“Over millennia, the human race has demonstrated an enormous capacity for resilience, adaptation, innovation, compassion and solidarity … these qualities must be evident in how we work together as a global community and as nations of the world to end war and conflict,” he said.
He urged the international community to invest in conflict prevention and peacebuilding, and supported Secretary-General António Guterres’ call for sustainable and predictable financing for peacebuilding efforts.
He also expressed concern about unconstitutional changes of government in parts of Africa and stressed the need for collaboration with the African Union to support peace efforts across the continent.
President Ramaphosa also highlighted the importance of empowering women, advocating for gender equality and equal access to healthcare, education, and economic opportunities.
Noting that women represented 50 per cent of South Africa’s cabinet, and that he was being accompanied at the General Assembly this year by an all-women delegation, he called for greater female representation on the global stage.
He also voiced concerns over rising global temperatures, noting that 17 of world’s “climate hotspots” were in Africa.
“Africa is least responsible for the climate damage that has been caused, yet it bears the greatest burden,” he said, calling on world leaders to accelerate decarbonization while pursuing shared prosperity.
Security Council reform
President Ramaphosa also highlighted the need for inclusive, democratic, and representative international institutions.
“The recently held BRICS summit in Johannesburg also affirmed the voice that the UN Security Council should be reformed and ensure that those nations that are not represented must be represented,” he said, referring to the recent meeting held by his country alongside Russia, India and China.
Concluding his remarks, the South African leader urged all nations to demonstrated that “we have the both the will and the resolve” to secure a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable future for our world and more importantly, for the generations that will follow.
“Leaving no one behind – that is the duty that we all have,” he said, recalling the guiding promise made by the international community with the adoption in 2015 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.