Reasons for abstaining from the vote on Palestinian statehood at the United Nations (UN) Security Council Session by Nigeria on 31 December 2014

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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION NO: 247 (NW260E)

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO: 2-2015 OF 20 FEBRUARY 2015

Mr JS Malema (EFF) to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation:

(a) Has she been informed of Nigeria’s reason(s) for abstaining from the vote on Palestinian statehood at the United Nations (UN) Security Council session on 31 December 2014, (b) do African countries take any steps to avoid the embarrassment of voting against each other in multilateral bodies and (c) what is the role of the African Union in fulfilling its core original principle of Pan-Africanism with regard to our participation in the UN? NW260E

REPLY:

a) No. South Africa is not a member of the UNSC. When a country decides to abstain or vote in any other way, they are not obliged to give reasons why they voted the way they did. Sometimes they will give an Explanation of Vote (EOV), but that is not compulsory to do.

b) AU member states who are currently serving on the UNSC do not derive their mandate from the AU. They serve in there in their individual capacities.

c) South Africa’s participation in the UN is informed by her foreign policy principles that envisage an African continent which is prosperous, peaceful, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and united and which contributes to a world that is just and equitable. In her engagement with the AU, South Africa promotes the principles of Pan-Africanism and African solidarity.

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