Latest on South African Foreign Policy Analysis

Celebrating 19 years of South Africa’s Foreign Policy

images copy“Celebrating 19 years of South Africa’s Foreign Policy”, Public Lecture by Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, H. E. Mr Ebrahim I Ebrahim, South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), 04 July 2013

Chairperson and Members of the SAIIA National Council;
National Director of SAIIA, Ms Elizabeth Sidiropoulos;
Senior Government Officials;
Ambassadors and High Commissioners;
Members of the Diplomatic Corps;
Distinguished Guests;
Ladies and Gentlemen

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South Africa’s foreign policy: between idealism and the realpolitik of being an emerging power

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In an article written for Foreign Affairs in 1993, then ANC leader and soon to be President Nelson Mandela articulated the foreign policy position of the ANC in a post-apartheid South Africa. His forward looking description stated: “that issues of human rights are central to international relations and an understanding that they extend beyond the political, embracing the economic, social and environmental; that just and lasting solutions to the problems of humankind can only come through the promotion of democracy worldwide; that considerations of justice and respect for international law should guide the relations between nations; that peace is the goal for which all nations should strive, and where this breaks down, internationally agreed and nonviolent mechanisms…. That the concerns and interests of the continent of Africa should be reflected in our foreign policy choices…’

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SA Civil Society and Public at Large Need to Influence International Relations

c20russiaIn mid-June, Russia, in it’s role as President of the Group of Twenty Countries (G20), hosted the first Civil Summit (C20) in Moscow in the run up to the G20 Summit that will take place in September this year. The C20 is a gathering of civil society organisations that were brought together, ostensibly, to inform the upcoming G20 discussions.

The C20 joins the ranks of the business lobby: B20 and labour: L20. There is also a group of think tanks called the T20 and recently the youth lobby organized as Y20. Australia has also proudly announced the hosting of a C20 when it takes over the presidency of the G20 next year.

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About The Project

South Africa's conduct of international relations, especially its role in international organisations like the UN Security Council, its choice of strategic partnerships, its leadership role in Africa, its public engagement and foreign policy decision making, has been intensely debated in the recent past. The FPA programme aims to provide a nuanced analysis and facilitate a structured discussion of South Africa's foreign policy in a changing world environment for purposes of informing its future direction.

Aims and Objectives of The Project

The purpose of this focus area is to unpack the extent to which the policy in its making, its nature and its application constitutes a principled and pragmatic response to a complex international environment. In doing so, we hope to be guided by an objective to promote a foreign policy that positions SA as a responsible global citizen committed to building bridges between various power blocs for the benefit of Africa and South Africans.

Contact details
Address:   3rd Floor Robert Sobukwe Building
263 Nana Sita Street
South Africa

PO Box 14349
The Tramshed
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      Telephone:   +2712 337 6082
      Fax:   +2786 212 9442
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