We are ready” – that was the sentiment expressed by South Africa’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations who sat down exclusively with SABC News in New York just ahead of the start of the country’s non-permanent term on the Security Council.
Ambassador Jerry Matjila affirmed the central role of multilateralism in resolving global disputes and explained how the country’s posture was shaping up to be on some of the major issues facing the council, including the DRC, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the crisis facing the displaced Rohingya from Myanmar.
They’ve been observing Council processes since the beginning of October. As an incoming member state, intense training for Team South Africa while engaging in meetings with each of the 10 elected and five Permanent members.
“I think we are ready, we know the issues, we’re trusted by the broader membership of the international community, the UN, people are looking for our voice, to strengthen, to compliment the working of the UN, to expand fundamental freedoms worldwide, to resolve some of the issues through negotiation, prevention. We are going to use the theme of Nelson Mandela, The Legacy: Preventive diplomacy, negotiations, mediations. Intervention would be the last resort. So everybody is looking towards SA to say there are so many conflicts that we could have managed earlier on, here with the spirit of negotiations, of dialogue, so bring those lessons for us to deal with this conflict. So I think we are ready,” says Matjila.
South Africa’s begins its third non-permanent term since 1994 on January 1st.
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