Zuma calls for global financial reform at NAM summit

The global financial architecture must change to ensure that developing countries are represented, President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday.

Read Zuma’s full speech

“The total inability of the financial institutions to respond to the financial and economic crises and to prevent a global recession, is proof enough of the need for change and renewal.

“These structures need to change from self-regulatory unrepresentative institutions, to institutions that reflect the changing economic realities of the globe, which provide a voice and
representation to developing countries,” Zuma said in a speech at the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Egypt.

The meeting was of 15 heads of state and government in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. Egypt is the incoming chair of the NAM.

He said it was necessary to continue to push for transformation and renewal in relations with the North to make sure commitments made by the developed world were kept, as the global financial crisis placed many economies under strain.

“South Africa has always promoted active engagement with the North, based on the principle of equality.

“In this regard, we need to continue pushing for transformation and renewal in these relations, and to ensure the implementation of commitments made by the developed world,” he said.

South-South cooperation was also “now more important than ever” to enable emerging economies to respond to the crisis.

Zuma addressed the issue of United Nations reform, saying that during South Africa’s two-year tenure on the UN Security Council, the country “experienced first-hand” the body’s “inability to protect the weak and the vulnerable”.

“This failure is perpetuated by some elements of that institution’s undemocratic nature, both in its working methods as well as in its representation.

“It is important to note that this movement has acknowledged the historical injustice perpetrated against Africa in the composition of the Security Council.”

Zuma expressed concern over the plight of the Palestinian people, saying as long as there were people oppressed and marginalised, the world would not attain sustainable peace.

“There can be no peace in the Middle East as long as the people of Palestine are denied the right to self-determination, and to establish their own state.

“We reiterate our call to Israel to immediately cease the building of settlements in the West Bank, to withdraw their forces of occupation to the 1967 borders and to resume negotiations based on the principle of a ‘two-state-solution’.”

Peace and security was also unattainable if the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in Africa was not tackled, Zuma said.

South Africa became a member of NAM in 1994 and participated in its meetings to promote South-South cooperation and advancing the interests of the developing countries on the global stage.
- Sapa

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