Explanation of Vote by the Republic of South Africa on the proposed resolution by the United States of America on Annex B of Resolution 2231 (2015), 14 August 2020

Mr President,


South Africa views 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). We believe it is an exemplar of collective action to consolidate peace through cooperation and collaboration on the basis of a binding agreement, and therefore, its preservation and implementation should be foremost.


We are also of the view that the JCPOA has contributed significantly to the reduction of tensions over Iran’s nuclear programme and remains vital in promoting peace, stability and the normalisation of relations.


South Africa’s abstention on the resolution before us today is informed by the fact that we believe that JCPOA participants and all Council Members should remain true to its commitment to uphold and implement Resolution 2231 (2015). It is thus crucial that there is full implementation of the JCPOA by all parties in order to re-establish trust in the agreement and avoid any action that would further undermine the integrity of Resolution 2231 (2015) and the JCPOA.


South African is of the view that the text presented by the United States is unfortunately not in keeping with this commitment and would undermine Resolution 2231 and the JCPOA. Any non-compliance with the Council’s resolutions only undermines the credibility of the Council in fulfilling its central mandate.


Furthermore, South Africa believes that any initiative that falls outside of the ambit of the delicate balance established by the JCPOA risks upending the balance further and thus adds to the already dire threat to the continuation of this hard-won agreement. Therefore, we encourage the parties to exhaust all options within the JCPOA dispute resolution mechanism before consideration options outside it which could result in dismantling of the terms of the agreement.


We are concerned that any undermining of the JCPOA will only lead to an exacerbation of tensions and therefore believe that this issue would be best addressed through consultative dialogue between all members of the JCPOA, outside of the Security Council. This will minimise the potential for creating further tensions in an already divided Council. In an effort to avoid any measures that would challenge the integrity of the processes of the Council, South Africa will continue to encourage all parties involved in the JCPOA to act responsibly and in a manner that promotes peace and builds confidence and trust amongst nations.


South Africa will remain resolute in supporting efforts to resolve tensions between all stakeholders and will always promote dialogue rather than antagonism in order to safe-guard gains already made in terms of disarmament and non-proliferation as these are essential for the maintenance of broader international peace and security.


I thank you.




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