- Sisulu gave warning on the possible start of a nuclear war
- The hope is that through South Africa working together with all countries dedicated to the objective of peace and security, that there will be a minimization in the possibility of war
- Israeli violence has created an alarm and South Africa's relationship with them is under question
The probability of nuclear conflict between the world’s major powers is a reason for concern. Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, has made mention of this.
Sisulu was addressing the National Assembly with regards to her department’s budget. There are certain factors making the alarm bells ring. Sisulu pointed out, the war intensifying in Syria, mounting tensions between the United States and China, NATO and Russia and around Iran and the increase of weapons of mass destruction, are all major points to be concerned about. This is what could lead to a nuclear confrontation between major powers.
"These tensions threaten the very existence of humanity as we know it."
With the background forever changing, Sisulu is urging for South Africa to formulate its foreign policy. There are important factors that the policy should be based on namely, human rights, peace, equality, and freedom from oppression, racism and poverty.
"We continue to fight against injustice because we have to. We, who have suffered so much, can ill-afford suffering in any part of the world."
South Africa has chosen to stand for the non-permanent seat of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Sisulu said, that through this South Africa hopes to work together with all countries dedicated to the objective of peace and security.
'Re-emergence of rabid unilateralism'
"There is still a lot of lobbying to do and we require the assistance of Parliament, the diplomats that are here and the whole country to lobby for this position in the UNSC."
Before the budget debate at a press briefing, Sisulu voiced her displeasure at the fact that the US has withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal. She did however, salute the peace process between North Korea and South Korea.
"From a worst case scenario it would be interpreted as the menacing re-emergence of rabid unilateralism that will rock the very foundations of international diplomacy," she said.
"Unilateralism is a relapse of progress and is self-seeking, with little regard for the common good of humanity."
"The action by the US President to pull out of the Iranian nuclear deal that was sanctioned by the United Nations amounts to taking the world back by many decades to the brink of conflict and tensions."
Sisulu commented that South Africa saw Iran as a strategic partner within the Middle East and the central Asian region.
"Within the bilateral sphere, South Africa and Iran share a long historical relationship. At the same time it gives us an opportunity to sensitise Iran when its actions negatively impact on it," she said.
Israeli violence condemned
Given the fact that Iran has violated the commitment to human rights, the question was raised about South Africa’s relationship with Iran. Deputy Minister, Luwellyn Landers, said that the matter of human rights have been raised with Iran from South Africa’s side. The minister recapped the long and historical bond South Africa has with Iran.
"We are equally close to Iran's mortal enemy, Saudi Arabia," Landers said. He said South Africa played a crucial role in relations between the countries.
Landers also pointed out in his speech during the budget debate, that in order to assure the right to life and people’s welfare in the world, South Africa would carry on to advocate for commitment and adherence to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
"As such, nuclear-weapon states must honour their undertaking to eliminate nuclear weapons rather than creating justifications for exploring further options in this regard," he said.
The deadly violence that the Palestinian civilians suffered on Monday at the hand of Israeli forces was also a topic that was discuss. Those participating in the debate, voiced their concerns regarding this devastating incident.
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