SA was recently elected to a two-year nonpermanent seat on the powerful 15-member UN Security Council — starting in January 2019 — for the third time in a decade, with an overwhelming 183 votes of the 193-member UN General Assembly. SA served on the security council in 2007-2008, and 2011-2012. On both occasions it pushed for the reform of the anachronistic council and the expansion of its five veto-wielding permanent members beyond the US, Russia, China, France and Britain. The five permanent members (P5) have decades of experience at manipulating the arcane rules of the UN’s most powerful body, and draft almost all resolutions. During its two tenures on the council SA pushed forcefully for the strengthening of security co-operation between the UN and logistically and financially weak African regional bodies such as the AU and Southern African Development Community (Sadc). Tshwane also prioritised this theme during its three presidencies of the security council in March 2007, April...

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