Post Apartheid South Africa's Foreign Policy After Two Decades

CCR hosted a policy research seminar on “Post-Apartheid South Africa’s Foreign Policy After Two Decades”. The meeting convened about 50 leading practitioners, scholars, and civil society activists from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, and North America to explore and enhance the potential leadership role that South Africa can play in promoting peace and security, as well as regional integration and development in Africa. It also focused on Tshwane’s (Pretoria) interlocking bilateral and multilateral relationships on the continent and beyond. In 1993, a year before he became South Africa’s first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela outlined six pillars for the country’s foreign policy in the post-apartheid era: the centrality of human rights; the promotion of democracy; just relations between states based on the rule of international law; the peaceful resolution of disputes; the centrality of Africa; and greater regional and international cooperation to support economic development. In 2001, president Thabo Mbeki identified five key foreign policy goals: the need to restructure the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC); reform of international organisations such as the United Nations (UN), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and the World Bank; hosting major international conferences; promoting peace and security on the continent and in the Middle East; and nurturing ties with the Group of Eight (G-8) industrialised countries, while devising a strategy for the “global South”.