSC for the term 2019-2020.

President Ramaphosa said South Africa would in its two-year tenure continue to campaign for a permanent seat.
South Africa, he added, was committed to working with its partners in Africa and across the world to secure outcomes that serve national, bilateral and multilateral interests “in a manner that reiterates the inescapable reality that the development of South Africa is inextricably linked to African regeneration".

SA, diplomatic partners to strengthen relations

The President further said it was important for South Africa and its diplomatic partners to strengthen relations.

“We live in a time when the world is getting smaller, when new technologies are enabling progress at an unprecedented pace. This is a time when the means to eradicate poverty, unemployment and inequality appear to be well within our grasp.
“South Africa has collaborated actively in bilateral and multilateral efforts to resolve some of the continent’s recurring conflict situations.”

Investment drive
President Ramaphosa said government was working towards improving the country’s investment environment by ensuring policy certainty and consistency that would see the performance of the economy improve.

“Earlier this year, I announced an investment drive aimed at generating at least $100 billion in new investment over the next five years,” he said.  

The drive will culminate in an Investment Conference to be held in Johannesburg from 25 - 27 October 2018.

Land reform

Regarding the ongoing land reform debate, President Ramaphosa assured diplomats that this process would be undertaken in an orderly manner that advances economic development. The process would also be in a manner that increased agricultural production and food security, and provides well-located housing for the poor.

“This is one of a series of measures that we are undertaking to accelerate land reform to correct a historical injustice and unlock the economic potential of this valuable resource,” he said. –