New York, 24 September 2014 – The recent outbreak of Ebola in West African has exposed the lack of infrastructure and limited resources in Africa, said South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma today as he pledged to continue, in every possible way, to assist the people and Governments of hardest-hit Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
“We believe that Ebola would have been contained within a few days had it been an outbreak in the developed World,” said President Zuma as he addressed global leaders at the United Nations.
President Zuma welcomed that the United Nations under the leadership of the Secretary General is deploying a Mission to coordinate efforts to combat the virus.
Given its history, South Africa is in a unique place to support struggles for freedom, including the struggles of the people of Palestine and Western Sahara who continue to live under occupation. President Zuma said the Israeli-Palestine question will be resolved when both sides commit to a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders. He also pledged to support the people of Cuba in their struggle for economic liberation.
On making the UN more effective, President Zuma said “some contentious aspects of the Organization such as the veto powers and the exclusion of regions such as Africa in the Security Council are some of the critical matters that cannot be ignored in the quest for transformation.”
He lauded the partnership between the African Union (AU) and the UN, particularly with the formation of the AU Peace and Security architecture, which is responsible for progress in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The UN must make sure that South Sudan does not regress. As it stands now, the young nation is in a dire humanitarian situation.
Lastly, he paid tribute to the late Nelson Mandela, recalling how last December the world “descended on South Africa to pay respects to our beloved Madiba.” The South African President welcomed the decision by the General Assembly to establish the UN Nelson Mandela Prize which will be awarded to a person who has demonstrated a commitment to the principles of the UN.
“The Prize is a great testament to the outstanding individual that Madiba was and will always be,” said President Zuma.