3 January 2013

South Africa: Nation Steps Down From UN Security Council

South Africa concluded its second term as an elected member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on 31 December.

South Africa's permanent representative to the UN, Ambassador Baso Sangqu, said the country had used its tenure effectively to promote a multilateral, rules-based system worldwide.

"We approached our membership of the Security Council from the premise that the UN remains the most appropriate forum for addressing international challenges in the maintenance of international peace and security, which are best served through collective co-operation," Sangqu said in a statement on the weekend.

Despite constraints, South Africa influenced a large number of Security Council outcomes, actively engaged on all issues on the council's agenda in line with its mandate.

Sangqu said South Africa's leadership role and significant contribution to the work of the Council on African issues, particularly on Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, the DRC, Mali and Libya, as well as its principled position on the Middle East and Western Sahara, was well recognised.

"Notable achievements during South Africa's tenure include its leadership role in chairing the Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa ... and the 1540 Committee, which prevents non-state actors from gaining access to weapons of mass destruction."

South Africa also championed landmark Security Council decisions on strengthening strategic cooperation between the UNSC and the African Union Peace and Security Council, as well as the promotion of the rule of law in conflict and post-conflict situations.

The country also co-led a Security Council mission to Africa, and led a successful visit of the council to Timor-Leste in 2012.

"Looking back, South Africa's participation in the over 800 meetings held by the Council during our tenure, we can in all humility ... state that South Africa has made a positive and significant contribution to the international community's efforts to prevent and resolve conflicts the world over," Sangqu said.


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