South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the 78th United Nations General Assembly

President Cyril Ramaphosa emphasized on the importance of unity and collaboration in the Government of National Unity (GNU) to improve the lives of all South Africans, adding that the formation of the second GNU is a significant step for South Africa's democracy.

"South Africans made clear with their votes in last month's elections that they want their elected representatives to put aside narrow interests and work together to build the country," the president said, SA News reported.

The first GNU, formed in 1994, aimed to unite the nation and promote nation-building and inclusivity from a racially divided past during a period of political transition.

Ramaphosa explained that "giving effect to the principles of that Constitution and the Bill of Rights must be the overriding focus of this GNU," noting that this will be done by pursuing a common program to get rid of poverty and build a more equal society.

"The GNU Statement of Intent provides a solid base for genuine cooperation between parties across the political spectrum who have signed up of their own accord," the president said.

He explained that the Statement of Intent commits the signatories to a set of foundational principles including respect for constitutionalism, accountability, transparency and community participation in government, evidence-based policy and decision-making, professionalization of the public service integrity and good governance.

Ramaphosa said that the parties involved in the GNU have agreed on the main goals of the new administration. Their top priority is achieving rapid, inclusive and sustainable economic growth to create jobs.

He expressed confidence that the broad agreement among the parties on these priorities shows that the GNU is poised to move the country forward.

"We remain committed to consensus-building and to the representation of a broad range of interests and viewpoints within government. At the same time, we are all keenly aware that South Africans expect action, implementation and results," he said.

He added, "Our stated commitment to work together constructively and for South Africa's benefit has generated a great deal of goodwill that we should not squander. South Africans are watching."

The president said that the authorities should not waste their energies on those who stand in the way of the country's progress or lose momentum over differences that can be resolved.