22 November 2018
Minister Sisulu’s statement on South Africa’s vote on the situation of human rights in Myanmar
As part of the review of South Africa’s Foreign Policy, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu, is considering guidelines that will inform South Africa’s voting in various multilateral fora as South Africa’s prepares to assume its non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the period 2019-2020. These guidelines will also apply in other key political and technical agencies such as the Human Rights Council in Geneva and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague.
These guidelines were discussed extensively at the recently concluded Heads of Mission Conference and are underpinned by the values and principles of South Africa’s Constitution and its national interests. In this regard, the Minister will in due course give a voting directive to the South African delegation in New York pertaining to the situation of human rights in Myanmar, ahead of the upcoming Plenary of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in December 2018.
South Africa expresses its deep concern about the deteriorating human rights situation in Myanmar and calls for an end to the human suffering experienced by the Rohingya people. South Africa has consistently condemned human rights violations in Myanmar, including at the recent Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Council of Ministers meeting held in Durban.
The Ministerial voting directive will supersede the South African vote that was cast on the situation of human rights in Myanmar at the 3rd Committee of the UNGA that took place on the 16th of November 2018.
South Africa remains on guard at all times to ensure that votes on country-specific human rights resolutions are not used to engage in regime changes and destabilize countries.
Enquiries: Ndivhuwo Mabaya, 083 645 7838, MabayaN@dirco.gov.za
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