Parliament hails SA’s entry to UN Security Council
The election of SA as a nonpermanent member of the UN Security Council is further evidence that Africa and the world still has trust in the country, Parliament’s international relations and co-operation portfolio committee said at the weekend.
The election also showed that the country remained an influential global player in terms of mediation efforts and ability.
The UN General Assembly elected Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Indonesia and SA on Friday as nonpermanent members on the Security Council for two years, starting in January 2019. This will be SA’s third stint on the council.
The Security Council is mainly tasked with maintaining international peace and security. It has 15 members, including the five permanent ones: the US, UK, China, France and Russia.
International Relations and Co-operation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said SA was honoured and humbled by the election and dedicates its tenure to late former president Nelson Mandela.
"SA’s diplomatic efforts over the past two decades include conflict resolution, prevention, mediation, peacekeeping and peace-building," said Sisulu.
"We firmly believe that while we must strengthen the tools at the Security Council’s disposal in addressing conflicts as they arise, the focus should be on preventative diplomacy and on addressing the root causes of conflicts. Only when we have peace and a culture of peace can we have sustainable development and we in Africa need that and resources most. Our energies now have to be directed at the betterment of the lives of our people," she said.
DA international relations and co-operation spokesman Stevens Mokgalapa said SA’s election was a positive step towards Africa’s representation on the global stage. SA once again "has an opportunity to reaffirm our status as a leader in Africa. Our government’s voting on the council must reflect our commitment to human rights and repair the damage of the Zuma administration."
Mokgalapa said: "Our previous stint on the council damaged SA’s image internationally due to our questionable voting patterns."