This study assesses South Africa’s approach to human rights in international forums in light of its status in international relations. In order to conduct this assessment, the study situates South Africa as a “middle” or “emerging middle” power. It also investigates South Africa’s role as a leading state on the African continent. The study determines that South Africa is a middle emerging power which plays a leadership role on Africa. A number of implications flow from this status and characterisation of South Africa’s role on the continent, including its approach to human rights.
Against this background the characterisation of South Africa as an emerging middle power and leader on the African continent, the study conducts an assessment of South Africa’s position on specific human rights issues in the UN Human Rights Council and the UN Security Council. On the basis of the analysis, the study presents some conclusions and recommendations for South Africa’s foreign policy makers. The recommendations relate not only to the normative decision-making in foreign policy but also communication and public diplomacy to address the narrative that presents South Africa as anti-human rights.
Mini Dissertation (MDS)--University of Pretoria, 2018.