Cyril Ramaphosa, the President of South Africa and US President Joe Biden held telephone talks, just one day after the continental powerhouse refrained from voting on a resolution to suspend Russia from a UN rights body over its aggression in Ukraine.
A day before Ramaphosa’s government was criticized for its refusal to condemn Russia’s actions, he had castigated the UN security council as “outdated” and in dire need of an overhaul.
South Africa was later on the slew of 58 countries that abstained from voting on the UN General Assembly resolution that suspended Russia from the UN Human Rights Council as punishment for the invasion of Ukraine.
It was the third time South Africa abstained from voting on resolutions adopted over the war.
In a tweet on Friday, Ramaphosa revealed that he had “a productive” telephone call with Biden.
“We shared views on the conflict in Ukraine and agreed on the need for a ceasefire and dialogue between Ukraine and Russia,” Ramaphosa wrote.
The White House revealed in a readout of the call that Biden “emphasized the strength of the bilateral partnership, as well as the global challenges brought on by Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine”
The leader of the Free World emphasized “the need for a clear, unified international response to Russian aggression in Ukraine,” read the statement.
According to Local media, it was Biden who initiated the call to Ramaphosa.
Russia is the second country in the world to be suspended from the global body’s human rights council. Libya was the first in 2011.
On Thursday, Ramaphosa sharply criticised the UN Security Council for enabling powerful nations to use their clout to make decisions that were at times catastrophic.
“The current formation of the UN Security Council is outdated and unrepresentative,” he said. “It disadvantages countries with developing economies.”
South Africa has maintained a neutral stance on the conflict in Ukraine, touting negotiation as the best option to end the conflict despite international outrage and condemnation.