President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses heads of missions after receiving their credentials in Pretoria. Photo: Jonisayi Maromo / ANA

PRETORIA - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday welcomed eight heads of mission and ambassadors who have been assigned to Pretoria.

Receiving the letters of credence from the diplomats at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria, Ramaphosa said South Africa remains firmly committed to the pursuit of global peace and prosperity through cooperation and partnership, through multilateralism and through the consistent and fair application of a rules-based global architecture.

"The emergence of unilateralism is taking place against the backdrop of rising nationalism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance. It takes place at a time when the problems facing the world – from climate change to terrorism, from migration to poverty – require ever-closer collaboration among the countries of the world," Ramaphosa said while addressing the envoys.

"We should not abandon the institutions that have been set up over the last 70 years to mediate and manage international relations. Rather we should strengthen them and, where necessary, reform them to become more effective and inclusive."

Ramaphosa said while sovereign states have a responsibility to advance and protect their national interests, leaders must work together to discharge such responsibility without arousing "animosity" among nations.

"Like Nelson Mandela, we must strive always for the peaceful resolution of conflict and improve our capacity to prevent conflict. We must work collectively to address the leading causes of conflict: poverty, inequality and political marginalisation," he said.

We must accept that lasting peace and security will not be achieved unless we create a world that is conducive to sustainable development and shared prosperity."

The Heads of Mission and Ambassadors who presented their credentials to Ramaphosa on Tuesday represent the following countries: 

- Kingdom of the Netherlands, Kingdom of Belgium, 

- Kingdom of Denmark;

- Kingdom Thailand;

- Kingdom of Peru;

- Kingdom of Norway; 

- State of Kuwait; and

- Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

The Presidency said South Africa enjoyed strong bilateral relations with countries from all regions of the world and that was reflected in the diversity and high number of diplomatic missions hosted in Pretoria.

African News Agency (ANA)