South Africa and China Articulate Principles for Global Development at United Nations

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Minister Naledi Pandor of South Africa speaking before the UNGA (courtesy of voaafrica.com),
Minister Naledi Pandor of South Africa speaking before the UNGA (courtesy of voaafrica.com),

September 27, 2022

In her address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 21, Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation for South Africa, made an invaluable contribution. While many speakers at the assembly discussed important topics, she, along with Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, identified economic development as the crucial principle that the UNGA has to address. (See excerpts of their remarks below).

Unfortunately, the majority of leaders throughout the world have failed to understand the essentiality of promoting economic development as a strategic solution to war, and insecurity, and the only pathway to achieving lasting peace. Leaders of the West, especially from the U.S. , have failed to grasp this elementary concept elaborated by John Paul VI, when he wrote, development is the new name for peace. (1)

Unlike the last four generations of U.S. presidents, Franklin Roosevelt, did understand that the policy of promoting economic development is a strategic means of obtaining peace in the world. President Roosevelt organized for the creation of the United Nations (UN) as an integral component of his post war Grand Design, which most emphatically included the dismantling of the British empire. His proposed composition of nations to lead the UN, (U.S. Russia, China, and Great Britain) was an attempt to isolate the British and their imperialist policies. President Roosevelt discussed with his son, his vision for the UN, which was coherent with his intent of the Atlantic Charter and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. To wit: improving conditions of life in underdeveloped nations by fostering economic growth. He said to Elliott,

“These great powers will have to assume the task of bringing education, raising the standards of living, improving health conditions—of all the backward depressed areas of the world.”

Tragically for the world, President Roosevelt died before the inauguration of the UN, and the small minded, easily manipulated, Harry Truman, became U.S. President. In a brief time after assuming office, President Truman, embracing the diseased British geopolitical mindset, negated President Roosevelt’s vision to construct a better world with all nations participating in progress and prosperity. Civilization has paid dearly for the reversal of President Roosevelt’s paradigm.

Minister Pandor Echoes Roosevelt

In her presentation before the UNGA, Minister Pandor said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Eastern Europe shape our attitudes today; however, for South Africa, the real inflection point will be the world attending fully to the needs of the marginalized  and forgotten.

Our greatest global challenges are poverty, inequality, joblessness and feeling excluded… addressing poverty and underdevelopment will be the beginnings of the real inflection point in human history.

Global solidarity is also required to meet other pressing challenges such as energy and food insecurity, climate change and the devastation caused by conflicts, including the existential threat of nuclear weapons.

Instead of working collectively to address these challenges, we have grown further apart as geopolitical tensions and mistrust permeate our relations.

We should, however, move forward in solidarity, united in efforts to address our common global challenges to ensure sustainable peace and development.” (Emphasis added).

Eliminate Poverty

In his address before the UNGA on September 24, Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, echoed the theme of peace through development, highlighting the importance of eliminating poverty. He told the assembly,

“We must pursue development and eliminate poverty.

Development holds the key to resolving difficult issues and delivering a happy life to our people. We should place development at the center of the international agenda, build international consensus on promoting development, and uphold all countries’ legitimate right to development. We should foster new drivers for global development, forge a global development partnership, and see that everyone in every country benefits more from the fruits of development in a more equitable way.

China has been a contributor to global development…China is a pacesetter in implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It has met the poverty reduction goal ten years ahead of the envisioned timeframe and accounts for 70 percent of the gains in global poverty reduction. It has provided development aid to more than 160 countries in need, and extended more debt-service payments owed by developing countries than any other G20 member state.” (Emphasis added).

(1) Encyclical , Populorium progressio, March 26, 1967.

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