Statement by Ambassador Jerry Matjila, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations (UN), during the United Nations Security Council Meeting on the Implementation of Resolution 2231, 30 June 2020

Mr President,

South Africa continues to welcome the JCPOA as one of most important diplomatic achievements in the area of nuclear non-proliferation, since the signing of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). The JCPOA remains an example of global cooperation to address challenges that affect us all.

In this regard, we call on all parties to the JCPOA and Security Council members to uphold and implement resolution 2231 (2015), which is essential for the Council’s fulfilment of its mandate to maintain international peace and security.

Mr President,

We believe that the Security Council should act responsibly and desist from any divisive actions that could provoke non-compliance with Council’s resolutions as this would undermine the credibility of the Council in fulfilling its central mandate.

South Africa, therefore, urges Iran to fully implement its obligations under the JCPOA in order to preserve its prospect for success.

South Africa remains regretful about the withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA and its re-imposition of unilateral sanctions measures. The United States must reconsider its stance in that regard as its actions undermine the understandings that have been previously reached.

We also regret the decision by the US not to renew waivers for nuclear non-proliferation projects in the framework of the JCPOA. It is our view that the decision by the US will inadvertently affect the ability of Iran to fully implement the provisions of the JCPOA and Resolution 2231. It would be important to recall that the lifting of sanctions especially on certain nuclear-related materials was an integral part of the JCPOA.

Mr President,

South Africa underscores that the total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only guarantee that they would never be used again by anyone under any circumstances.

South Africa reminds the Council that nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation are mutually reinforcing processes. Lack of progress on nuclear disarmament will inadvertently affect the gains made on nuclear non-proliferation.

Regarding the broader security of the region, South Africa joins others in expressing its concerns about the growing tensions in the Gulf and its impact on international peace and security. South Africa urges all parties involved to exercise the utmost restraint and not allow the situation to get out of hand.

In conclusion Mr President,

This Council must pursue steps to deescalate rather than escalate tensions in the Gulf and support any such efforts undertaken by the region.

In this regard, this Council must support initiatives aimed at the restoration of peace and stability not only in the Gulf, but in the broader Middle East region.

South Africa is, therefore, resolute in its support for the continuation of efforts to resolve tensions between all actors in the region and promotes dialogue rather than antagonism in order to safeguard gains already made in terms of disarmament and non-proliferation which are essential for the maintenance of broader international peace and security.

I thank you.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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