Address by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of South Africa,
Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma on the Occasion of the Budget Vote of the Department
of Foreign Affairs, Cape Town 15 April 2005
Deputy President Jacob Zuma
and Deputy Ministers
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Sixty years ago, representatives of a small group of countries,
including Apartheid South Africa, gathered on the shores of San Francisco to establish
the United Nations.
In this regard, the Preamble of the United Nations Charter
We the Peoples of the United Nations Determined
- To save
succeeding generations for 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 small, and
- To establish conditions
under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and
other sources of international law can be maintained, and
- To promote social
progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.
And for these
- 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 force shall not be used, save in the common
- To employ international machinery for the promotion of the
economic and social advancement of all peoples.
This gave rise to
a new hope of a peaceful, secure and stable world, of a non-racial, non sexist
world, that respects human rights and above all take collective responsibility,
not only for international peace, but also for promotion of economic and social
advancement of all peoples.
Ten years after the UN was established ie. 50
years ago, representatives of African and Asian nations arrived in Bandung, Indonesia
for a conference that strengthened Afro-Asian solidarity. South Africa was represented
by Molve Cachalia and Moses Kotane.
President Sukarno of Indonesia, opening
the Conference said, "Perhaps now more than at any other moment in the history
of the world, society, government and statesmanship need to be based upon the
highest code of morality and ethics. And in political terms, what is the highest
code of morality? It is the subordination of everything to the well being of mankind.
But today, we are faced with a situation where the well being of mankind is not
always the primary consideration. Many who are in places of high power think,
rather, of controlling the world. Yes, we are living in a world of fear. The life
of man today is corroded and made bitter by fear. Fear of the future, fear of
the hydrogen bomb, fear of ideologies. Perhaps this fear is a greater danger than
the danger itself, because it is fear which drives men to act foolishly, to act
thoughtlessly, to act dangerously
These words, though spoken
fifty years ago, are still very true today, especially if we include the fear
of terrorism and the fear of weapons of mass destruction.
Fifty years after
the founding of the United Nations, in 1995, the Nations of the World, realising
that the sexist society was a long way from realisation, adopted the Beijing Platform
for Action which was to make sure that women's rights are human rights and that
women were fully integrated into society and were part of decision making, amongst
In 2000, Nations of the world, realising that the majority
of the people on our planet are poor and yet there exist in the same planet, enough
resources to ensure that no child goes hungry, goes without access to health care,
to education and to shelter amongst other things, they adopted the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs).
We relate all this Madame Speaker, not only because
these events marked critical milestones, but also because we need to evaluate
whether in 60 years of the UN we have made progress. We may indeed have succeeded
in stopping the third world war, which in itself is an achievement, but, is the
world more secure, are we free from fear, do we have equality of man and woman,
are we free of racism and discrimination, have we employed international machinery
for the promotion of economic and social advancement of all peoples.
September of this year, leaders of the world will gather once again at the United
Nation's General Assembly, as they have over the past few decades, to debate the
issues that confront the world and humanity and to make that evaluation.
the time they gather in New York these world leaders would be informed of the
outcomes of the review work done by significant sectors of the world's global
intellectual class. I refer here to the various important panels that presented
their work to the Secretary General in preparation for the forthcoming General
Assembly. These panels brought together collectively hundreds of experts from
various disciplines from the various regions of the world who produced thousands
of pages of expert advise on the problems, challenges and solutions to the global
issues of the day.
Included among these, is the Jeffrey Sachs report entitled:
"Investing in Development, a practical plan to achieve the Millennium Development
Goals", the Cardoso Report entitled: "We the peoples: civil society,
the United Nations and global governance", the International Labour Organisation's
report entitled: "A Fair Globalization: Creating Opportunities for All",
the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Synthesis Report, the Beijing Declaration
and Platform for Action Ten Year assessment report, the High-Level Panel Report
entitled: "A more secure world: our shared responsibility", the Secretary
General's Report that sought to bring all of the above together entitled: "In
larger freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all,"
and the Common African Position on the proposed reform of the United Nations entitled:
"The Ezulwini Consensus".
All of these reports speak eloquently
and in volumes to the important global issues confronting humanity and as such
it is only but incumbent upon our world leaders, and indeed on all of us, to be
appraised of the analysis, findings, and recommendations of these important panels.
