Budget Vote 3: Speech Delivered by Minster
Dlamini Zuma, 8 May 2001
Ladies and Gentleman
First and foremost I would like to thank the chair
and all members of the portfolio committee for their
co-operation and understanding that the Minister of
Foreign Affairs has to wage the struggles outside our
Co-operation of my cabinet colleagues is appreciated.
I wish to thank the Director-General and his team who
are working very hard to carry out the mandate of the
Let me also thank my mother and my children for their
John Reader in his book on Africa a Biography of the
"South Africa preserves a flickering hope of transforming
dreams into reality". He further says "Nelson
Mandela and the shift in political power that he represents
affirm the value of integrity and ideals in an era when
economic pragmatism is the dominant theme of world affairs.
He and South Africa offer hope for all humanity - yes
hope from a continent that for too long has seemed to
generate nothing but despair."
Our foreign policy therefore is not only anchored on
our domestic policy but on this very fact and responsibility
that John Reader is talking about that South Africa
offers hope for all humanity so we cannot only strive
for a better life for South Africa but we have to contribute
to the ongoing struggle for a better world. That is
what gives us the degree of moral authority in the world.
Our words and deeds individually and collectively have
to make sure that this flickering hope of transforming
dreams to reality is not dashed.
This has to start with transforming South Africa into
a non-sexist, non-racial, democratic, stable, peaceful,
just and equitable society and a nation united in its
diversity. Internationally, we continue to struggle
for a world with these values amongst others.
People centred development.
Peace, stability and security.
Promote co-operation and partnerships.
As Africans, we know charity begins at home. Our major
efforts are on the African continent and amongst the
South Africa actively supports the establishment of
democratic governments not only in the continent but
the world over. The resolve of the African leaders to
isolate and banish any leader who takes power through
a coup is a very revolutionary step. The majority of
countries in our continent are now run by democratic
governments. The major challenge is to strengthen democratic
institutions to defend and sustain democracy. South
Africa is prepared not only to support but to defend
democracy as we did in Lesotho.
We are working closely with Rwanda which is struggling
very hard to turn the nightmare of the genocide into
a dream of hope where there will be peace, democracy,
justice and prosperity for all Rwandese.
Internationally there has been a resurgence of right-wing
parties, especially in developed countries. In the recently
held Conference of the Community of Democracies we exchanged
information and examined the working of democracies
with developed countries. It emerged that developed
countries too have problems with the working of democracies
and need the assistance of the developing countries.
PEACE, STABILITY AND SECURITY
South Africa is committed to making a contribution
towards a peaceful Continent and peaceful world. Peace
and stability are the prerequisites for democracy, development
The United Nations Security Council in particular remains
the agent for our collective security. In discharging
our responsibilities as a member of the UN we are actively
participating in the United Nations peacekeeping missions
in Ethiopia/Eritrea and the Democratic Republic of the
Congo where we have sent a continent of specialized
We are participating in an effort to restore peace
in Burundi with former President Mandela as facilitator.
Judge Langa is involved in the efforts to resolve problems
in Fiji through the Commonwealth.
Peace in Angola and Sudan is still elusive and therefore
presents a challenge to all of us.
ECOWAS and the UN are doing commendable work in Sierra
As South Africa we are very concerned with the situation
in the Middle East, in Palestine, It is the most serious
crisis facing the world at present. If not resolved
it has the potential of not only destabilising the region
but the whole world. It might unleash the worst form
The Palestinians have a right to self-determination
and therefore the realisation of a Palestinian sovereign
state remains the goal. Israel has a right to exist
and to be secure. But, the security of Israel is also
linked to the security of the Palestinians and the region
as a whole. It is important to encourage Israelis and
Palestinians to go back to the negotiations. We also
endorse the call by President Arafat to use the Egypt
and Jordanian plan as the basis for the resumption of
It is in that spirit that as Chair of the Non Aligned
Movement we convened the Committee on Palestine here
in South Africa last week.
Stability is very important in our region. South Africa
welcomes President Chiluba's decision not to seek a
third term. This will strengthen democracy and encourage
stability in Zambia and we hope everyone will follow
Zimbabwe remains of great concern to us. We have to
continue to engage the Zimbabwe government whilst pointing
out firmly and frankly where we disagree with them.
We have a responsibility to avoid a complete collapse
and not to make things worse for ordinary Zimbabweans.
All of us can help to a point but it is the Zimbabweans
that must surely take final decisions. The future destiny
of Zimbabwe is in their hands.
The land issue still needs to be resolved because it
will not go away but it has to be resolved lawfully
South Africa must continue to act in a way that maintains
that flickering hope of transforming dreams into reality
rather than to get short term praise that does not solve
the problem. In the same way that the Lockerbie impasse
was unlocked by engaging the Lybians and not condemning
them. We were condemned at the time but we persevered
until a solution was found.
Global disarmament is high on our agenda for peace
and stability of the world. Today is the 56th anniversary
of the end of the Second World War. This must remind
the world of the important International treaties and
agreements which should be implemented and strengthened
in order to finally eliminate all weapons of mass destruction.
The agreements and arrangements inevitably involve compromises
on all sides and unilateral action destabilises fragile
global security arrangements and it should be avoided.
South Africa has placed a high priority on the elimination
of anti-personnel landmines and the illicit trafficking
in and proliferation of small arms and light weapons.
These weapons are contributing to the conflicts. We
have collectively expressed our views through the OAU
Bamako Declaration of December 2000 and the SADC declaration
on Fire-arms of March 2001. We shall actively participate
in the UN first international conference on this topic
and we shall seek to promote international co-operation
on illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.
CULTURE OF HUMAN RIGHTS
The United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights
recognises, inter alia, that all human beings are born
free and equal in dignity and rights. They have inherent
dignity, equality and inalienable rights of all members
of the human family, which are a foundation of freedom,
justice and peace in the world. It also proclaims the
enjoyment of freedom of speech and belief and freedom
from fear and wants as the highest aspiration of ordinary
people; and, reaffirms faith in fundamental human rights,
the dignity and worth of the human person and in the
equal rights of all people.
South Africa is in the forefront of this struggle having
introduced this culture for the first time through the
ANC Government in our own country. Human rights have
to include the right to education, health, shelter and
Human rights include children's rights and have to
work for elimination of child soldiers, child labour,
child abuse and trafficking in children. Children must
be allowed to develop their full human potential in
a peaceful, stable and secure environment.
Women's rights are human rights. South Africa is in
the forefront of the struggle for a non-sexist world.
We hope that the international community will continue
to support struggles for the emancipation of women in
The world is becoming increasingly intolerant. Racism,
xenophobia, and religious intolerance, including islamophobia,
is on the increase. We have to be relentless in this
struggle given our own tragic history. Our contribution
to the World Conference against Racism is going to be
very important, not only in hosting but also in the
actual debates and influencing the outcome of the conference.
They chose South Africa precisely because of this flickering
hope of transforming the non-racial and non-sexist dream
into reality that South Africa holds for all humanity.
These are the challenges of our time and we have to
rise to them.
PEOPLE CENTRED DEVELOPMENT
There is now consensus the world over that the biggest
challenge of the 21st century is Africa's under-development.
South Africa is expected to play a leading role together
with other countries to tackle this challenge. It was
agreed in Cairo last year that we need a Marshall Plan
for the recovery of Africa. President Mbeki together
with the Presidents of Algeria and Nigeria were then
mandated to develop the Plan.
THE MILLENIUM AFRICA RECOVERY PROGRAMME
This is a plan inspired by Africa's architectural artistic
and cultural heritage, and Africa's ancient civilisation.
It is informed by the challenges facing us especially
Africa's underdevelopment and identifies priorities
that must receive immediate attention. These include:
Peace, Security and governance
Investing in Africa's people : education, health, food
Diversification of Africa's production and exports.
Investing in Information Communication Technology and
other basic infrastructures.
Developing financing mechanism.
For the successful implementation of the plan we need
partnerships at various levels with Governments, Business
and Civil society as well as with Multilateral organisations
- such as the World Bank, IMF and other institutions.
Co-operation with the G8, EU, Nordic countries, China,
Japan, Brazil, India, the Arab countries as well as
the countries of the South.
In pursuance of these objectives later this month we
shall be participating in the 3rd United Conference
on Least Developed Countries (LDC's) in Brussels which
will decide on measures to improve the plight of the
LDC's. Next year the UN Conference on Financing for
Development will take place in Mexico further to find
means and ways to extricate developing countries from
conditions of under-development. The Conference on Sustainable
development in Johannesburg next year is very important
in this regard of people centred development.
South Africa will have to contribute to this not only
by attending conferences and developing plans but also
by making its own institutions and resources available
for the implementation of this Africa Recovery plan.
Africa needs institutions to carry out this agenda
at the national, regional continental and international
THE RESTRUCTURING OF SADC
The restructuring should result in raising the effectiveness
of this organisation. The recent extra-ordinary SADC
Summit held on the 9th of March 2001, in Windhoek, Summit
approved the Report on the Review of the Operations
of SADC Institutions presented to it by the Council
The major recommendations of the Report include a more
streamlined and centralised structure for the organisation,
which moves away from the sectoral approach of the past,
in favour of an integrated and co-ordinated programme
of activities for the region. The Organ on Politics,
Defence and Security which has been in existence since
1986 under the Chair of Zimbabwe will henceforth be
chaired on a rotational basis with the period of Chairpersonship
of 1 year. The Chair of the Organ shall not simultaneously
hold the Chairpersonship of SADC and will be accountable
to the chair of SADC and Summit. Like SADC, the Organ
will also function on a Troika basis.
The successful conclusion of the restructuring exercise
is certain to impact positively in the SADC region's
quest to position the region favourably to collectively
address the myriad challenges ahead.
Two-thirds of the countries have ratified the Constitutive
Act. In this regard I commend the swift action taken
by this House to enable Government to ratify this act,
and as a result we are amongst the 36 founder members
of the African Union. The African Union is going to
deal with political and stability issues as well as
developmental and economic matters. There will be Technical
Committees, which will deal with:
Rural Economy and Agriculture;
Monetary and Financial Affairs;
Trade, Customs and Immigration;
Industry, Science and Technology, Energy, Natural Resources
Transport, Communication and Tourism;
Health, Labour and Social Affairs.
The Constitutive Act makes provision for a defined transitional
period to ensure a smooth and gradual transition of
the OAU and AEC into the Union.
The Pan African Parliament has a critical role in evolving
common values of democracy, Human rights, governance,
on-sexism, and tolerance in the continent.
Democracy is not only important for countries but international
institutions must also be democratic. In order to achieve
a just world order the reform of international institutions
is a must.
South Africa is committed to the reform and fundamental
renewal of multilateral institutions to bring about
a system of global governance that is more just, representative
and sensitive to the needs of Africa and the South.
The United Nations Security Council, the World Bank
and the International Monetary Fund, to name but three,
are of particular importance in this regard.
The UN Security Council is the premier global instrument
to safeguard international peace and security, but because
of its unrepresentative nature, is facing major challenges
to its credibility. It is therefore not in an ideal
position to effectively fulfil the fundamental responsibilities
entrusted to it by the international community at the
time of the adoption of the UN Charter. This issue is
of particular importance for Africa and the developing
It should be noted that over half of the Councils
day to day business revolves around developments on
the Continent. Yet Africa is neither adequately nor
equitably represented on the Council. In order to more
effectively address todays security requirements
the Council must be reformed to fully reflect the principles
of the sovereign equality of all Member States and of
equitable geographic representation. In this regard
South Africa will continue to strongly support the African
common position in calling for two permanent seats to
be allocated to the Continent in a reformed Council.
As a government and a department do we have the institutional
capacity to carry out this formidable task before us?
My simple answer is that we are short staffed both at
Head Office and abroad. The Deputy Minister will deal
with what we are doing to restructure our own department
in order to meet all these challenges.
GLOBAL HEALTH CHALLENGES
In a few months the United Nations will focus on the
most serious health challenge of our time, HIV/AIDS.
Two weeks ago the leaders of the continent were also
grappling with HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria and other communicable
diseases. The struggle for health care as a right must
For all these challenges and struggles we need to mobilize
the most important and dependable partner - the masses
of our people in South Africa on the Continent and in
It has been shown that with their support the struggle
for justice, peace and development can be won. The small
but significant victory against the pharmaceutical companies
is a good example. The struggle for affordable drugs
is a just struggle to save lives and humanity. We must
continue to offer hope to all humanity. In the same
vein, let me express my deep gratitude to the international
community for its solidarity with South Africa.
I do hope that the opposition parties particularly
the NNP/DP and others which voted against that bill
and launched a scathing and vitriolic attacks against
the Government will be big enough to admit that they
were wrong and join the ANC in the struggle for a just
and equitable world rather than be informed by narrowed
sectarian economic interests and the protection of the
The struggle for a better world continues.
I thank you.