‘SA committed to non-alignment’: Ramaphosa ahead of Brics summit
Ahead of the 15th Brics Summit in South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa told the nation SA would not be drawn into a contest between global powers.
In an address to the nation on Sunday evening, Ramaphosa said the country was committed to a policy of non-alignment.
“We have resisted pressure to align ourselves with any one of the global powers or with influential blocs of nations. During the ‘Cold War’, the stability and sovereignty of many African countries was undermined because of their alignment with the major powers,” he said.
“This experience has convinced us of the need to seek strategic partnerships with other countries rather than be dominated by any other country. While some of our detractors prefer overt support for their political and ideological choices, we will not be drawn into a contest between global powers. Instead, our country strives to work with all countries for global peace and development.
“It is for this reason that SA is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, a forum of 120 countries that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc,” he said.
More than 20 countries have formally applied to join Brics and several others have expressed an interest in becoming part of the Brics family. SA supports the expansion of the membership of Brics. The value of Brics extends beyond the interests of its current members.President Cyril Ramaphosa
Ramaphosa said SA’s decision not to align with any of the global powers did not mean the country was neutral on matters of principle and national interest.
“Our non-aligned position exists alongside our active support for the struggles of the oppressed and marginalised in different parts of the world. We have always believed that the freedom we won — and the international solidarity from which we benefited — imposes a duty on us to support the struggles of those who continue to experience colonialism and racial oppression.
“That is why we will continue to support the struggles of the people of Palestine and Western Sahara. We are fully committed to the articles of the UN Charter, including the principle that all members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means.
“Most recently, we participated in the African initiative to seek peace in the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Through this African Peace Initiative our country continues to be involved in processes to ensure that children who were removed from their homes in Ukraine are returned to their families and that prisoners of war are exchanged. We continue to be involved in the talks regarding the reopening of the Black Sea to facilitate the flow of grain,” he said.
Ramaphosa said SA firmly believed that dialogue, mediation and diplomacy was the only viable path to end conflict and achieve a durable peace.
He said Brics countries could collectively shape global dynamics, and acting together, had the potential to drive significant changes in the world economy and international relations.
“Together, the Brics members have used their collective voice to call for a world that is more equitable, balanced and governed by an inclusive system of global governance. Being a Brics member has created positive opportunities for SA.”
He spoke of SA’s “strategic relationship with China”.
“Based on the strategic relationship between SA and the People’s Republic of China we will be signing several agreements during President Xi’s state visit. We have steadily strengthened trade and investment ties with other Brics countries alongside collaboration in areas like development, skills, technology, security and innovation.”
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