Zuma: There are no safe hands for weapons of mass destruction

21 September 2017 - 07:18 By Bianca Capazorio
President Jacob Zuma addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 20, 2017.
President Jacob Zuma addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 20, 2017.
Image: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

President Jacob has called for calm in North Korea‚ saying "the situation cannot be allowed to get out of hand".

Speaking on Wednesday at the United Nations General Assembly‚ Zuma said: "As a country that voluntarily dismantled its nuclear weapons programme‚ South Africa is of the firm view that there are no safe hands for weapons of mass destruction."

Earlier in the day‚ Zuma signed an anti-nuclear weapons treaty at the United Nations‚ which only allows for the use of nuclear for purposes like energy and medicine.

"The only viable solution to the problems of nuclear weapons is their total elimination as expressed in the recently adopted UN treaty‚" he said.

"It can no longer be acceptable that some few countries keep arsenals and stockpiles of nuclear weapons as part of their strategic defence‚ while expecting others to remain at their mercy."

Zuma also used his speech to call out those countries who "opted for guns and bombs" instead of dialogue to resolve the Libyan crisis in 2011.

"Today‚ those countries are making little effort to promote stability in Libya. The major focus and preoccupation has become how to deal with the flow of migrants arriving in Europe from our continent and the Middle East‚ which are just mere symptoms."

Marking what would have been Oliver Tambo's 100 birthday‚ Zuma paid tribute to the apartheid activist and said: "If OR Tambo were still alive today‚ he would have pleaded with this august house to support the struggle of the Palestinian people from occupation‚ and also to support the struggle of the people of Western Sahara."

He also registered South Africa's "disappointment at the June 2017 decision of the US administration to reverse the progress that was registered in the past two years towards ending the Cuban blockade".

Zuma was one of 16 African heads of state who met on Wednesday with US president Donald Trump. The South African delegation had hoped to discuss issues affecting Africa.


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