Foreign-policy Positioning Through Multilateralism: South Africa in the UNSC

The UN Security Council (UNSC) is the premier multilateral decision-making body responsible for international peace and security. As such, South Africa’s re-election to the Council for a second term in 2011–12 signalled the recognition by its peers of the country’s standing in international affairs.

Simultaneously, this nod of approval was accompanied by high expectations from the international community and African states in particular. With South Africa’s second term now over, it is worth assessing whether South Africa has met these expectations. Has South Africa’s engagement on the Council been progressive, or has it fallen short by committing itself over-ambitiously in the multilateral arena? The policy briefing examines the current articulation of South Africa’s foreign policy and the major moments during its second term on the UNSC. It is based on an analysis of voting trends in order to assess the performance of South Africa, and discusses the way forward for the country’s UNSC reform agenda.

20 Jun 2013