Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, has reiterated South Africa’s position that the only path to peace is through diplomacy, dialogue and commitment to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
The UN Charter includes the principle that all Member States will endeavour to settle disputes by peaceful means.
“It is important that I mentioned on behalf of South Africa, our sincere wish that the conflict currently between Russia and Ukraine will soon be brought to a peaceful end through diplomacy and negotiation, as we believe this is the desire of all of us in the globe,” Pandor said.
The Minister was speaking in Pretoria on Monday where she hosted her Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, who is in the country for bilateral talks.
“The current global geopolitical tensions clearly signalled the need for us to consider creating institutional mechanisms that will have the stature, form and global trust to promote and support global peace and security.”
Pandor believes that BRICS, an acronym for the combined economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, should play a proactive role in emerging deliberations on the form that these international global mechanisms might take.
“We must ensure that BRICS is part of a redesigned global framework. For us multilateralism lies at the heart of the biggest issues facing the world today,” she added.
The Ministers also discussed views on how both Russia and South Africa can work together to strengthen the already good relations that the countries enjoy.
They recalled how Members of the Soviet Union provided to South Africa, particularly Russia, during the fight against apartheid.
“I’m really proud that we enjoy excellent diplomatic relations with your country, which we regard as a valued partner. Our bilateral relations with your country consist of relations in the political, economic, social, defence, and security spheres,” Pandor highlighted.
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Pandor said there are several bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding that were signed with a comprehensive spectrum of sectors.
“I’m really pleased that the Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) remains an active platform for coordinating our bilateral relations, and that ITEC continues to meet regularly and has made considerable progress in deepening the cooperation between South Africa and the Russian Federation,” the Minister noted.