Since the dawn of South Africa’s democracy in 1994, the country has been championing values of respect for human rights, democracy, peaceful resolution to conflict, reconciliation, the eradication of poverty and under-development. South Africa therefore sees its role in international relations, as that of championing collaboration, cooperation and building partnerships.
South Africa’s foreign policy priorities focus on:
First, the Consolidation of the African Agenda, which entails amongst others, the need for Africa’s economic growth and development; Africa’s political, economic and social integration at the regional and sub-regional levels; trade and investment; and democratization and good governance. South Africa strongly believes that a strong African Union (AU), supported by cohesive regional economic communities (RECs) is necessary to drive this agenda.
Our second priority relates to the promotion of South-South Cooperation, which entail, amongst others, that we promote interdependence and cooperation among countries of the South, in their common fight for a world free of economic and political injustice, poverty and inequality.
Thirdly, we prioritize the deepening, strengthening and broadening of our North-South Cooperation, which entails, amongst others, working together with the developed countries of the North to confront challenges of poverty, under-development, the threat and absence of peace and security, including post-conflict reconstruction. We also seek to utilise our relations with countries of the North, to solicit their support and give the necessary momentum to the reform of UN and other Institutions of Global Governance. We will continue to utilize and expand partnerships with countries of the North to advance national priorities as well as the objectives of Africa and the South.
Our fourth priority pertains to our participation in the Global System of Governance. Reflecting on global political and socio-economic stability within the multilateral system; and promoting development, security, human rights and international law through our participation in the UN System and other forums. At the same time, we work for the reform of Institutions of Global Governance and the establishment of world system that is democratic, fair and sensitive to the needs and interests of the poor, vulnerable and developing countries of the world.
Lastly, our foreign policy speaks to the overall Strengthening of Political and Economic Relations. This entails, amongst others, consolidating our traditional bilateral political, cultural and economic partnerships. As we play our trade in far-away countries, we are searching for answers to our pressing national priorities which include the urgent call to create opportunities for jobs for our people; making quality health-care available to all; educating and skilling our people, thus enabling them to participate in the future knowledge economy; contribute to the provision of security and the reduction of crime; and responding to the call to develop our rural communities.
In the context of our economic regional integration, South Africa will continue to play an important role in promoting peace, stability and development in the Southern African region as a member of SADC. We have just hosted, on June 11th – 12th, the Second Tripartite Summit of SADC, COMESA and EAC regions. The purpose of the Tripartite Summit was to formally kick-start the negotiation process to establish a Free Trade Agreement between the countries of these regional economic communities.
As we joined the BRICS Mechanism, we did so in the belief that its collective could, amongst others, lend a significant weight in our call for the restructuring global governance mechanism, and amplifying the development interests of developing countries. The growing space and collective influence of this Mechanism is something we welcome. As BRICS rises, we believe, its development will seek to reflect a multiplicity of civilizations and political identities – which should be regarded as a source of strength rather than weakness in international relations.
For detailed information please visit www.dfa.gov.za