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Should South Africa be given a permanent UNSC seat?

28 March 2012, 21:53

South Africa already has a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council, but are now actively pursuing the one thing they've been craving so long- a permanent seat to sit on in the UNSC.

Ultimately its America that has the biggest pulling power on this particular decision making,whether China or Russia likes it or not. Is this all part of South Africa's ongoing identity crisis like being part of the BRICS Club or the name changing stories about our cities that's making noises in South Africa?

South Africa's foreign policies are a joke at best as the ANC can't make up their minds as what their beliefs are in our nations "second coming" whilst under Zuma's rule.They seem to have no pattern in their policies. They often appear to be pursuing two contradictory sets of values.

At one moment, Zuma and company are upholding the principles of national sovereignty and non-interference,which are ideal for despots around the world. And at the next minute, Zuma insists that his primary objective is to contribute to the ideals of democracy, human rights and justice.

This results in a mishmash of unpredictable responses from different countries and nations. You can't have that when you on the UNSC permanent seat.

China is very anti-imperialistic in its approach towards world affairs,unlike Britain,France and to a certain degree America ever was. This posture by China enabled the Chinese to avoid the feckless engagement type strategy and their reluctance to criticize the strongmen dictatorships in our world.

South Africa,however,has a multiracial democracy adopted within its constitution,which meant the making of a worldwide human rights campaign are at the heart of South African foreign policies. Although Zuma and his ANC cadres has failed to live up to such aspirations since Mandela had left office. Our country's policies seem to have anti-interventionist stance written all over it.

America remains ambivalent towards the UNSC enlargement. At the same time America realises that more and more global powers are becoming disconnected on UNSC and that makes the USA very uncomfortable and therefore anxious so as to integrate other rising powers as responsible stakeholders into the UNSC.

Muscle

Has South Africa got the political, military and economic muscle capabilities to stave off any opposing threats to international peace and security? It's a weighty responsibility to be a permanent UNSC member.

South Africa has the smallest economy in the G20 member states and a very modest army and budget for international peace keeping missions. South Africa also appears to be reluctant to use coercive instruments that are needed when you on the UN Security Council when this is required.

Also South Africa can't seem to shift it stance on the outdated models of absolute sovereignties and the conduct of certain regimes that carry tremendous risks for international peace and security. Chapter 7 of the UN Charter allows for coercive measures to be used when having to change a regime in a particular country.

South Africa's handling of the Zimbabwean crisis and Robert Mugabe in particular shows that it either don't understand chapter 7 of the UNSC or that the ANC just blatantly disregard it altogether. Hence South Africa had failed to conform to its preferred strategies for dealing with international conflict.

South Africa also has double standards on international conflicts and policies. It claims espoused attachment and a symbolic embodiment of universal human rights principles on the one hand, and then the next minute its fails to press vigorously for political change in the thugocracy in Zimbabwe.

Quiet diplomacy is not always the answer neither is the other extreme called military intervention. Maybe coercion through diplomacy is the key, if not then surely the use of force has to be employed.

So is South Africa ready to assume a permanent UNSC seat or not?

References:

1.Reform of the United Nations Security Council...www.wikipedia.org.

2.www.sa-polsci.com/.../does-africa-need-a-permanent-seat-at-the-un-sc.

3.www.saiia.org.za/.../a-reflection-on-south-africa-s-engagements-with...

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