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ANC NGC 2015 Resolutions on International Relations

1. Introduction

The important task of our National Democratic Revolution (NDR) is to grapple with the complex and ever-changing world order.  The balance of forces and the balance of power is about concrete analysis of the dynamic world material conditions and how they impact on our country and Africa, in particular.  Our vision is to create a better South Africa in a Better Africa and Just World.

Key among the aspects of the balance of forces is the understanding that the world is still unipolar with strong signs of multi-polarity on the rise.  The economic model of 1945 no longer works even for the developed world.  We are witnessing the strengthening of the South-South Cooperation with BRICS as an alternative voice.

Thus, there is a need to have a new world order that will work for all humanity in which the developing world (BRICS) play a critical role. 

The ANC as a movement remains anti-imperialist and pursues progressive internationalism, international solidarity, African Agenda, and multilateralism; hence, we participate in a majority of multilateral fora.

Our last important assignment as Chair of G77 + China (G77) will be to lead the G77 to Paris for the United Nations Framework for Climate Change Convention  (UNFCCC) negotiations – in defence of the Durban Platform of Action, informed by the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and capabilities .

The NGC welcomed the assessment of the implementation of the Mangaung Conference and these were said to be fair, with a broader understanding that the implementation of international relations is dependent on partners and the nature of the balance of forces that could tilt in our favour from time to time. Therefore, the NGC focused its recommendations on the following key successes, challenges and difficult policy issues.

2. Recommendations

2.1 The NGC noted that although the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were not reached, through our decisive intervention we managed to migrate the unfinished MDGs into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  The 17 SDGs together with 167 targets and 300 indicators, which are in the main about fighting the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment, and inequality, are aligned with the National Development Plan (NDP). As a mark of our diplomacy it was agreed that all the SD Goals will be internalized into Country National Plans.  South Africa, led the G-77 + China in ensuring that the 70th Summit of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) unanimously adopted the SDGs. 

2.2 It is recommended that we popularise the SDGs, especially through national parliament, all legislatures, government, and all community structures (including ANC and Alliance), so as to mobilise our people and develop action plans.

2.3 It further recommended that the ANC-led government allocate adequate budget and resources towards attainment of SDGs.

2.4 The NGC confirmed its support for the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 Vision, recognising that it is a continuation of African Renaissance philosophy, and recommended that as a movement it is incumbent upon us to popularise its seven aspirations.  The aspirations are:

  • A prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development;
  • An integrated continent, politically united, based on the ideals of Pan Africanism;
  • An Africa of good governance, democracy, human rights , justice & the rule of law;
  • A peaceful  & secure Africa;
  • An Africa with strong cultural values and ethics;
  • An Africa where development is people-driven, relying particularly on potential of women & youth; and
  • Africa as a strong  & influential global player and partner

2.5 The NGC reiterated recommendations from Mangaung that whilst implementing the NDP, we continue to strengthen its international relations section, which will be reinforced at the scheduled 2017 ANC Policy Conference.

2.6 The NGC recommended that the ANC endeavour to mobilise society in support of its International Solidarity work so that the work is more visible and consistent marked by aggressive participation by members and leaders of the Alliance rather than being sporadic.

2.7 The NGC recommended that the ANC should convene a workshop of the Alliance to discuss and develop a common understanding on building and setting the agenda of the Global Progressive Movement, guided by the resolutions of the 4th International Solidarity Conference (Global Anti-Apartheid Movement) so as to build a better, just, humane, fair and equitable world order.

2.8 The ANC continues to uphold and respect human rights and it condemns impunity, war crimes, and acts of genocide, as resolved in Mangaung. However, it also opposes the double standards and selective actions of the International Criminal Court (ICC), and the fact that permanent members of the UN Security Council that are not signatories to the Rome Statute have unfettered powers with regard to referring cases to the ICC.

