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Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor


Ramaphosa calls out wealthy nations for prioritising war over ‘basic needs of people’

Ramaphosa also lamented the continued sanctions against Cuba and Zimbabwe, which 'are imposing untold suffering on ordinary Zimbabweans'.


President Cyril Ramaphosa has called out wealthy nations for “spending so much” on war, but failed to “support action that needs to be taken to meet the most basic needs of billions of people”.

Ramaphosa addressed the 78th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York City on Tuesday.

Despite a commitment by nations 78 years ago to save future generations from the suffering of war, humanity still finds itself confronted by war, conflict, hunger and disease today, he said.

“Solidarity and trust between states is being eroded. Inequality, poverty and unemployment are deepening.”

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Ramaphosa reiterated South Africa’s call for peaceful dialogue between Russia and Ukraine, calling on countries to refrain from actions that fuel the conflict further.

“As we confront other conflicts in several parts of the world, including on our continent Africa, we need to be investing in prevention and peacebuilding.”

Ramaphosa on wealthy nations and Africa

Ramaphosa also lamented the continued sanctions against Cuba and Zimbabwe, which “are imposing untold suffering on ordinary Zimbabweans”.

“As many people around the world are confronted by hunger and want the essential human qualities of cooperation and solidarity must be evident in the actions we take to bridge the divide between wealthy and poor,” he said.

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“In particular, we support the call to tackle debt and debt distress, to massively scale up affordable long-term financing to $500 billion a year, and to expand contingency financing to countries in need.

“It is a grave indictment of this international community that we can spend so much on war, but we cannot support action that needs to be taken to meet the most basic needs of billions of people.”

Where are the women of the world?

Ramaphosa, accompanied by an all-women delegation to this year’s General Assembly, also called on other countries to give women equal opportunities.

“Social and economic progress will not be possible unless we end gender discrimination. We must ensure that there is equal access for women to health care, education and economic opportunities. We must pay particular attention to the provision of adequate health services to every woman, child and adolescent,” he said.

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“By doing so, we will fundamentally improve the health and well-being of all. The empowerment of women must be central to the actions we now take towards the realisation of Agenda 2030.

“Where are the women of the world? They have every right to be here, representing the views and interests of women around the world.”

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Cyril Ramaphosa Russia United Nations (UN)

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