These reports tell us, what many of us know but what many of us may not
want to know, allow me the opportunity to high-light just some of their findings:
- That we live in a globalised community and interdependent world
in which globalization has set in motion far reaching change and challenges affecting
everyone and in all spheres of life. In this sense, no country or people can claim
to be islands onto themselves no matter how rich or powerful they may be.
as a result of rampant economic globalization the world has been cast into two
contrasting villages, one in which the rich of the world are getting richer and
more powerful and another in which the poor of the world are getting poorer and
more marginalized. This ever-increasing gap between the have and the have-nots
is occurring between and within countries and regions.
Out of the
world population of six billion, almost halve have incomes of less than US$2 a
In recent decades the poorest 5% of the world's population has lost
more than a quarter of its purchasing power, while the richest increased its real
income by 12%. The national per capita income of the twenty richest countries
is 37 times larger that that of the twenty poorest, a gap which has doubled in
size over the last forty years.
For Africa the debates once again brought
into sharp focus the reality that Africa is a continent where poverty is on the
increase. Over 40% of Sub-Saharan African people live below the international
poverty line of US$1 a day. More than 140 million young Africans are illiterate.
The mortality rate of children under 5 years of age is 140 per 1000, and life
expectancy at birth is only 54 years. Only 58 per cent of the population have
access to safe water. Africa's share of world trade has plummeted, accounting
for less than 2%.
- FDI into Africa is negligible.
- In absolute
terms, bilateral ODA flows to African economies have dropped in the last decade,
from $25 billion to $16 billion [a 40% drop] and fell well short of the estimated
$64 billion a year required to reach the Millennium Development Goals.
to a latest study of UNCTAD debt continues to impact decisively on our developmental
- The gap between men and women has also grown wider. The potential
benefits that the globalization process holds have not evenly been shared by all
the world's people. Nor have these benefits been evenly shared between men and
women. The ills of globalization have been disproportionately shared by the poor
of the world. And for this reason special attention needs to be given to the marginalized
women of the world.
- That the international financial architecture and
the global political architecture favour the wealthy and the powerful. International
trade institutions have not worked towards the equality of all the world's people.
- That the international system is beset by global issues of insecurity,
such as terrorism, organized crime, drugs, migration, human trafficking, the proliferation
of WMDs, and small arms. Across the world entire communities are also experiencing
insecurity through conflicts, internal displacement, racism, intolerance, poverty,
deadly infectious diseases, and environmental degradation. And that all of these
threats are interconnected and affect all of us, whether rich or poor one-way
or the other.
- That over the past fifty years humans have changed ecosystems
more rapidly and extensively than in any comparable period of time in human history,
largely to meet rapidly growing demands for food, fresh water, timber, fibre and
fuel. This has resulted in a substantial and largely irreversible loss in the
diversity of life on Earth. The degradation of ecosystems services is harming
many of the world's poorest people and is sometimes the principal factor causing
- That the time has arrived, in order to make a meaningful contribution
to rolling-back poverty and underdevelopment, to fast track the implementation
of the MDGs with bold, creative and decisive action by all in order to provide
to the billions of the world's poor who are trapped in the misery of poverty not
only the means to live a productive life but also the hope to live a better live.
achieving the MDGs must be placed centrally in international efforts to end violent
conflicts, instability and terrorism and that investing in poverty alleviation
and development is fundamental to conflict prevention and to peace-making.
essential to empowering the poor of the world necessitates core investment in
infrastructure and human capital that empowers the poor to join the global economy.
- That the special developmental needs of Africa, much of which is stuck
within poverty traps, must be recognized and requires, among others, specific
poverty-scale interventions by all. Africa's developmental challenges are much
deeper than governance alone, and that it requires a big push in public investments
to overcome the regions high transport costs, generally small markets, low-productivity
agriculture, adverse agroclimatic conditions, high disease burden and slow diffusion
of technology from abroad.
- have presented these specific findings, among
many others, drawn from the various panels because I believe they give us a sense
of the crisis of complexity that confront all of human society, be it at a national,
regional or international level.
President Mbeki, in addressing these
issues at the NAM Conference, in Durban last year, correctly articulated three
key challenges that face the work of the Movement and I quote:
them is the challenge of poverty and underdevelopment, which continue to afflict
billions of our people across the globe;
The second is that we have the
continued challenge of peace and stability. The issue of international terrorism
is part of the challenge to ensure the achievement of peace and stability which
The third challenge we face is the restructuring of the global
exercise of power- of political power, of economic power, of military power and
of social power".
