Fundamental Principles and Guidelines for South Africa's Foreign Policy in the Strategic Foreign Policy Document

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION NO: 1817

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO OF 40 OF 11 NOVEMBER 2005

MR DHM GIBSON (DA) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

(1) Whether the department has a strategic document for foreign policy; if not, why not; if so how does such a document help determine South Africa's foreign policy?

(2) What are the fundamental principles and guidelines for South Africa's foreign policy contained in the document and how do these relate to South Africa's policy on Zimbabwe?
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REPLY:

(1) Yes, the Department of Foreign Affairs has a Strategic Document for our country's foreign policy. The document is published by the DFA with the title, "Strategic Plan, 2005/2008." It assists in the articulation of South Africa's foreign policy by providing the framework, priorities, as well as strategic objectives of our foreign policy.

Priorities of our Foreign Policy

  • Consolidation of the African Agenda;
  • Promotion of South-South Co-operation
  • North-South Dialogue
  • Global Governance

Strategic Objectives of our Foreign Policy

  • Through bilateral and multilateral interactions, to protect and promote South African national interests and values;
  • Conduct and co-ordinate South Africa's international relations and promote its foreign policy objectives;
  • Monitor international developments and advise government on foreign policy and related domestic matters;
  • Protect South Africa's sovereignty and territorial integrity;
  • Contribute to the formulation of international law and enhance respect for its provisions;
  • Promote multilateralism in order to secure a rules-based international system;
  • Maintain a modern, effective and excellence-driven department;
  • Provide consular services to South African nationals abroad; and
  • Provide a world-class and uniquely South African State Protocol service.

South Africa's international engagements are guided by the following principles, contained in the DFA's Annual Report of 2003/04:

  • A commitment to the promotion of human rights;
  • A commitment to the promotion of democracy;
  • A commitment to justice and international law in the conduct of relations between states;
  • A commitment to international peace and to internationally agreed upon mechanisms for the resolution of conflicts;
  • A commitment to Africa in world affairs; and
  • A commitment to economic development through regional and international co-operation in an interdependent (and globalised) world.

In addition to the above principles the following are some of the tenets (Annual Report of 2003/04) enunciated as guidelines to inform our approach to foreign policy:

  • Foreign policy is an integrated part of government policy, aimed at promoting security and improving the quality of life of all South Africans;
  • Commitment to the African Renaissance through the African Union and its programme for Africa's development, namely the New Partnership for Africa's Development;
  • Commitment to economic development through regional integration and development in the Southern African Development Community and the Southern African Customs Union;
  • Interact with African partners as equals;
  • Pursue friendly relations with all peoples and nations of the world; and
  • Safeguard South Africa's territorial integrity and sovereignty.


(2) South Africa has conducted its relations with Zimbabwe guided by the principles of justice and international law.

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa