South Africa intends to use its December leadership of the UN Security Council (UNSC) to contribute towards the African Union’s goal of ending conflicts and silencing the guns on the continent by the end of 2020, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor said on Tuesday.The minister said this as her country assumed the UNSC’s rotating monthly presidency of the 15-member council on Tuesday following its 2019 election to a two-year mandate on the body.
“This will be South Africa’s second presidency during its two-year (2019-2020) elected term on the council,” Pandor said, adding that “December will also be South Africa’s final month on the council during its current term.”
According to the top diplomat, South Africa’s presidency would focus on strengthening African Union and United Nations “cooperation to emphasise the importance of a proactive approach to the maintenance of international peace and security.”
This would draw particular attention to preventative diplomacy mechanisms, including “post-conflict reconstruction and development,” the minister said.
“The legacy of President Nelson Mandela and his impetus towards a peaceful and inclusive solution for South Africa remains a cornerstone of this foreign policy objective,” Pandor said.
During its two-year tenure on the council, South Africa has focused on preventing and resolving conflicts on the African continent, advancing the women peace and security agenda as well as the promotion of the settlement of disputes and peacebuilding, she said.
“Serving on the UNSC has provided South Africa with an opportunity to meaningfully contribute towards the African Union’s goal of ending conflicts and silencing the guns on the continent by 2020, specifically during this year where we concurrently chair the African Union,” the minister added.