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ANC 48th National Conference

Durban, July 1991

Adopted resolutions on Foreign Policy

The 48th National Conference of the ANC, meeting in Durban, South Africa
from 2-6 July, 1991:

Reaffirming that the Freedom Charter, the basic policy
document of the ANC, constitutes the firm foundation for the conduct of
the ANC`s international relations;

Recalling the foreign policy guidelines elaborated at and adopted
by the ANC National Consultative Conferences at Kabwe, 1985 and Johannesburg,

Further recalling the decisions of the ANC-sponsored World Conference
against Apartheid, for a Democratic South Africa held in Arusha, Tanzania,
ill 1987;

Further reaffirming that both the Harare Declaration of the Organisation
of African Unity and the United Nations Declaration on Apartheid and its
Destructive Consequences in Southern Africa define the basis of an internationally
acceptable solution of the South African conflict, and therefore outline
the parameters within which the relations betweenSouth Africa and the rest
of the world can be normalised,

Recognising that the conduct of the ANC`s foreign policy must take into
account the realities of contemporary international relations, characterised
in part by:

  1. A general universal tendency towards the establishment of political
    systems whose features include multi-party democracy, respect for individual
    human rights and movement away from centrally-planned economies;
  2. a tendency towards the disappearance of the cold war and a departure
    from the conduct of international relations on the basis of a bi-polar
    world order, dominated by the conflicting interests of the super-powers
    and the two military blocs, Nato and the Warsaw Pact, which latter is being
    phased out;

Cognisant that the resolute struggles waged in South Africa by
our people, under the leadership of the ANC and the rest of the
democratic movement, supported by the international community, have resulted
in a shift in the balance of forces inside South Africa, a circumstance
which is leading to the redefinition of the relations between South Africa
and the rest of the world;

Aware that our foreign policy must be informed by the understanding
that South Africa has entered a critical period in the struggle to end
the apartheid system and establish a non-racial and non-sexist democracy
and that the white minority regime has been obliged to accept the demand
for genuine negotiations, as outlined in the Harare and UN Declarations,
which, among others, envisage the following stages:

  1. The removal of obstacles to negotiations;
  2. The acceptance of interim mechanisms to oversee the period of transition
    from apartheid to a new democratic order;
  3. The adoption of a democratic constitution, the democratic election
    of a representative parliament and the establishment of a new government;

Also aware that the victories scored by the democratic forces,
including the fact that the regime has been obliged to repeal the so-called
legislative pillars of apartheid, have given rise to a tendency among a
growing number of countries towards the premature lifting of sanctions
against the apartheid regime as a reward for the measures undertaken by
the De Klerk regime;

Cognisant of the fact that ways and means should be found by
which to arrest the process of the erosion of sanctions to ensure that
the democratic movement does not lose this weapon, which will be required
until a democratic constitution has been adopted;

Reaffirming that the main thrust of our foreign policy must be
the attainment of the objectives contained in the Harare and UN Declarations,
namely, mobilising the world community to assist towards the speedy eradication
of apartheid as well as helping to move the process of negotiations forward
towards the creation of a non-racial and non-sexist democratic South Africa;



The primary objective of sanctions is to end apartheid. Since, despite
the measures which the regime has been compelled to take, apartheid is
still in place, the international community must continue to utilise this
weapon to maintain pressure on the regime to expedite forward movement
to the attainment of the objective of a non-racial democracy.

Because it is essential that the sanctions weapon is not lost, the international
community should be urged to listen to the view of the democratic forces
and not seek to reward the apartheid regime. Sanctions must therefore be
used creatively in order to arrest the erosion that has occurred, push
the peace process forward and attain the objective of a democratic
South Africa as speedily as possible.

Accordingly, sanctions should continue to be used as a necessary form
of pressure.

