International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor says the war between Russia and Ukraine should not detract from the world's developmental goals.
Pandor launched a veiled critique of developed nations who fail to reform and transform global institutions.
On Friday, she welcomed non-Brics nations to a dialogue on the sidelines of the foreign ministers' summit in Cape Town.
These countries include the United Arab Emirates, Argentina, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
"It is clear that today, we no longer share an understanding of the greatest global challenge. This is despite the reality that the Covid-19 pandemic set back our efforts to achieve Sustainable Developments Goals by almost a decade," Pandor said.
"We are led by the 2030 Agenda. A regional conflict has not replaced eradicating global poverty as the world's greatest global challenge. How do we bring the world's attention and resources back to this fact?" she asked.
According to Pandor, there is increased economic risk for the most vulnerable with low growth levels in much of the globe and neglect of those in the greatest need.
"Food inflation and high energy prices have strained incomes and resulted in high debt costs and persistent uncertainty. And the attention and resources of our Western partners have been diverted and the agendas of our multilateral organisation no longer respond to the needs and demands of the Global South.
"The world has faltered in cooperation. Developed countries have never met their commitments to the developing world and are trying to shift all responsibility to the Global South," she said.
Furthermore, Pandor said the poor and marginalised are facing the greatest threat in that their plight is forgotten while the so-called great powers fight.
"This is not the world we hoped for when the Cold War ended. This is not the world we promised our people in the 2030 Agenda.
"South Africa desires a return to peace, multilateralism, and partnerships for development," she said.