SA seeks UN Security Council reform

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South Africa will push for reform of the United Nations Security Council during a two-year stint as a rotating member of the group, a government minister says.

“We will attempt to persuade and convince the permanent five of the need for the early conclusion of the reform process,” Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana Mashabane told reporters in Pretoria.

“The power configuration is not in favour of the non-permanent members and national interests sometimes override international commitments,” she said, delivering a mild rebuke to the permanent members of the Security Council.

“The unfair use or abuse of diplomatic tools at members’ discretion can make the work of Security Council very difficult,” she added.

South Africa won the non-permanent seat on the 15-member Council in an uncontested vote in October last year, giving the country a new two-year term starting in January.

The country’s last stint on the UN decision-making body drew sharp criticism from groups such as Human Rights Watch which said South Africa had “sided with reactionary rather than progressive forces”.

Under then president Thabo Mbeki, South Africa shielded Zimbabwe from international sanctions over electoral violence in 2008, sought to deflect action against Myanmar over the deadly repression of Buddhist monks in 2007, and tempered criticism of Iran’s nuclear programme.
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This post was submitted by Mudit Agrawal.

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