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UN General Assembly–South Africa Pushes Back Against Weaponizing Aid for Ukraine

Mar. 24 (EIRNS)–Today was day two of an emergency UN General Assembly session, of a debate on what resolution text to pass on the topic of UN backing of humanitarian aid for Ukraine.
FLASH: The UN General Assembly approved Resolution ES11-2, titled “Humanitarian Consequences of the Aggression Against Ukraine,” by a vote of 140–yes, 5–no (Russia, Syria, Belarus, North Korea and Eritrea) and 38 abstentions, which included China. This vote is nearly the same as that of March 2, which was 141–yes, 5–no, and 35 abstentions, on a resolution to condemn Russia. 

The resolution approved today was put forward by Ukraine titled, “Humanitarian Consequences of the Aggression Against Ukraine.” It condemns Russia for creating the “dire” situation, pushes for humanitarian corridors, and the withdrawal of Russian troops. This resolution claims support of nearly 100 nations. A precursor to Ukraine’s resolution was a text circulated for the last two weeks by Mexico and France.

South Africa has introduced an alternative text, entitled “Humanitarian Situation Emanating Out of the Conflict in Ukraine,” that does not identify Russia for condemnation.

A similar resolution to this one has been available in recent weeks, from Russia, which introduced it last evening in the UN Security Council (joined by Syria, Belarus and the DPRK), where, as was expected, it failed, given that any measure fails if it is vetoed by a member of the P-5, the five permanent members of the UNSC.

However, very notably, China joined Russia in voting for its UNSC humanitarian resolution. The China spokesperson said that China wants to keep the focus on humanitarian aid, and not on other aspects of the situation. As the UN News reported on the text of the Russian resolution, “Under its terms, the Council would have demanded that civilians are fully protected, that all parties ensure respect for, and protection of, all medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in their medical duties, that they respect international law in connection with objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, and allow safe and unhindered passage to destinations outside of Ukraine, including for foreign nationals, without discrimination.”


South Africa’s DIRCO Posts ‘China’s Shared Future for Mankind’

South Africa’s DIRCO Posts ‘China’s Shared Future for Mankind’

May 17 (EIRNS)—A lengthy op-ed from March 29 for the Independent Online (IOL) website, highlighting the benefits to Africa from its recent relationship with China was posted on March 30 on South Africa’s website for the Department for International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), the country’s foreign ministry. The op-ed is by DIRCO’s Deputy Director-General for Asia and the Middle East Anil Sooklal, who holds the rank of ambassador. He is South Africa’s Sherpa to the BRICS, the G20, and IBSA (India-Brazil-South Africa), and the IORA (Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation). The article is headlined “China’s Shared Future for Mankind.”

Striking a very non-combative but distinctly pro-China tone from the start, Ambassador Sooklal begins with the story of China’s “idea of a community with a shared future for mankind,” from their first appearance on the world scene in 2013, with the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative, writing, “The concept, or what is now considered as a vision, calls for the fostering of international relations based on mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation, and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.”

China recognizes that this vision of “shared future” runs across the grain of the existing uni-polar order, the ambassador says, and they have not chosen confrontation, but rather doubled down on the multi-polar vision. “While there is greater convergence among countries and regions, there is also a worrying trend towards increasing political divergence in the international community. This does not augur well for the promotion of global peace, security, economic growth and development, and hence for China, working with the major players and other countries has become all the more important towards sustaining economic globalization, maintaining the system of global governance and ultimately promoting a community of shared future, based on equal opportunity and access to economic wealth, development and growth.”

The foreign ministry’s posting of the ambassador’s op-ed contributes to South Africa’s internal discussions and orientation as it struggles to emerge from the pandemic. Watching from their cockpit at the “top” of the African Global South, its decision and direction will have a major effect on the entire Sub-Saharan third of the huge continent. In the month since it was written, the explosion of the Mozambique terror has shaken the region, and in the days following, South Africa announced that it would order COVID-19 vaccines from China and Russia. The appearance of Sooklal’s article on the foreign ministry website is an indication of the internal fight currently raging, and also an indication of which way many would like to see it go.


South Africans ‘Stand Up for Nuclear’ at Annual Rallies

Sept. 30 (EIRNS)—Despite the green psychosis that has overtaken South Africa, more than 400 South Africans participated in the annual “Stand Up for Nuclear” events on Sept. 18 in Pretoria and Cape Town, and at the proposed nuclear site, Thyspunt.

Despite demands from the international bankers that coal be abandoned—even while South Africa is overwhelmingly dependent on coal for generating electricity—South African public opinion about nuclear energy is still ambivalent, at best. “Stand Up for Nuclear South Africa” and related efforts intend to change that.

Participants in the Sept. 18 events included nuclear industry professionals, politicians, educators, and students.

The main event was a three-mile walk across the township of Atteridgeville in Pretoria to the Phatudi Comprehensive School, where Zizamele Mbambo, Deputy Director General of Nuclear in the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, gave the keynote address.

On the streets, the activists—equipped with loudspeakers, banners and posters—demanded that government include nuclear in the green finance taxonomy. They engaged the surrounding communities on the merits of nuclear energy, including its huge potential to end load-shedding (power shut-offs, now 25% of the time) and reduce the cost of electricity.

The coordinator for Stand Up for Nuclear South Africa, Princess Mthombeni, told Executive Intelligence Review that “we are planning other initiatives such as the upcoming energy debate, as well as outreach programs that aim to engage communities and other stakeholders such as trade unions.”

Stand Up For Nuclear SA is a program of trade union NEHAWU’s Professionals Technical Committee, in collaboration with other organizations including South African Young Nuclear Professionals Society and Women in Nuclear South Africa. NEHAWU is the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union.

Stand Up for Nuclear is also held annually in more than 80 cities around the world, including New York, Seattle, Paris, and London; the number is growing. The South African organizers say that it has been led since 2016 by Environmental Progress, an American environmental movement led by Michael Schellenberger, to inform societies about the harmful effects of the indiscriminate expansion of renewable energy and the necessity of nuclear power.


South African Riots Are Major Destabilization of this BRICS Nation

South African Riots Are Major Destabilization of this BRICS Nation

July 14 (EIRNS)—The opposition parties in South Africa are united in blaming (with varying emphases) President Ramaphosa, his government, and the ruling ANC at large, taking no account of the intense undermining of the country by London/Wall Street centered finance—for example, through destroying South Africa’s electric power development. Will no one stand up and tell Ramaphosa that it is his London/Wall Street patrons that are the problem?

As for this immediate destabilization, one interesting voice has been heard. Bantu Holomisa, MP, leader of the minor United Democratic Movement, said on SABC-TV, “We note the curious absence of the police in some areas. There has been radio silence from the top police echelons for two days. They are the ones who usually keep us [meaning, members of Parliament] informed. Are some intelligence people and police behind this?” That is now being investigated, but by whom, and with what end in view? Stay tuned.