The president was speaking in his capacity as the AU chairperson at the first day of the General Debate of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa address the United Nations on 21 September 2020. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter
The president called on UN member states to collaborate and work towards a common goal post and against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have formed international partnerships to ensure there is equitable access to medical equipment and supplies. Many nations have set up extensive social support systems to protect citizens whose jobs, businesses, and livelihoods have been threatened,” Ramaphosa said.
“Our response to the COVID pandemic has demonstrated the heights that can be attained when we work in the spirit of friendship and solidarity.
“If we are to build a common and inclusive future in the aftermath of COVID-19, it is this solidarity that must endure,” he added.
Ramaphosa said redirecting resources to tackle the pandemic had had a knock-on effect on the development of African countries.
“The African Union has established a COVID-19 Response Fund and launched a ground-breaking African Medical Supplies Platform to ensure all countries have access to the necessary equipment and supplies,” he said.
“Nonetheless, the pandemic will inevitably set back our developmental aspirations.
The resources we have had to redirect to fighting the pandemic has set back our efforts to provide housing, health care, water and sanitation, and education to our people.”
Ramaphosa also urged developed countries to contribute and offer a comprehensive stimulus package for underdeveloped countries.
“This will enable African countries to not only mitigate the health impacts of COVID-19 but to aid us in the immense task of rebuilding our shattered economies,” he said.