Johannesburg, June 2 (EFE).- South Africa’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor on Friday criticized wealthier nations for focusing on conflicts and neglecting poverty eradication.
In a veiled reference to the war in Ukraine, Pandor said a conflict in one part of the world should not be allowed to “replace the ambition to eradicate global poverty as the world’s greatest global challenge.”
She was speaking on the second day of a meeting of foreign ministers and other top diplomats from the BRICS bloc of developing economies in the South African city of Cape Town.
“Eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development,” Pandor said, recalling the preamble of the 2030 development goals set in 2015 by the United Nations.
She lamented that it was now clear that the world no longer shared “an understanding of that greatest global challenge” despite the reality that the COVID-19 pandemic had disrupted the efforts to achieve the goals.
“The attention and resources of our richer partners have been diverted, and the agendas of our multilateral organizations no longer respond to the needs and demands of the global south,” she said.
“The plight of the poor is forgotten and the great powers are engaged in world conflict. We need to turn this around and return to the promise we made with respect to the 2030 SDG agenda.”
Brazil currently holds the rotating BRICS presidency.
The bloc’s foreign ministers began the meeting in Cape Town on Thursday in preparation for the BRICS summit of heads of state and government in Johannesburg in August.
Foreign Ministers Sergei Lavrov of Russia, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar of India, Mauro Vieira of Brazil, and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu are in the city for the meeting.
Fifteen foreign ministers from Africa and the global south, “friends of the BRICS,” took part in the meeting virtually or in person.
Brazil, Russia, India, and China established what was then called BRIC in 2006. The letter “S” was added in 2010 with the accession of South Africa. EFE