Human Right and SA Foreign Policy

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR ORAL REPLY

QUESTION NO: 25

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 3 OF 20 FEBRUARY 2007

Mr D H M Gibson (DA) to ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs:
(1) Whether she will give a similar undertaking as that given by former President Nelson Mandela in 1994 that human rights will be the light that guides our foreign affairs; if not, why not; if so, how is that undertaking reconciled with the Government's approach to the situation in Zimbabwe;
(2) Whether our participation in forums such as the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has stifled or suppressed our commitment to human rights; if not, how does she explain the failure of both the AU and SADC to turn the situation in Zimbabwe around; if so, how does she propose putting the protection and promotion of human rights at the forefront of the AU and SADC's agenda? N230E
REPLY:

1. There has been no change in the fundamental underpinnings of our foreign policy since the advent of our democracy in 1994.

2. Our stand of human rights is still the same.

3. We believe in multilaterism. Whatever limitations it may have it still is far better than unilaterism. Acting within the AU and SADC is better than acting alone on this issue.



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