In the aftermath of the South African election, as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in 2011, the country amongst other things, promised to pursue an African Agenda for Peace and Stability on the continent and in all regions of the world, especially in the Global South. This was coupled with the promise to promote the importance of developing effective partnerships between the United Nations (UN) as well as regional and sub-regional organizations in maintaining international peace and security. These became fundamental foreign policy principles of how South Africa would behave in the Security Council. The UN Charter mandates the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security to the Council. Scholars that have analysed the United Nations often argue that the Council’s decision-making process is driven by the interests of the five permanent members who possess veto power. Thus, it is widely believed that, members that have continuous membership and veto power not only affect the passage of resolutions but also prevent certain issues from entering the agenda through the threat of a veto. While veto-wielding member states can use the veto to bargain their positions, non-permanent members of the Council can have limited influence on the agenda due to the unequal distribution of power. The power-politics argument is widely discussed in the literature of the United Nations; however, limited systematic analytical research has been done to understand how countries other than big powers exercise their influence in the UN Security Council, despite lacking the right to veto power. To contribute to the understanding of the power-politics argument, ways in which emerging countries influence the agenda will be identified. This research report analyses whether and how South Africa delivered on the promise to pursue African interests during its tenure in the UNSC in 2011-2012. This study embarks on content analysis of selected South African interventions and reports regarding African issues in the UNSC.
Mini Dissertation (MDIPS)--University of Pretoria, 2018.