Responds regarding South Africa abstain from voting on the resolution tabled in the United Nations Security Council

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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION NO:  3094 (NW3618E)

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 31-2011 OF 14 OCTOBER 2011
           
MR. S MOKGALAPA (DA) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION:

Why did South Africa abstain from voting on the resolution tabled in the United Nations Security Council to bring about democratic reform in Syria on 4 October 2011?

REPLY:

  1. South Africa in its intervention in the United Nations Security Council expressed its concern about the deteriorating political and humanitarian situation in Syria and condemned the loss of life brought about by the current situation.
  2. South Africa also demanded an immediate end to all violence in Syria and urged the Syrian authorities to initiate an open, transparent and all-inclusive political process with a view to ensuring peace and stability in Syria.
  3. South Africa has called for a holistic political solution to the situation in Syria that would respect democracy, political reform, justice and human rights, as well as the socio-economic development needs of the people of Syria, in order to ensure long-term peace and stability. This solution must also preserve the unity, sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Syria.
  4. Syria is integral to a wider resolution to the Middle East conflict.  Its stability is linked to that of its neighbours. Therefore any action by the international community on Syria, including action by the Security Council should be cognizant of the regional implications. 
  5. Recently, Security Council Resolutions have been abused and their implementation has gone far beyond the mandate of what was intended. 
  6. In the resolution on Syria, South Africa was concerned about the sponsors’ intention to impose punitive measures which would have prejudged the implementation of the resolution. South Africa believes that these were designed as a prelude to further actions.
  7. South Africa was also concerned that this resolution should not be part of a hidden agenda to yet again institute regime change, which has been a clearly stated objective by some.  The sponsors of this resolution rejected language that clearly excluded military intervention in the resolution of the Syrian crisis.
  8. IBSA sent a delegation to Syria for dialogue with the Syrian authorities to end the violence, organize an all-inclusive dialogue of all Syrians and heed the aspirations of the Syrian people for democracy and enjoyment of fundamental freedoms.
  9. The 5th IBSA Summit resolved to send a second trilateral mission to Damascus for further dialogue with Syrian political role-players to move towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict and begin earnest negotiations for a democratic and just society.
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