Use by South Africa of its Membership of the United Nations Security Council to advance the Cause of Peace in Africa and the World

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR ORAL REPLY

QUESTION NO: 331

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 35 OF 24 OCTOBER 2006

MR D.H.M GIBSON (DA) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

(1) Whether South Africa will use its membership of the United Nations Security Council to advance the cause of peace in Africa and the world, in particular (a) to help in respect of the (I) Darfur crisis and (ii) Zimbabwe situation and (b) to find a permanent solution to the Middle East problem; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? N2015E

REPLY:

(1) The United Nations Security Council was established to maintain international peace and security. In accordance with Article 24 (1) of the Charter of the United Nations, members of the United Nations confer on the Security Council the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and agree that in carrying out its duties under this responsibility the Security Council acts on their behalf. The newly elected South Africa will join other members of the Council in the execution of this mandate.

(2) Election of South Africa to the Security Council provides an opportunity for South Africa to advance the consolidation of the African Agenda. However, in advancing this objective, South Africa will also be cognisant of the requirement that members of the Council are to be seized with all issues on the agenda of the Council in a balanced manner.

(3) South Africa as an African member of the Council, in pursuing the consolidation of the African Agenda towards the realisation of the African renaissance, will work towards the resolution of all African conflicts. To achieve the objective it will also be guided by the positions of the African Union on these matters. Zimbabwe is currently not on the agenda of the Security Council and is dealt with through other fora.

(4) The approach of South Africa to global affairs is also informed by the belief that the multilateral system of global governance remains the only hope to address challenges facing humanity. In this regard, South Africa will continue to add its weight towards ensuring that the Security Council continues to discharge its primary responsibility conferred to it by Article 24 of the Charter of the United Nations. The Middle East situation will be dealt with in this context.

(5) It will be recalled that South Africa has consistently maintained that there can be no solution to the Middle East situation without a resolution of the broader Palestinian question, as well as the Lebanese and Syrian tracks of the peace process. South Africa will therefore continue to seek the resolution of conflicts within the multilateral framework, in particular through the Security Council.

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