Towards a better Africa and world

2011-09-10 11:45

The events unfolding in Libya will leave a lasting dent on how the international community should work together in the spirit of the Charter of the United ­Nations for the maintenance of global peace and security.

We live in a world where power is not equally distributed among all nations, and this inequality is reflected in the manner that those who are powerful ­interpret international law and use international institutions to their benefit.

South Africa stands on two legs – Africa and South-South cooperation – in our ­interaction with the world.

This explains our behaviour on the African continent and our outreach to other countries of the South – notably those in the Ibsa-Brics formations (India, Brazil, Russia and China), as well as the Non-Aligned Movement and the G77 plus China.

In this time of rapid and constant change, interdependence among nations is self-evident. It is also evident that ­mutually beneficial cooperation is ­necessary.

Consequently, the world is experiencing the practical necessity of making the philosophical paradigm shift from ­“power to partnership” in international relations. Put simply, what this means is that our foreign policy engagement and international partnerships must show the symbiotic relationship between our national priorities and South Africa’s ­regional, continental and international engagements.

Our struggle for a better life for all in South Africa is closely intertwined with our struggle for a better Africa and a ­better world for all.

South Africa has always regarded Africa as a centrepiece of its foreign policy, and mobilises a significant amount of our resources towards the socioeconomic awakening of our continent, peace ­making and peace building, as well as post-conflict reconstruction and ­development.

Throughout the current conflict in ­Libya, South Africa and the African ­Union have steadfastly maintained that the future of Libya should be decided by the Libyans themselves.

We continue to encourage Libyan stakeholders to accelerate the process to form an all-inclusive transitional government that would be welcome to occupy Libya’s seat in the AU.

As a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the period 2011/2012, South Africa is cognisant of the enormous challenges associated with serving on the council.

We will continue our efforts aimed at bringing greater alignment to the work of the Security Council and the AU, and respond to peace and security challenges in Africa – be it in Libya, Ivory Coast, Sudan or Somalia.

Hence, we continue to call for the ­transformation of the international ­system for a better world and Africa.

Such transformation will be about ­making ­organisations such as the UN more ­effective and efficient in discharging their role and ­responsibilities.

» Nkoana-Mashabane is the minister of international relations and co-operation 

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