2.9 Therefore, the NGC took the decision to ask the ANC-led government to begin the process of withdrawal of its membership of the ICC, preceded by the discussions that are taking place among the member states of the ICC and those taking place within the African Union on the ICC matter. In the meantime, the national parliament must begin the process of amending the Act implementing the Rome Statute to align with Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act of 2008.

2.10 The NGC calls on member states of the African to accelerate the ratification of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and on the Establishment of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights. It supports the AU process towards the merger of this court with the African Court of Justice in order to establish the capacity to fight war crimes, crimes against humanity and acts of genocide.

2.11 The NGC recommends that the NEC must request the ANC-led government to conduct a comprehensive review of all multilateral agreements that South Africa has entered into since 1994.  

2.12 The NGC recognised that the rise of terrorism and extremism is a direct product of regime change agenda, and attempting to resolve political challenges through military means.  The youth have been targeted for recruitment by extremists and there has been an increase in mass migration from affected areas in Africa and the Middle East into Europe. Therefore, the NGC recommended that the ANC continue to advocate for peaceful resolution of conflicts and oppose military interventions. 

2.13 It was further recommended that we confirm our rejection of United States African Command (AFRICOM) and other external military interventions in Africa including the secretive moves to militarise Africa.

2.14 The NGC recommended that we:

  • continue to insist that provinces and municipalities recognise that international relations is coordinated by national government in line with the DIRCO’s Measures and Guidelines for the Enhanced Coordination of South Africa’s International Engagements document, which must be promoted amongst provinces, municipalities and civil society; and
  • hold the view that the posture of the ANC and ANC-led Government is common, clear, coherent and must be decisive.

2.15 The NGC further recommended that the draft White Paper on foreign policy, including the clarification of national Interest, is presented to ANC structures for input that will guide its finalisation, thus asserting the centrality of the ANC as the only developer of policy.

2.16 The NGC regards the formation of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) platform, particularly the BRICS Bank, as a confirmation of the ANC’s primary approach to internationalism, international solidarity and multilateralism. 

2.17 The NGC recommended that South Africa, together with the African Union, continue to utilize the Ezulwini Consensus as a guide on our position on the UN Security Council reform including the insistence that Africa receive at least two permanent seats, however, it must lobby for review to strengthen the Consensus on this matter. We need to engage BRICS partners who are Permanent Members of the Security Council to support this consensus and South Africa’s availability to serve in one of the Permanent Seats of a reformed Council.

2.18 The NGC recommended that we encourage disengagement with Israel especially within government and legislatures, unless promoting solidarity and resolving the conflict.  In particular, travel to Israel will be discouraged.

2.19 On party-to-party relations, the NGC recommended that the ANC develop policy guidelines on interaction with political parties that are in opposition. 

2.20 The NGC recommended that we continue to advocate for the self-determination, freedom, and independence of Western Sahara, and as the ANC we collect and distribute children reading materials, clothing and medicines to Western Sahara.

2.21 The NGC recommended that the ANC, SACP, COSATU, and SANCO should meet and develop a common programme on Swaziland.  Further recommending we engage all the political stakeholders to better understand the situation and to find out what future they envisage for Swaziland.

2.22 The NGC welcomed the resumption of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States, particularly the release of the Cuban Five.  The commission recommended that we support the Cuban call for the return of the Guatanamo Bay to Cuba and the lifting of the US economic embargo against Cuba. 

2.23 The NGC welcomed the interventions made to resolve matters in Lesotho. The NGC recommended that we need to reflect and take a different approach on Lesotho, such that we include our affected provinces in the discussions to develop a comprehensive approach to assist them to find a lasting solution. 

2.24 The NGC confirmed the view of the July 2015 Lekgotla on dual citizenship, however since it is a new policy matter, it recommended further research and discussion on the matter at the 2017 ANC Policy Conference.

2.25 In line with Polokwane and Mangaung resolutions, the NGC further recommended that we fast track the strengthening and expansion of the International Relations Unit at Luthuli House into a fully-fledged department.