Ramaphosa calls for reform of UN Security Council

President Cyril Ramaphosa met with UN Secretary-General António Guterres, where they discussed global issues. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa met with UN Secretary-General António Guterres, where they discussed global issues. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS

Published Sep 19, 2023


President Cyril Ramaphosa has reiterated his call for the reform of the UN Security Council, saying this would allow the world's governing body to respond to the current realities of geopolitical challenges.

He said countries from the continent and the Global South must be properly represented in the UN.

He said at the recent BRICS summit in Johannesburg, all member countries agreed to the reform agenda of the UN, saying it was long overdue.

Ramaphosa, who was addressing the UN General Assembly, said the world has changed from what it was many years ago.

The time has come for the UN structure to reflect the new world order.

"This is the moment to proceed with the reform of the United Nations Security Council, to give meaning to the principle of the sovereign equality of nations, and to enable the council to respond more effectively to current geopolitical realities. We are pleased that the common African position on the reform of the Security Council is increasingly enjoying wide support.

"This process must move to text-based negotiations, creating an opportunity for convergence between member states. We must ensure that the voice of the African continent and the Global South is strengthened in the United Nations and broader multilateral system," said Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa also said he met with the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, on the sidelines of the UN, where he gave him a progress report on the conflict in Ukraine.

Zelensky told him that progress was made in resolving some of the issues raised by African leaders during the peace mission in July.

The Ukrainian leader said some of the children are being returned from Russia.

Zelensky also confirmed to Ramaphosa that there were prisoner exchanges between the two countries.

Ramaphosa led a peace mission of seven African leaders, including Macky Sall of Senegal, Azali Assoumani of Comoros, and other leaders from Egypt, Uganda, Congo-Brazzaville, and Zambia.

After meeting with Zelensky in Kyiv, Ramaphosa and other African leaders travelled to St Petersburg to meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Ramaphosa also met with Putin a few weeks later in St Petersburg during the Russia-Africa summit.

The president also said they were concerned about coups in Africa.

In the past few months, there have been coups in Niger and Gabon, where presidents Mahomed Bazoum and Ali Bongo were removed by the military, respectively.

This follows coups in Mali and Burkina Faso in the last two years.

The African Union has condemned military coups in these countries.

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