UNSC Meeting: On Friday, 02 February 2012, the Institute for Global Dialogue (IGD), along with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), hosted a roundtable on South Africa’s second tenure in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The roundtable, which was chaired by Mr Francis Kornegay of the IGD, was a sequel to a similar meeting convened in August 2011 as part of a project funded by the Open Society Foundation for South Africa (OSF-SA). The project seeks to understand and stimulate dialogue around South Africa’s dilemma in balancing multiple relationships and agendas during its second term in the UNSC. Panelists included Mr Aubrey Matshiqi from the Helen Suzman, Prof. Anthoni Van Nieuwkerk of the University of the Witwatersrand and Ms Ncumisa Notutela from DIRCO. The February 2012 roundtable, which was attended by government officials, members of the diplomatic corps and civil society, aimed to discuss South Africa’s unfolding membership of the UNSC, with specific reference to how this is being used to promote the African Agenda.

Both the presentations and discussion at the roundtable revealed the complexities and controversies that have come to define South Africa’s membership of the UNSC in general and the promotion of the African Agenda in particular. There seemed to be little divergence among participants on the values, principles and interests that should drive South Africa’s foreign policy decisions within and outside the UNSC. There was also near consensus on the observation that national interest-driven dynamics in both the chambers of the UNSC and the corridors of the African Union (AU) continue to undermine South Africa’s efforts to promote the African Agenda. However, there was plenty of debate over, among other things, the soundness of Pretoria’s diplomacy in Africa, South Africa’s capacity to assume a leadership role on the continent, and the nature of the foreign policy discourse in South Africa. In essence, the roundtable underscored the evolving nature of South Africa’s foreign policy and the need for constant and nuanced dialogue on its future, not only among South Africans but also between South Africa and other stakeholders in Africa and the world at large. A full proceedings report of the roundtable will be made available on the IGD’s website in due course.

US 2012 Elections and its Implications for Foreign Policy Diplomcay Dialogue

Diplomatic Dialogue: 2012 US elections As part of its Diplomatic Dialogue series, the IGD hosted Dr Roland Glean, Director of International Services at the Midwestern State University, Texas, on 30 January 2013. Dr Glean engaged with local academics, researchers, policymakers and the diplomatic corps on the implications of Barack Obama’s re-election for US foreign policy.

South African Foreign Policy Review

South African Foreign Policy Review: Volume 1 Book Launch: On the 15 of February 2013 the Institute for Global Dialogue (IGD), in partnership with the Open Society Foundation South Africa (OSF-SA) and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), hosted the launch of the South African Foreign Policy Review: Volume 1 in Cape Town. Attended by representatives from academia, civil society, government, parliament and the diplomatic corps, the book launch took place against the background of the opening of parliament and the need to broaden the discussion on South Africa’s foreign policy, which has evolved with changes in the global order and the African strategic environment. Indeed, Pretoria’s role and conduct, along with priorities, interests and values have changed (and continue to change) since the country’s democratic transition.

Multilateral Development Cooperation

Multilateral Development Cooperation: What does it mean for South Africa’s foreign policy? : The Institute for Global Dialogue hosted a round table discussion on the 15th March at Leriba Hotel and Spa in Centurion Pretoria. The aim of the strategic discussion was focused on improving the understanding of current transitions taking place within international development cooperation in both the geo-political North and South and reviewing the potential opportunities as well as obstacles and their implications for South African foreign policy.

Cop 17 Gallery

Investigating Africa and the South’s Interest on Climate Change: Africa and the Global South at large, have vested interests as far as climate change and the negotiations surrounding it, are concerned. Understanding these interests is key to gauging the dynamics that would come to shape COP17 in Durban. Investigating Africa and the South’s Interest on Climate Change was a full-day dialogue tasked with unpacking these interests ahead of the 2011 climate talks. The dialogue formed part of the IGD’s environmental diplomacy programme, which is generously funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy. It was jointly hosted by the IGD, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) and Ingabadi Group on the 25th of November 2011 at the Southern Sun North Beach in Durban. The dialogue, which was attended by members of the diplomatic corps, representatives from civil society and the academia, aimed to shed light on the diversity of interests represented by Africa and the Global South in the negotiations. It assessed the complexity of factors likely to be at play during the negotiations as a result of the plethora of interests involved. Perspectives from Africa as well as nations in the Global South such as Brazil, South Africa, India and China (BASIC), were brought to the fore during the dialogue.

A wealth of speakers contributed to the dialogue by giving presentations. Among them were; Mr Xinran Qi, Georgetown University, USA, Dr Marco Vieira, Lecturer in International Relations, University of Birmingham, UK, Ms Swati Ganeshan,  Associate Fellow at the Centre for Global Agreements, Legislation and Trade in Resources, Regulation and Global Security Division of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), India, Mr Francis Kornegay, Institute for Global Dialogue, Ms Masego Madzwamuse, Open Society Institute for Southern Africa, Ms Estherine Fotabong, NEPAD Agency of the African Union, Ms Nancy Kachingwe , Land Access Movement of South Africa (LAMOSA)  and Professor Mike Muller, University of the Witwatersrand.

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