R2P and the Protection of Civilians: South Africa's Perspective on Conflict Resolution

"This briefing provides an overview of the South African government’s position on the protection of civilians within the context of the ‘responsibility to protect’ (R2P) framework. As South Africa lacks a clearly articulated policy on R2P, any discussion on its position is based on inferences drawn from actions taken in recent years. While South Africa was a supporter of R2P in the run-up to the 2005 UN World Summit, its conduct while serving as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC) raised questions about its continued commitment to the framework. South Africa is committed to the principle of the protection of civilians, although it favours a multi-layered, moderate approach to implementing R2P, focusing on conflict prevention and resolution through dialogue and engagement. Overall, the tensions and apparent contradictions in South Africa’s position on R2P are consistent with the broader tensions in its foreign policy."