President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged global leaders to forge a more representative, equal and fair United Nations in order to better grapple with poverty, joblessness and inequality.

Ramaphosa, who is attending the UN General Assembly for the first time, invoked the words of global icon Nelson Mandela, who became South Africa’s first black president in 1994 and once told the annual summit that “The millions across our globe who stand expectant at the gates of hope look to this organisation to bring them peace, to bring them life, to bring them a life worth living”.

Mandela, who would have turned 100 this year, died in 2013.