Central to achieving this, is the willingness of
all of us, rich and the poor, the strong and the weak, based on the premise that
we all live interconnected lives, to share our common planet in a manner that
ensure its sustainability for the generations to come, is our willingness to share
our humanity based on real understanding of global solidarity and on our willingness
to share and abide by the rule-books that we write as equal nations of the world
committed to multilateral cooperation in pursuit of mutual advantage.
is this understanding that informs all that we do in the sphere of international
relations be it on the Continent or anywhere else in the world. As a country that
has chosen the path to peace, hope and solidarity, committed to addressing the
social and economic injustices of the world we do not have any other option but
to conduct our international affairs in a manner that respects international law
and promotes multilateralism as a means of seeking consensus in the affairs of
Consequently, in pursuit of the above, as agents of progressive
change we shall continue our engagement with the global debate directed towards
the restructuring of the existing global power relations, particularly through
the reform of the global multilateral institutions such as the United Nations,
Bretton Woods institutions and the World Trade Organisations. To this end the
department has actively participated in the debates on UN reform, particularly
on the reform of the UNSC, in order to make the UN more effective in dealing with
the new challenges as well as to make it more transparent and democratic.
Needless to say, as an African country we have worked with other countries on
the Continent, to shape and determine the Common African Position with regard
to the United Nations reform as a whole. Consequently as an African country we
shall pursue Africa's goal to be fully represented in all decision-making organs
of the UN, particularly in the Security Council, which is the principal decision-making
organ of the UN in matters relating to international peace and security. Consistent
with the Ezulwini Consensus, we shall engage with global community to ensure that
Not less than two permanent seats with all the prerogatives
and privileges of permanent membership including the right of veto;
Even though Africa is opposed in principle to the veto, it is of
the view that so long as it exists, and as a matter of common justice, it should
be made available to all permanent members of the Security Council;
the African Union should be responsible for the selection of Africa's representatives
in the Security Council.
The Ezulwini Consensus encompassed everything in
the report, not only the reform of the Security Council.
We welcome the
Secretary-General's Report and we are supportive of many, if not all on a qualified
basis, of the recommendations and proposals he has made. We are confident that
the Common African Position, especially the position I have just spoken to, can
and must be accommodated within the ongoing debate and negotiations occurring
at the United Nations.
We endorse the Secretary General's assertion that
"we will not enjoy development without security, we will not enjoy security
without development, and we will not enjoy either without respect for human rights",
and commend him for shaping a common understanding on the need for the world to
develop a vision of collective security based on a shared assessment of the current
global threats and obligations needed in addressing these threats.
country committed to economic and social justice, we are firm in the view that
the current path of globalization must change, that the benefits of globalization
can be expanded and that the means and resources needed to create a better world
for all are at hand. Consequently, we shall continue to actively engage with the
community of nations, particularly with the fellow developing countries of the
South to face the many challenges in realizing our collective hope to create a
better life for all of our peoples.
We shall continue to ensure that greater
effort is given by all, especially by the developed countries of the North, to
attain the objectives, goals and programmes agreed to at the Millennium Summit.
The attainment of the MDGs, the implementation of the programmes that emerged
out of the World conference against Racism Xenophobia and Related Intolerances,
the World Food Summit, the Financing for Development conference and the World
Summit for Sustainable Development are all central to the challenge of the development
of the countries of the South.
Of course, we are conscious of the fact
that there can be no eradication of poverty and the Millennium Development Goals
will not be achieved without the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action.
Women constitute the majority of the people.
We shall continue to struggle
for the total emancipation of women including their integration into the decision-making
structures of every country and multilateral organization, including the United
In order to meet the development needs of
Africa, African leaders have pledged that Africans should possess their own future
and development agenda. Nowhere more than in Africa has the need for the mobilisation
of resources to address the developmental challenges facing the people been so
Again it is our assertion that without the necessary resources to
address developmental challenges, the issue of conflict resolution, peace and
stability will remain elusive.
In this regard research has shown that where
conflict resolution has taken place without post conflict reconstruction and development,
such countries have in no time slid back into instability and conflict.
have to ensure that the people of DRC, Burundi, Sudan, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia,
Comoros, Sierra Leone and others do not suffer the same fate.
We make bold
the statement that Africans themselves must take destiny into their own hands.
