Mr President,
Your Majesties and Excellencies,

Development and security are two sides of the same coin. The best way to ensure
both is through good governance and the promotion of democratic values in all

Allow me therefore Mr President to register again our serious concern that in close to
70 years after its establishment, the UN Security Council still remains undemocratic,
unrepresentative and unfair to developing nations and small states, and
disenfranchises the majority of the Member States of the United Nations who form
the majority in this General Assembly. We cannot remain beholden indefinitely to the
will of an unrepresentative minority on most important issues of international peace
and security.

There has been too much talk about the need for reform, with too little action.
We would like to challenge the Assembly today: Let us set ourselves the target to
celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations in 2015, with a reformed, more
inclusive, democratic and representative UN Security Council!

Mr President,

When discussing the UN Security Council the matter of the Syrian Arab Republic
comes into focus. We have expressed our dismay at the use of chemical weapons in
Syria. There is no cause that could justify the use of weapons of mass destruction,
by anyone or anybody under any circumstances.

It is our strongly held view that any political transition in Syria must come about as a
result of the will of the Syrian people, and not as a result of a force of arms.

We welcome the recent positive developments such as the decision by Syria to
accede to the Chemical Weapons Convention and the ongoing bilateral
consultations between the Russian Federation and the United States.

We support all the diplomatic efforts aimed at finding a solution to this matter.

The international community has an opportunity to use the Syrian experience to
ensure that matters of this nature are handled correctly going forward, using existing
instruments within the multilateral system of global governance.

Mr President,

Next year South Africa will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of freedom and

We will forever be grateful to those in the international community, including the
United Nations, who stood beside us in our long struggle for liberation.

We look forward to celebrating our anniversary of freedom with the United Nations
and to strengthen our partnership. A strong partnership with the UN is critical for the
future we want for the people of South Africa.

We also take this opportunity to thank the United Nations and the international
community for support during the recent hospitalisation of our beloved founding
President of a free and democratic South Africa, His Excellency Nelson Mandela.

We thank you for your support and good wishes. The UN declared 18 July, his birth
date, as International Mandela Day. This has become a catalyst to promote service
to humanity worldwide. We thank the UN for this gesture.

Our revered former President continues to respond to treatment at his home. His
family and our people have warmly welcomed the support he continues to receive
from the global community. We are humbled and very grateful for this support.

Mr President,

As we celebrate our freedom and democracy we remain mindful that our struggle is
not complete until the people of Palestine and Western Sahara enjoy their right to

In the same manner that the United Nations stood by South Africa, we would like to
see this organisation being at the forefront of efforts towards self-determination for
the peoples of Palestine and Western Sahara.

We are deeply concerned about continued illegal settlement activities in the West
Bank in violation of international law.

These illegal settlement activities jeopardize the realization of the two-state solution.

Mr President,

The Cuban people hold a special place in our hearts because of that country’s
sacrifice for African peoples in their quest for freedom. We will therefore continue to
struggle with them for their economic liberation.

In conclusion Mr President,

The 68th Session of the General Assembly will undertake critical work for the future
of our people.

Let us tackle the work ahead in a manner that, when future generations look back on
this moment, they will be able to say that the leaders of this generation laid the
foundation for the eradication of poverty, for building a world society of equality, and
for world peace.

Let me borrow from the words of our former President Nelson Mandela on his
inauguration day in 1994 when he said;
"We understand it still, that there is no easy road to freedom.
We know it well, that none of us acting alone can achieve success.
We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for
nation building, for the birth of a new world.
Let there be justice for all.
Let there be peace for all.
Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.
Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill

I thank you.