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Africa: International Relations and Cooperation On South Africa’s Role in United Nations Security Council

South Africa’s presidency of the United Nations Security Council – December 2020

Today, 1 December 2020, South Africa will assume the rotating monthly presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

This will be South Africa’s second Presidency, during its two year (2019-2020) elected term on the Council. December will also be South Africa’s final month on the Council during its current term. During this month, South Africa will focus on strengthening African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) Cooperation and emphasising the importance of a proactive approach to the maintenance of international peace and security, particularly in the form of drawing greater attention to preventative diplomacy mechanisms, as well as post-conflict reconstruction and development.

In this regard, President Cyril Ramaphosa will preside over a virtual debate on AU-UN cooperation on 4 December, while Minister Naledi Pandor will preside over a virtual debate on Security Sector Governance and Reform on 3 December.

Based on the reporting cycles of the Security Council, further meetings will be held relating to the situations in Afghanistan, Central Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Palestine, Somalia, South Sudan, the Republic of Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

South Africa’s participation in the Security Council as an elected member is a continuation of its ongoing approach to multilateralism, guided by the country’s national experience of peacefully dismantling apartheid and achieving a negotiated political settlement. The legacy of President Nelson Mandela and his impetus towards a peaceful and inclusive solution for South Africa remains a cornerstone of this foreign policy objective.

During its two-year tenure on the Council South Africa has focused on preventing and resolving conflicts on the African continent, advancing the Women Peace and Security Agenda and the promotion of the pacific settlement of disputes as well as conflict prevention and peacebuilding. Serving on the UN Security Council has provided South Africa with an opportunity to meaningfully contribute towards the African Union’s goal of ending conflicts and silencing the guns on the Continent by 2020, specifically during this year where we concurrently Chair the African Union.


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