UN reform necessary to see justice for Palestinians
The message from South Africa at this year's UN day in solidarity with the Palestinians was simple – reform the UN.
The Deputy Minister of International Relations Alvin Botes, who addressed the meeting of African diplomats and civil society, said: “Reform of the UN is paramount to achieve justice for the Palestinians. South Africa will be chairing the UN Security Council for December and Kenya will fill an African seat on the Security Council in 2021 to 2022, replacing South Africa in January. Africa has a responsibility to use these positions to work for Palestine.”
Events were held in many African countries on day in support of the Palestinian cause. In addition to South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Senegal, Mali and the Ivory Coast held events. In Tshwane the event was held under the theme of Palestine in Africa.
“The presence of a large number of African diplomats reflect the deeply-rooted bonds between African liberation and anti-colonial struggles and the struggle of the Palestinian people. The African struggle against European colonialism and domination is also the struggle of the Palestinian people against the Israeli colonisation of Palestine.
“Ours is a shared struggle, and there is a deep-seated historic solidarity between the peoples of Africa and Palestine,” Palestinian Ambassador Hanan Jarrar said at the event.
African diplomats castigated the UN for its inaction against Israel and pledged their support for the Palestinian struggle.
Lesotho’s Deputy Foreign Minister Machesetsa Mofomobe who was also in attendance said the UN must take a principled position on the colonisation of one country over another.
“The UN has a duty to pursue the decolonisation of Palestine. There is no accountability and redress for Palestinian victims of human rights violations,” Mofomobe said.
Reverend Frank Chikane, a long-time supporter of the rights of the Palestinians and representative of the World Council of Churches, said: “Poor and weaker nations are forced to comply with international law, while rich and powerful countries are not.”
The event comes at a low point for the Palestinians as their land continues to be annexed, and the US administration of President Donald Trump has looked the other way as the Israeli government has continued to implement its annexation plans.
Nadia Meer, who runs the civil society group 2 Suns Shamsaan, attended the event and told Independent Media: “This commemoration comes at a very difficult time when there is little hope of success. For as long as rallies have to be held to call for an end to annexation, we can’t talk about freedom. It is a sad state of affairs, and the Palestinians need hope and to know that they haven’t been forgotten.”