In a powerful address to the 61st annual meeting of the Asian African Legal Consultative Organisation (AALCO) in Bali, South Africa’s Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola, made a fervent plea for the immediate cessation of violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Lamola expressed deep concern over the recent upsurge in violence, which has gripped the region for the past ten days, and he called for an urgent humanitarian response to assist those affected by the conflict.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with its roots dating back to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, has endured as one of the world’s most protracted and complex disputes. Lamola opened his address by offering condolences to all victims of the conflict and emphasizing the need for all involved parties to halt the violence immediately. “The atrocities committed against civilian populations are causing great concern, and we urgently call for an immediate cessation of violence from all parties involved,” he stressed.
Highlighting the gravity of the situation, Lamola pointed out that the failure to resolve the conflict swiftly has resulted in an unending cycle of unspeakable atrocities and human rights violations.
South Africa’s Foreign Policy Stance
Minister Lamola went on to underline South Africa’s longstanding commitment to “supporting Palestinian nationhood” as an integral part of the country’s foreign policy. He explained that South Africa’s foreign policy aims to promote a viable and sustainable peace plan for the Middle East, which includes securing Palestine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and economic viability, as well as ensuring sovereign equality between Palestine and Israel.
Lamola emphasized the importance of adhering to international law, asserting that the principle of self-determination for the Palestinian people is widely recognized and enshrined in various international covenants, instruments, and the United Nations Charter. South Africa’s policy position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is in line with internationally accepted frameworks, including the Oslo Accords, the Roadmap, and the Arab Plan 2002, which recognize the two-State option as the only viable solution to the crisis.
Calls for Collective Action
In closing, Minister Lamola called on members of AALCO, an international organization of Asian and African countries, to join forces in finding a “permanent solution to the conflict, in accordance with relevant United Nations resolutions, international law, and internationally agreed parameters.” He spoke passionately about the need for collective global efforts to create a world where nations adhere to international law and collaborate to promote peaceful coexistence.
Lamola emphasized the shared responsibility of the international community to take action when violations of international law or impediments to peace are observed. He stressed the need for nations to work together, united in their support for one another, to achieve the noble goal of sustainable peace in the Middle East.
As South Africa’s Justice Minister, Ronald Lamola’s call for an immediate cessation of violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resonates with the country’s long-standing foreign policy position and its commitment to supporting Palestinian nationhood. His impassioned speech at the AALCO annual meeting serves as a reminder of the pressing need for collective global action to address one of the world’s most enduring conflicts.