South Africa’s ruling African National Congress say it remains committed to Africa and the transformation of the global order into a more humane and equitable world order.
The party, Africa’s oldest, in its annual “January 8” statement said it remains part of the progressive forces for change internationally.
The statement marks the party’s founding on January 8, 1912 and is normally released during festivities on or near January 8 to mark the anti-apartheid liberation movement’s birthday. This year’s celebration was held over the weekend in Kimberley, capital of the Northern Cape province.
Analysts generally see the release as a precursor to the national president’s State of the Nation address, at the opening of Parliament, that sets out government’s annual priorities. President Jacob Zuma is due to make that speech early next month.
This year’s statement re-affirms that the party is “guided by the values of internationalism, promotion of human and people’s rights against all abuses and violations, and the support for national liberation from all forms of oppression.
“We will continue to pursue the resolution of conflicts through dialogue and peaceful means, and to pro-mote mutual friendship and respect among the people of the world.
“As declared by our iconic leader, Nelson Mandela, South Africa cannot be an island of prosperity in a sea of despair, therefore, social and economic regional integration in Southern Africa remains a top priority for South Africa. Aside from consolidating the regional gains that have been secured through the Free Trade Area in SADC [Southern African Development Community], we will join with others to extend regional markets through the envisaged trilateral arrangement between SADC, COMESA [Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa] and the ECOWAS [Economic Community of West African States].
“We want to build regional relations on the foundation of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), and we therefore call on our partners, both in SACU and the European Union (EU), to work urgently towards ensuring that the Economic Partnership Agreement preserves the coherence of the customs union now and into the future.
“This year we would further the quest of attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by urging the developed world to meet their financial commitments. Further to this, we will engage our people through public discourse to enable us to mobilise society to create greater public participation in ensuring the implementation of the MDGs with greater emphasis on our African continent,” the party, in power since 1994, added.
“Our movement will remain committed to the African Union (AU) and the pragmatic realisation of a United States of Africa, through ensuring the spread of democracy in our continent and the strengthening of AU organs,” the statement added regarding the pet project of Libyan leader Moammar al-Gaddafi.
“We will further continue to support the NEPAD [New Partnership for Africa’s Development] in eradicating poverty and ensure economic recovery throughout Africa. It remains our belief that NEPAD will promote the recovery of African countries, both individually and collectively, and ensure sustainable growth and development.
“We will continue to support and participate in the resolve of finding ‘African solutions to African problems’, especially in quest of assisting the continent to find solutions to the conflicts that continue to plague our people. Such conflicts include those of Somalia, Sudan, the DRC, Ethiopia and Eritrea.
“However, in countries where there has been a move towards rebuilding the country, we support these initiatives, such as the Unity Government of Zimbabwe and Kenya.
“The ANC will forge ahead in the strengthening of South-to-South cooperation, both politically and economically, through platforms such as India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) and the China-Africa forum. We will further seek other co-operative relations with progressive role players throughout the world.
“We continue to pledge solidarity with those that are still seeking sovereignty and those who continue to support the campaign for the self-determination of the Western Sahara under the progressive leadership of POLISARIO, this country being the last colony in the African continent.
“We continue to pledge our support to the Cubans in their campaign to end the economic blockade against their country. We also call for the immediate and unconditional release of the Cuban Five. It is our belief each country has a right to pursue its own economic path of development.
“Our organisation continues to support the calls for finding lasting, just and humane solutions to the Israeli- Palestine question. We firmly believe in a two-State solution, this being the view upheld by the majority of the people of that region, particularly those oppressed in the West Bank and Gaza. Such a two State solution must also recognise the right of the Palestinian self-determination in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions.
“Despite many efforts to conclude the Doha Round, our assessment is that unless major developed countries remain faithful to the development mandate of the Round, progress will falter. We will nevertheless continue to work with other countries to ensure that any outcome of the Doha Round rebalances the global trading system in favour of developing countries, and ensure that South Africa’s national interests are adequately accommodated.
“The ANC will also continue to agitate for the reform of multi-lateral institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organisation and United Nations along more democratic and developmental lines.”