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South Africa’s Third UN Security Council Seat


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/11/07

Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported on the secure position at the security council for South Africa.

The seat at the council offers South Africa to restore a human rights-based foreign policy. The next term will last from 2019 to 2020.

This is the third time South Africa secured a seat as a non-permanent member on the United Nations Security Council. At the January Summit, the African Union endorsed the South African seat at the United Nations Security Council.

South Africa remains the only country supported and endorsed by the African Union for the UN Security Council. The nation of South Africa declared its intent of peace and security on the African continent.

However, there is an uncertainty of the backing of a variety of tough measures for countries that violate human rights. The former South African prime minister Jacob Zuma had military cooperation with the South Sudan government including the use of child soldiers.

For its first two terms on the UN Security Council, South Africa went away from the Mandela hope of “human rights will be the light that guide our foreign policy.”

Africa in its first term on the UN Security Council in 2007 voted against a resolution for the cessation of military attacks against various ethnic minorities in Burma.

China and Russia also vetoed the decision in its second term during 2011, South Africa abstained from every vote in relation to the global south. It was criticized “championing a Western agenda” when it voted to authorize a no-fly zone in Libya.

100 years after the birth of Mandela, South Africa may have the possibility for the creation of a new legacy respecting human rights on the UN Security Council.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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