Address by Minster Dlamini Zuma to the
National Assembly on the Occassion of the Budget Vote,
Cape Town 25 March 2003
President Thabo Mbeki,
Deputy President Jacob Zuma,
Honourable Members of the National Assembly
Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I extend my appreciation and gratitude to Dr Pallo
Jordan, Chair of the Portfolio Committee on Foreign
Affairs, and Members of the Committee for their co-operation
and assistance. I appreciate the understanding shown
by Members of Parliament for my absence. I would like
to assure the honourable Boy Geldenhuys that this is
not because absence makes the heart grow fonder.
My gratitude to President Thabo Mbeki, and Deputy President
Jacob Zuma for their guidance and assistance. I also
thank my Cabinet Colleagues for their co-operation and
A special word of appreciation to Deputy Minister Aziz
Pahad, to the Acting Director General Abdul Minty and
to the officials of the Department for their hard work
and efforts. I also take this opportunity to thank my
family for their love and unconditional support.
We are all relieved that the issue of taxation for our
representatives abroad has been resolved. I am pleased
to inform the House that the Department shall be building
a single headquarters in Pretoria.
President Thabo Mbeki in addressing the opening of
the ANC National Policy Conference in September 2002,
" we can state without any fear of contradiction,
that in less than one decade, we have transformed our
country from being an international pariah, a negative
force in favour of racism globally, reaction, destabilisation,
aggression and war, to an important international player,
for democracy, social progress, national independence
and equality, and peace."
I am sure that all of us here, would acknowledge these
We made a conscious choice, as a people and as a nation,
at a particular crossroad in our own history.
We chose peace and sustainable development instead
of war, reconciliation instead of revenge, dialogue
instead of confrontation. We embraced non-racialism,
non-sexism and democracy and chartered our path to be
a humble and tolerant nation.
As a consequence of these choices we have come to learn
to be at one with our geography and our history and
to be at home in the world.
Thus, President Mbeki spoke on behalf of all of us
when he said: "Today all South Africans, both black
and white, can travel anywhere in the world with pride.
There is no need any longer for any of our people to
deny their nationality because of the indefensible shame
Whilst indeed the tide has turned here at home the
world is at a crucial crossroad.
Some would want us to choose a path where the world
is premised on the law of survival of the fittest, which
departs from the very essence and founding principles
of the United Nations.
"We the peoples of the United Nations determined
to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war,
which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow
to mankind, and
"To reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights,
in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the
equal rights of men and women and of nations large and
"To establish conditions under which justice and
respect for the obligations arising from treaties and
other sources of international law can be maintained,
"To promote social progress and better standards
of life in larger freedom,
AND FOR THESE ENDS
"To practice tolerance and live together in peace
with one another as good neighbours, and
"To unite our strength to maintain international
peace and security, and
To ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the
institution of methods, that armed forces shall not
be used, save in the common interest, and
To employ international machinery for the promotion
of the economic and social advancement of all peoples".
"This is the world that the founders of the UN
wanted - a world of peace and security, solidarity,
dignity, equality of all human persons.
A world of tolerance and good neighbours.
The Charter of the United Nations clearly defines the
world that we should be building. The United Nations,
imperfect as it may be, is the only instrument that
governs the international political system and gives
legality and legitimacy to our actions.
They wanted us to build a world based on the centrality
of Multilateralism respected by all. It makes international
Those who want us to depart from the Principles of
the Charter want us to believe that the powerful, the
rich and the technologically advanced should rule the
world using their economic and military might. They
want us to build a world where the rich and powerful
can impose their will on the poor and weak. They want
us to build a world where the powerful and the rich
can change regimes at will. A world where the lives
of the innocent and weak are not protected. A world
of the survival of the fittest. This will lead to a
new world order outside the framework of the UN .
The multilateral system of global governance must remain
our only response to all challenges facing humanity
today. We must have common rules shared and applied
equally by all, without fear or favour.
Ben Okri, in his work, "Way of Being Free",
writes, "They tell me that nature is the survival
of the fittest. And yet look at how many wondrous gold
and yellow fishes prosper amongst silent stones of the
ocean beds, while sharks eternally prowl the waters
in their impossible dreams of oceanic domination and
while whales become extinct;...how many butterflies
and iguanas thrive, while elephants turn into endangered
species, and while even lions growl in their dwindling
"There is no such thing as a powerless people.
There are only those who have not seen and have not
used their power and will. It would seem a miraculous
feat, but it is possible for the undervalued ones to
help create a beautiful new era in human history. New
vision should come from those who suffer most and who
love life the most".
As a country, which voluntarily disarmed itself of
weapons of mass destruction, South Africa strongly believes
in a world free of all weapons of mass destruction.
Ideally no state should possess such weapons. We therefore
made every effort to ensure the full implementation
of all relevant UN Resolutions including 1441. It is
for this reason that we made every effort to ensure
the peaceful disarmament of Iraq and agreed with the
inspectors, when they needed more time.
We must be encouraged and part by the peoples of the
world who have expressed their opposition to war and
in solidarity with the ordinary people of Iraq, not
because of their support for the regime but for their
love for peace and their understanding of the pain,
suffering and destruction that war brings. The international
community through the UN should do something to minimise
the humanitarian crisis in Iraq.
We must reassert the centrality of the United Nations
as the only legal and legitimate authority for our collective
peace and security in the world. As South Africa, we
shall continue to make a humble contribution towards
peace and stability in the world in general and on our
continent in particular.
It is for this reason that we are involved in Burundi,
DRC, Comoros, and Cote DIvoire and are about to
participate in the Sudan peace process.
We denounce the unconstitutional transfer of power
in Central African Republic and will not recognise that
regime until there has been a democratic election in
line with the AU Constitutive Act.
We saw the worst form of terrorism in Kenya, Tanzania,
on 11 September and Bali. Again we have to continue
to work together, through the United Nations to rid
the world of terrorism. We can only succeed if we do
this collectively and comprehensively.
Racism is growing in the world, sometimes assuming
more insidious forms. In trying to build a better world
we have to fight the scourge of racism.
A Bahai scholar wrote: (Bahaullah)
"Consider the flowers of a garden, it would be
said that though different in kind, colour, form and
shape, yet, inasmuch as they are refreshed by the waters
of one spring, revived by the breath of one wind, invigorated
by the rays of one sun, this diversity increaseth their
charm and addeth unto their beauty.
How unpleasing to the eye if all flowers and plants,
the leaves and blossoms, the fruits, the branches and
the trees of that garden were all the same shape and
colour. Diversity of hues, form and shape enricheth
and adorneth the garden and heighten the effect thereof".
The implementation of the Durban Declaration and Plan
of Action from the World Conference on Racism and Xenophobia
and related intolerance is all the more urgent.
Seeking a better world for all must mean the rescue
of the poor of our world and the globally marginalised
from despair, misery and impoverishment and the restoration
Lasting peace cannot be consolidated without addressing
the growing global inequities of our time. We have sufficient
resources globally to create a better life for the worlds
The people of the South need to reinforce their own
ability and capacity for initiative, representation
and negotiation in the multilateral fora of the world.
We have started the revitalisation of the Non-Aligned
Movement (NAM) and President Thabo Mbeki and other leaders
of the South have collectively evolved a coherent Agenda
for NAM and G77 and China.
As Africans we have recognised that the moment is upon
us when the marginalisation of this continent must come
to an end; and although we call upon the rest of the
world to work with us as partners in achieving this
goal, we know that none but ourselves can make a difference
to the lives of ordinary Africans on the ground.
As sons and daughters of Africa, we reject Afro-pessimism
that condemns us to poverty and to the perpetual denial
of our dignity, intellect and strength.
In coming together to determine the correct route for
our own development, we have launched the African Union,
and we have given concrete meaning to the dream of the
peoples of Africa, that Africa must unite! Africa must
take her rightful place as an equal in the affairs of
The Launch and the Inaugural meeting of the African
Union reaffirmed the decision that the New Partnership
for Africas Development (NEPAD) constitutes its
programme for the socio-economic regeneration of Africa.
This enabled us to tell the world that we, the Africans,
have taken ownership of our own development as the architects
of the NEPAD renewal plan. We can make bold as to say
that NEPAD is premised on African control of its projects
and programmes with African leaders accepting openly
and unequivocally that they will play their part in
ending poverty and bringing about sustainable development.
We are forging a genuine partnership amongst ourselves
and amongst countries of the South for the realisation
of the African Renaissance and the African century.
We are also engaging countries of the North and multilateral
organisations as partners in our development.
The socio-economic upliftment of the lives of African
people, especially African women, will ensure a better
life for all of us who are part of this great African
family. We must recognise the critical role that women
must play in our development. They need to be integrated
in be part of decision-making strata of society. Even
in matters of security women play a central role.
As the Honourable Members would recall, in its endeavour
to make a meaningful contribution to Africa, this House
has offered to host the Pan African Parliament. Consequently,
we will encourage the Pan African Parliament to address
itself to the issues of African peace, African solidarity
and Africas sustained development. We express
the hope that this House will speedup the ratification
of the Protocol on Peace and Security.
As you are all aware, South Africa will be celebrating
the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Organisation
for African Unity (OAU) on Africa Day, 25th May this
year. This will enable us to thank the continent and
its people for their long solidarity with our own liberation
struggle and focus on the continued need for unity,
development and solidarity.
South Africa will be hosting an AU Ministerial meeting
that will discuss among others Co-operation between
Africa and the African diaspora and a Common Defence
Policy for the African continent.
In this context, the Bicentennial Celebration of the
proclamation of the independence of the Republic of
Haiti in January next year takes on special significance;
the South African government and indeed the AU has decided
to link the 10th year of democracy in South Africa to
the 200th Haitian celebrations. These celebrations will
bring together the oldest independent country in the
African Diaspora and the youngest democratic country
on the African continent in a great statement of solidarity
As part of building a better world, a world of solidarity,
peace and stability we have a responsibility towards
the peoples of Southern Africa who are gripped by a
devastating drought resulting in famine. We have contributed
maize and other humanitarian assistance to Angola and
other countries of the region. It is also in the same
spirit that we help the people of Zimbabwe.
Furthermore, in the light of recent developments, we
express our hope that the Zimbabwean people will choose
the path of peaceful dialogue rather than take the route
of violent confrontation. We shall continue to work
with the people of Zimbabwe to find a solution to these
challenges. In this regard, SADC Foreign Ministers will
be visiting Zimbabwe soon.
The Millennium Goals together with the Johannesburg
Declaration and Programme of Action of the World Summit
on Sustainable Development (WSSD) have provided humanity
with concrete ways of advancing the Development Agenda.
We shall ensure a follow-up and implementation programme
is in place.
The days that lie ahead are going to be very trying
for the international community. We have to re-establish
the unity of the international community and the centrality
of the UN in dealing with the aftermath.
The unity in diversity of the people of the world,
the desire to bring peace, security, justice and predictability
in the world must be what motivates us. The world should
use its power, its economic right and its technological
advancement to fight poverty.
Let the children of Iraq and the world play as children
and dream about the future. Save them the nightmare
I thank you.