In this regard, Africans must themselves be at the forefront of mobilisation of
their own resources to address the developmental challenges facing the continent.
this context, NEPAD will only succeed to the extent to which Africans themselves
are prepared to take possession of their own economic recovery and renewal.
Africa Commission's usefulness will be measured according to the extent of resources
it can mobilise for NEPAD.
We also hope the G-8 meeting will produce resources
for the Africa Action Plan.
Next week, 50 years after the historic 1955
Conference, African and Asian countries will retrace their steps to Bandung with
the hope to strengthen, not only the political ties, but the economic ties that
will bring self-reliance for sustainable development in Asia and Africa.
is our conviction that the forthcoming Asia-Africa Summit will launch a new strategic
initiative of the two continents building on the spirit of solidarity in Bandung.
Writing in Sechaba in July 1979 on "the spirit of Bandung", Oliver
Tambo acknowledged the importance of Bandung in world history and asserted how
far we have come along this road to freedom when he asserted boldly that:
Afro-Asian solidarity movement has traversed a long and complicated but glorious
past since the days, 25 years ago next year when a delegation of the African National
Congress travelled from Johannesburg to Bandung in Indonesia to join hands with
representatives of the peoples of the rest of Africa and of Asia bring into being
what has proved itself as a steadfast friend of all peoples fighting for national
and social emancipation, the Afro-Asian people's Solidarity Organisation."
African National Congress is proud that over all these years it has marched among
the ranks of the peoples represented by this Organisation, participating in the
great struggles that have seen the wiping out of colonialism from the African
and Asian continents and the re-emergence of hundreds and millions of people in
world politics as free and active participants in the collective construction
of a better human destiny."
South Africa, like
all other developing countries, is looking forward to having a common position
to ensure that the next round of the WTO negotiations must have a developmental
Intra-African trade, economic development and investment are receiving
our attention particularly at the bilateral level.
In our quest to continue
along the path towards progressive change for the people of the world, we will
be participating in the South Summit in Qatar, hosting the Progressive Governance
Summit in October, and continuing our work in IBSA, with the people of the Caribbean
and the rest of the African Diaspora.
We continue to work with other African
countries to strengthen the African Union (AU) and SADC in our region.
by 50 years of the Freedom Charter, 60 years of the United Nations, the commemoration
of 50 years of organised African and Asian solidarity and the first Decade of
Democracy in South Africa, we will continue in our practical efforts towards sustainable
For it is our firm belief that we have entered a new African
season of hope and that indeed, in the words of Walter Rodney, we have the ability
to make history.
Yesterday, the President hosted a group of students from
Vukuzakhe High School in Umlazi. Their representative, Ms Mbuyaze, a grade 11
learner, in her talk, gave her address to the President, gave her own interpretation
of our foreign policy. She said the following:
"We are mindful of the
President's workload and responsibilities of running a country - the President's
crusade to restore African dignity and pride through NEPAD and the African Renaissance."
the way", she said, "whether South Africa ends up occupying one of the
two seats on the Security Council is hardly the issue. The issue is that I believe
I'm expressing a common sentiment, am proud to be a South African, because Africa
will be the winner and our president has no small part in it."
this sense of hope and pride expressed by our youth that give us the determination
to succeed in our endeavours as we strive for a better South Africa, Africa and
For future generations of this winning nation, we shall indeed make
history and ensure that the African people do have a permanent peace, an entrenched
democracy and the possibilities for sustainable development.
We must bequeath
to future generations of men and women a South Africa, Africa and a better world
than the one we found.
Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz
Pahad will elaborate on South Africa's peace efforts while Deputy Minister Sue
van der Merwe will elaborate on the continued restructuring of the Department
and the Pan-African Parliament amongst other things.
In conclusion, I would
like to express my gratitude to President Thabo Mbeki and to Deputy President
Jacob Zuma for their outstanding leadership in the international community especially
their unrelenting efforts in bringing about peace on the African continent and
their work towards the realisation of an African renaissance.
Colleagues also deserve acknowledgement for their support. A special thanks also
goes to the Chair of the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs, Mr Job Sithole,
and to the Members of this Committee, for its attentiveness and responsiveness.
I would like to thank Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad and Deputy Minister Sue
van Der Merwe for their sterling contributions in the last year as well as convey
my gratitude to the Director-General, Ayanda Ntsaluba, and officials of the Department
for devoting their intellects and energies in assisting with creating a better
South Africa in a better Africa and a better world.
I thank you.
by Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152