Your Excellency President Joko Widodo
Your Excellencies the Heads of State and Government
Your Excellencies the Heads of delegation
Ladies and gentlemen,
I wish to express, on my own behalf and on behalf of the delegation of the Republic of South Africa, appreciation and gratitude for the hospitality and courtesies accorded by the President, Government and People of the Indonesia since our arrival in this beautiful city of Jakarta.
His Excellency, President Joko Widodo, and the Government of Indonesia deserve to be applauded for convening this conference at this crucial juncture in the history of the world.
The year 2015 marks the confluence of both the 60th anniversary of the spirit of Bandung and the adoption of South Africa’s premier document, the Freedom Charter, and the 70th anniversary of the United Nations.
Sixty (60) years ago in 1955, as the shackles of colonialism were being cast off, the founding fathers of our liberation movements of Africa and Asia convened in Bandung.
They gathered here in Indonesia to reflect on the role of emerging nations in securing peace in the global arena, achieving economic development, and assigning colonialism and racism to the dustbin of history.
The core principles of the spirit of the Bandung Conference were political self-determination, mutual respect for sovereignty, non-aggression, non-interference in internal affairs and equality.
While we celebrate that much of the noble ideals of Bandung have been accomplished, we must guard against complacency. The spirit of Bandung remains unrealised until we universally eradicate poverty, underdevelopment, inequality, extremism and racial and gender discrimination.
South Africa’s international relations philosophy is premised on the principles of the Freedom Charter launched on 26 June 1955 by the African National Congress, a few months after the return of our two delegates from the Bandung Conference.
Our Freedom Charter demands that “There shall be peace and friendship”.
As a result, our posture is based on the commitment to the struggle for a humane, just, equitable, democratic and free world, in pursuit of a better Africa and a better world.
This year also marks the 70th anniversary of the formation of the United Nations. As we observe this milestone, the world remains confronted by the challenges of unequal development and conflict in many regions and within states.
A further challenge is that the multilateral financial and political institutions remain untransformed.
In this connection, South Africa adds its voice to the calls made at this historic gathering to fast-track the transformation of the global governance system. This particularly applies to the United Nations Security Council.
We need to reflect on the importance of an inclusive, transparent, reformed, strengthened, and effective multilateral system that is able to better address the urgent global challenges of sustainable development today.
The reform that urgently needs to be implemented must reflect the realities of the new global paradigm.
It surely is incongruous that the majority of the world’s population is only periodically represented at the apex of the global institution.
The plight of the Palestinian people remains a blight on our collective conscience. It is incumbent that we redouble our efforts to bring peace to that troubled Holy Land and have two independent and viable states of Palestine and Israel existing in peace with each other and with the whole world.
We are convinced that only sincere negotiations between the Palestine and Israel can secure the peace and security that we all yearn for. We therefore call for an end to the siege on Gaza and an immediate end to the expansion of settlements.
Let me once again express our sincere gratitude to the Government and People of Indonesia for your hospitality during our time here. I also wish to extend a personal word of gratitude to President Joko Widodo, for his visionary leadership in convening this special occasion.
I commend you on this great initiative, which is testament once more of the strong solidarity that exists between the Governments and People of Africa and Asia.
Long Live the Spirit of Bandung?.Long Live the Africa – Asia Solidarity!
SOURCE: South African Official News