Jan 2012

Securing international peace and security

This is the second time that South Africa has served on the Security Council following its first term from 2007 to 2008.

South Africa’s present non-permanent membership of the UNSC followed its election in October 2010. 

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane emphasised South African’s position when she said, “In its actions, South Africa is guided by the commitment to uphold international law and universal values and to help others protect or achieve their inherent and inalienable rights.”

As a member of the Security Council, South Africa was a mediator in global conflicts. In Libya, President Jacob Zuma mediated between the warring parties on more than two occasions.

Peace-keeping missions

As South Africa enters its second year as a non-permanent member of the UNSC, it is important to note that we have been consistent in making a contribution to the work of the Council in the maintenance of international peace and security, especially in Africa. 

During its membership of the UNSC, South Africa saw the birth of a new a country in  July 2011 when the Republic of South Sudan joined the African Union and the UN as a fully-fledged member nation.

South Africa continues to support UN and AU peace-keeping missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan and Burundi. In addition, it continues to facilitate talks between parties in neighbouring Zimbabwe to make sure that the aims of the Global Political Agreement signed by the Movement for Democratic Change and the Zimbabwe African National Union are realised.

Recently, the UNSC took a decision, supported by South Africa, to place additional sanctions on Eritrea “for continuing to provide support to armed groups seeking to destabilise Somalia and other parts of the Horn of Africa”, building on the arms and travel blockades it imposed exactly two years ago.

Continued efforts

South Africa will, in its second year as a UNSC non-permanent member continue its efforts to promote and enhance the Security Council’s cooperation with regional organisations. This will apply particularly to the African Union’s Peace and Security Council of which South Africa is a member.

-Mbulelo Baloyi

Safety and Security
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