The United Nations appeared to be helpless in the conflict between Israel and Palestine, President Jacob Zuma told the United Nations general assembly in New York.
“Of concern in this matter has been the helplessness displayed by the UN, especially the UN Security Council, during the current conflict,” Zuma said on Wednesday.
“While the UN has done remarkably well in the supporting self-determination, when it celebrates 70 years of existence next year, this august body may be found wanting by the people of Palestine.”
He reminded the UN that it had the moral authority to unite the world, promote peace, justice and self-determination.
“This august body must play this role without fear or favour and be a beacon for all who suffer oppression in the world,” he said, adding that South Africa was calling on Israel and Hamas to instigate an immediate end to the violence.
“Our strongly held view is that there can be no military solution to the Israeli-Palestinian question,” he said.
Zuma arrived in the United States on Sunday. His office said he would also attend a number of side events forming part of the UN assembly’s programme.
Zuma was accompanied by several ministers including Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, State Security Minister David Mahlobo, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, Co-operative Governance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Deputy Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo. SAPA