Pretoria: President Jacob Zuma says the lack of cooperation between international partners and the African Union (AU) risks a reversal of achievements that Africa has registered over the years.
Delivering his remarks on Thursday during the credentials ceremony held at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria, President Zuma said it is important that international partners support regional initiatives to bring about peace rather than imposing their own initiatives.
President Zuma received Letters of Credence from Ambassadors and High Commissioners-designate at the credentials ceremony.
“The AU Agenda 2063, which was adopted by the AU Summit in June 2015 in Johannesburg, is achievable. We need to strengthen partnerships between ourselves as Africans and work in collaboration with our international partners.
“We must forge ahead with efforts to find solutions to African problems. We have tested our capabilities to bring sustained peace on the continent in order to create favourable conditions for increased prosperity,” said President Zuma.
He said the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC) and the multinational African Standby Force successfully held its first joint exercise in South Africa in October 2015.
The force has been established by the African Union to intervene when conflicts arise in the continent.
Peace, security and humanity
“We have witnessed how lack of peace and security in some parts of the world can present challenges to stable countries. The current refugee crisis in Europe as a result of continuing conflicts in Syria and other parts of the world is one case in point.
“We acknowledge that management of refugees is an immediate challenge. However, we all have a responsibility to address the root causes,” said President Zuma.
He said the Middle East has been yearning for peace, and progress has been very slow.
“While we are committed to finding lasting solutions to challenges facing humanity, we must be conscious that some issues are urgent and pressing.
“Climate change is one of those issues which need our urgent attention in order to preserve human lives,” said President Zuma.
He said South Africa fully supports France in its capacity as incoming COP21/CMP11 President and will work towards finding fair compromises and consensus positions between parties.
“We therefore hope for a collective will to adopt an ambitious and legally-binding outcome in Paris that is applicable to all,” he said.
During the ceremony, Heads of Mission-designate from 15 countries presented their credentials to the President, and reaffirmed the commitment of their countries to further strengthen the existing historic relations that their countries have with South Africa.
They came from the Republic of Mali, Republic of Cyprus, Republic of Zambia, Federal Republic of Switzerland, Republic of Canada, Republic of Mauritius, Republic of Panama, Republic of Mozambique, European Union, Hellenic Republic, Czech Republic, Federation of Malaysia, State of Palestine, Federal Republic of Somalia and Republic of Sri Lanka.
They also thanked President Zuma and South African government for the support it has shown to their respective countries, and for contributing towards bringing solutions to challenges facing their countries.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS