South Africa and the reform of the United Nations Security Council

Ntshabele, Clement Thapedi (2001-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: After being sidelined for a number of years, South Africa finds itself readmitted to the international community. One of the many issues at stake now is the reform of the United Nations Security Council. This study looks at South Africa's aim to make substantial changes in the international system, with the Security Council being one of the target institutions. This is a mammoth task for South Africa and the study points out the challenges that go with engaging in this process. The study points out an element of ambiguity in South Africa's foreign policy and the challenges that go with making multilateralism a cornerstone of such a policy. While it is not yet clear as to whether South Africa will succeed in changing the behaviour of states and the practice of multilateral institutions, it is at the moment participating in debates that might lead to such changes. South Africa's participation in the Open Ended Working Committee on the reform of the United Nations Security Council constitutes one move among others to ensure a change in the practice of the Security Council. The limits of making multilateralism a cornerstone of foreign policy are outlined with the aim of making policy-makers aware of the implications of the broad scope of their ambiguous foreign policy. While it is necessary to avoid engaging in assignments that might be difficult to manage, the need for South Africa to focus only on what is achievable and not to try and punch above its weight is one aspect this paper emphasises. The paper ends by making recommendations, which include (among others) that South Africa should attempt to secure a seat in the reformed Security Council should such an opportunity arise, but only after a careful consideration of her abilities.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Na jare van politieke isolasie is Suid-Afrika weer 'n volwaardige lid van die internasionale gemeenskap. Die hervorming van die Verenigde Nasies (VN) se Veiligheidsraad, het binne die konteks van buitelandse beleid, een van die land se vernaamste uitdagings geword. Hierdie studie plaas Suid-Afrika se hervormingspogings van die internasionale stelselonder die soeklig, en fokus veralop die rol van die VN Veiligheidsraad. Die omvang van dié proses kan nie onderskat word nie, en die studie poog om die vernaamste uitdagings van hierdie hervormings te identifiseer. Die opdrag poog om te wys op 'n mate van teenstrydigheid wat in Suid- Afrika se buitelandse beleid te bespeur is, asook die uitdagings verbonde aan die vestiging van multilaterale betrekkinge as hoeksteen van sodanige beleid. Hoewel daar nog nie duidelikheid bestaan oor die mate van sukses wat die land behaal het met betrekking tot die gedrag van state en die praktyk van multilaterale betrekkinge nie, neem dit tans deel aan debate wat mag lei tot beleidsverandering in hierdie velde. Suid-Afrika se deelname aan die VN Veiligheidraad se Ope Werkskonunittees, rakende die hervorming van hierdie liggaam, is een voorbeeld van die land se verbintenis tot die verandering van Veiligheidsraad praktyke. Die beperkings rakende mulilaterale betrekkinge, 'n steunpilaar van internasionale beleid, word uitgelig ten einde beleidsmakers bewus te maak van die omvattende aard van 'n dikwels, onduidelike, buitelandse beleid. Die opdrag benadruk die feit dat Suid-Afrika sal moet poog om slegs betrokke te raak in internasionale aksies wat binne sy vermoëns val. Dit word afgesluit met 'n aantal aanbevelings. Een hiervan is 'n pleidooi dat Suid-Afrika permanente lidmaatskap van die 'n hervormde Veiligheidsraad verkry indien die geleentheid dit voordoen. Sodanige deelname kan egter eers geskied na deeglike oorweging van die land se vermoës binne hierdie sfeer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52457
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