Specified groups of sanctions should be used to achieve the strategic
objectives listed below, each one of which is critical to the process of

  1. The removal by the regime of obstacles to negotiations, as stipulated
    in the Harare and UN Declarations, as well as the implementation of
    effective measures by Pretoria to end violence;
  2. The installation of an Interim Government according to agreed transitional
    arrangements and modalities on the transition to a democratic order;
  3. The adoption of a democratic constitution and the holding of free and
    fair elections for a nonracial parliament and a representative government.

In this connection, the National Executive Committee as a matter of
urgency is called upon in consultation with our allies, to determine the
precise formulation of this process, acting in broad consultation internally
and in coordination with the anti-apartheid forces worldwide.

These forces include the Organisation of African Unity, the United Nations,
as well as non-governmental anti-apartheid and solidarity forces.


The anti-apartheid movement worldwide has greatly assisted in creating
an extensive world constituency that has compelled governments to place
the issue of apartheid on their political agendas. This constituency has
also served as an important source of material assistance.

During the period of transition from apartheid to democracy, the role
of the international anti-apartheid movement will continue to be highly
critical in strengthening the hand of the democratic forces. In this regard,
the anti-apartheid movement has the task to sensitise the international
community towards its obligation of assisting the people of South Africa
to effect the transformations which will result in the suppression of the
crime of apartheid and the institution of a social order which mill uphold
the objectives contained in the Universal Declaration on I lumen Rights
and the Charter of the United Nations.

Furthermore, the world anti-apartheid movement should prepare adequately
for an important post-apartheid role. Such a role is dictated by the enormous
socio-economic inequalities that will remain the legacy of apartheid and
that cannot be addressed by a mere removal of apartheid legislation
from the statute books.

Conference resolves that, within a year, a conference of the international
anti-apartheid movement should be convened in South Africa to addressthese


The international community should be mobilised to assist the ANC and
its allies, the force that constitutes the main agent of political change
in South Africa, by providing material and financial resources to help
us realise the following objectives:

  1. To empower the anti-apartheid forces to carry out the tasks of transforming
    South Africa from an apartheid to a democratic society. In this context,
    the people`s army, Umkhonto we Sizwe, needs to be assisted in order to
    facilitate its future integration into a new national army that will defend
    the country and the democratic order, while upholding the principles of
    the sovereignty of nations, regional stability and international peace
    and security;
  2. To assist in the evolution of development policies that will address
    the socio-economic imbalances resulting from apartheid, through training
    and research;
  3. To assist post-apartheid South Africa to eliminate these imbalances
    and meet the expectations of the people. In this regard, the ANC must encourage
    such initiatives as the establishment of a South African Development Bank
    along similar lines to the Bank of Reconstruction and Development with
    regard to Eastern Europe.


The ANC, in pursuance of the objective of a democratic South Africa,
must promote regional and international cooperation to meet the following

  1. Further to advance the struggle for the liquidation of the apartheid
    system and the transformation of South Africa into a non-racial and non-sexist
  2. Actively; to promote the objectives of democracy, peace, national independence,
    stability, development and prosperity, as well as promote Pan-African solidarity
    and mutually beneficial cooperation among the peoples, committed to the
    view that South Africa and its people will live with the rest of the world
    in conditions of peace, friendship and cooperation;
  3. To Promote programmes directed at the protection of the environment;
  4. To help create a world free of nuclear and other weapons of
    mass destruction. In this regard, to seek to promote the objectives of
    Africa and the Indian Ocean as nuclear-free zones and areas that would
    also be free of foreign military forces and bases;
  5. To work towards the admission of the democratic South Africa in such
    organisations as the SADCC, the PTA, the OAU, the ADS, the Lome Convention,
    the Non-Aligned Movement and the re-establishment of relations with the
    World Bank, the IMF and the United Nations.


Conference resolves that the NEC should reactivate the Commission on
International Affairs, bearing in mind the new situation, to ensure wider
participation within the movement with regard to discussion of foreign
policy questions.

Conference further resolves that all regional committees of the ANC
should establish sub-committees on international affairs which would liaise
with the Department of International Affairs on foreign policy questions.