Malaysia Conference Important in Quest for World Peace

By Matome Sebelebele

BuaNews (Pretoria)
August 11, 2003

Deputy President Jacob Zuma arrived in the country this morning after attending a two-day conference on world peace in Malaysia over the weekend.
The conference discussed amongst others, the war against terrorism, world security since the September 11 tragedy in the United States, and the need for responses to conflicts and terrorism to occur within the multilateral United Nations framework as well as changing policies and mindsets in winning peace and the way forward in the quest for peace.
A statement issued today by the Presidency said Mr Zuma regarded the conference as having been an important contribution to the quest for world peace and in sharing ideas about how to strengthen the world's response to terror in a sustainable, fair and consistent manner.
Addressing delegates at the opening of the World Peace Conference in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, he said there could be no substitute for multilateralism.
The international campaign against terrorism should occur within the framework of the United Nations and other regional organisations.
He explained that multilateralism provided a rules-based political, economic and social system, which ensured certainty and predictability, based on the principle of the sovereignty of states.
'There must be no action by any state, which would undermine this important principle of sovereignty and equality.
'It should be emphasised that the UN, through the Security Council, remains the only institution that has an international mandate to conduct action with respect to threats to peace, breaches of peace, and acts of aggression,' he said.
However, Deputy President Zuma said the UN system had some shortcomings, which the institution had acknowledged as well, citing the recent war in Iraq as an example.
'The recent war in Iraq has also brought into the open some of the deficiencies and has highlighted the need to strengthen and revitalise the UN General Assembly and to reform the Security Council,' he said.