July 13, 2024

President Ramaphosa Affirms Impactful Peace-Building Mission in Russo-Ukrainian Conflict

Speech by H.E. Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa. Visit of H.E. Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa to the 108th (Centenary) Session of the International Labour Conference. Geneva, 10 June 2019. Photo © Crozet / Pouteau
Speech by H.E. Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa. Visit of H.E. Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa to the 108th (Centenary) Session of the International Labour Conference. Geneva, 10 June 2019. Photo © Crozet / Pouteau

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa expressed his belief that the mission of the African delegation to address the Russo-Ukrainian conflict has made a significant impact, with the ultimate success depending on achieving the primary objective of stopping the war.

Following a historic meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Saint Petersburg on Saturday, June 17, 2023, President Ramaphosa emphasized the urgency of finding a peaceful resolution to the devastating conflict.

“Well, I think our mission was impactful. Its real success obviously will be measured by the ultimate objective of stopping the war,” President Ramaphosa stated during an interview, highlighting the importance of their efforts in seeking an end to the ongoing hostilities.

The meeting between President Ramaphosa, along with six other African leaders, and President Putin, which was preceded by a constructive discussion with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv the previous day, marked a crucial step toward peace.

Representatives from Senegal, Egypt, Zambia, Uganda, Congo Republic, Comoros, and South Africa formed the African delegation, bringing with them a determined proposal that prioritized the recognition of countries’ sovereignty, as outlined by the UN Charter.

President Ramaphosa reiterated the urgent need for de-escalation, emphasizing the provision of essential humanitarian assistance to alleviate the suffering caused by the conflict. He also called for the release of prisoners of war and the repatriation of children who had been taken out of Ukraine. Additionally, the African leaders highlighted the importance of reopening the Black Sea for the movement of critical resources such as grains and fertilizers, as the economic repercussions were negatively impacting African nations.

The South African leader expressed his gratitude for the willingness of President Putin and President Zelenskiy to engage with African leaders on the matter. “So their agreement that they are willing to engage with African leaders on this is a significant achievement for us because now Africa,” he emphasized.

Looking ahead, plans are underway for a second Africa-Russia summit in the near future, providing further avenues for dialogue and progress. President Ramaphosa confirmed that ongoing discussions will take place with President Zelenskiy to address the concerns raised during the meeting.

President Ramaphosa’s unwavering commitment, along with the collective efforts of the African delegation, underscores the importance of international cooperation and diplomacy in resolving conflicts. As the world eagerly observes the impact of their mission, hopes remain high for a lasting and peaceful resolution to the Russo-Ukrainian conflict.

The African leaders’ engagement with Russia and Ukraine serves as a testament to the vital role that Africa can play in promoting peace and stability on the global stage. With determination and unity, the international community moves closer to achieving the shared goal of bringing an end to the devastating conflict and fostering a future of peace and prosperity.

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