SA assumes presidency of UNSC


South Africa is today assuming 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,” said the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) on Tuesday.

This December, 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. This will also include post-conflict reconstruction and development.

The department said President Cyril Ramaphosa will preside over a virtual debate on AU-UN cooperation on Friday, while DIRCO Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor, will preside over a virtual debate on Security Sector Governance and Reform on Wednesday.

“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.”

The department said the country’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,” said DIRCO.

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, and peacebuilding.

“Serving on the UNSC 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,” said DIRCO.