In­ter­na­tional re­la­tions

ben­e­fits for Africa in global econ­omy

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Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma talks about South Africa’s de­sire to seek big­ger ben­e­fits for Africa in the global econ­omy

Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma says the United Na­tions must play a cen­tral role in tack­ling il­licit fi­nan­cial out­flows and the dis­par­ity of the global econ­omy. The Pres­i­dent was speak­ing dur­ing the 72nd ses­sion of the United Na­tions (UN) Gen­eral As­sem­bly in New York re­cently. He said the cur­rent struc­ture of the global econ­omy con­tin­ues to deepen the di­vide be­tween the north and south.

“While a few en­joy the ben­e­fits of glob­al­i­sa­tion, the ma­jor­ity of the peo­ple of the world still live in ab­ject poverty and hunger, with no hope of ever im­prov­ing their liv­ing con­di­tions.”

Th­ese un­equal and un­just eco­nomic power re­la­tions man­i­fest them­selves sharply in Africa. Pres­i­dent Zuma said while Africa is en­dowed with min­eral re­sources, it still has the high­est num­ber of the least de­vel­oped

coun­tries.“Many of the de­vel­oped coun­tries in the world con­tinue to fuel their devel­op­ment from the re­sources of the African con­ti­nent.”

What is needed, the Pres­i­dent said, is po­lit­i­cal will and com­mit­ment from global lead­ers to ad­dress the chal­lenges and ob­sta­cles posed by this un­trans­formed struc­ture of the global econ­omy.

Pres­i­dent Zuma said Africa con­tin­ues to lose a sig­nif­i­cant chunk of its re­sources through il­licit fi­nan­cial out­flows – bil­lions of dol­lars which would oth­er­wise be used to de­velop the con­ti­nent and pro­vide ed­u­ca­tion, health­care, hous­ing and other crit­i­cal ba­sic needs.

The con­ti­nent loses money through money laun­der­ing, tax eva­sion and tax avoid­ance, cor­rup­tion, and trans­fer pric­ing by multi­na­tional com­pa­nies.

“[This un­der­mines] the in­tegrity of the global fi­nan­cial sys­tem, ef­fi­cient tax col­lec­tion and eq­ui­table al­lo­ca­tion of re­sources. We appeal for the co­op­er­a­tion and com­mit­ment of ev­ery mem­ber state of the UN, and the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity at large to ad­dress this phe­nom­e­non,” added Pres­i­dent Zuma.

He said de­vel­oped coun­tries, in par­tic­u­lar, have a his­toric and moral obli­ga­tion to con­trib­ute to achiev­ing a fair global eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment and to erad­i­cate the scourge of il­licit fi­nan­cial flows from the con­ti­nent.

Nu­clear for peace­ful means

Pres­i­dent Zuma used his ad­dress to call on UN mem­ber states to dis­man­tle their nu­clear weapons and in­stead use them for peace­ful means.

“It can no longer be ac­cept­able that a few coun­tries keep ar­se­nals and stock­piles of nu­clear weapons as part of their strate­gic de­fence and se­cu­rity doc­trine, while ex­pect­ing oth­ers to re­main at their mercy. We are con­cerned that any pos­si­ble ac­ci­den­tal det­o­na­tion would lead to a dis­as­ter of epic pro­por­tions.”

In­ter­na­tional re­la­tions

“Many of the de­vel­oped coun­tries

in the world con­tinue to fuel their devel­op­ment from the re­sources of the African

con­ti­nent.”

Pres­i­dent Zuma re­it­er­ated that South Africa stands with the peo­ple of Cuba and Pales­tine, and called for the end of the war in Syria and Libya.

The war in Libya con­trib­utes a great deal to the desta­bil­i­sa­tion of the Sa­hel region and all the way to Cen­tral Africa, cre­at­ing a cor­ri­dor for il­licit traf­fick­ing in arms as well as ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­i­ties.

“In both in­stances of Libya and Syria, we strongly cau­tioned against seek­ing to re­solve in­ter­nal chal­lenges of sov­er­eign states by im­pos­ing for­eign so­lu­tions through mil­i­tary means.”

Pre­to­ria echoed its stance on the right of the peo­ple of West­ern Sa­hara to self-de­ter­mi­na­tion.

“The United Na­tions must re­main seized with this is­sue for the ben­e­fit of the peo­ple of West­ern Sa­hara and the African as­pi­ra­tions of in­te­gra­tion and peace­ful co-ex­is­tence,” Pres­i­dent Zuma said.

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

Pres­i­dent Zuma ended his ad­dress by re­in­forc­ing South Africa's readi­ness to work with the UN to pro­mote peace, hu­man rights and sus­tain­able devel­op­ment.

Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma ad­dresses the United Na­tions Gen­eral As­sem­bly.

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