This paper discusses the international scene as the world moves towards the beginning of a new decade. Changes in the world order accelerated the disorder experienced in several countries. Africa and Southern Africa will move into the eighties as a region where conflicts threaten world peace. These regional problems are also influencing the world order. South Africa is affected directly by the East/West and North/South division and this should be considered in resolving the problems of the region. The attitude of the west towards South Africa has numerous consequences for the region as this influences attitudes from Africa towards South Africa. Relations with the west will remain important but only through mutual accommodations with neighbours can peace and stability be restored to the region.