INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 9
The ANC in an unpredictable and uncertain world that is characterised by increased insecurity and the rise of populism:
AN ANC NEC INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS SUB-COMMITTEE DISCUSSION DOCUMENT
TOWARD THE 5TH NATIONAL POLICY CONFERENCE
Both the National Conference in Mangaung in 2012 and the National General Council of 2015 observed that material conditions continue to change in ways that are unpredictable and fluid.
The 1994 democratic breakthrough in South Africa happened in the midst of tectonic shifts in global power as epitomized by the rise of China and other emerging powers, the continued decline of the hegemonic dominance and influence of the United States as the global super-power (acting frequently to defend that position), and greater contestation in the United Nations and international organizations over matters of the use of power and resolution of problems that global capitalism and imperialism generate. Today, the clarion call of the Freedom Charter declaring that “There Shall Be Peace And Friendship!” remains as relevant as in 1955.
As observed in 2012 and 2015 discussion documents, the global economic crisis that we are yet to recover from was symptomatic of the unjust nature of global capitalism and the manner in which global power is used to advance the narrow national interests of powerful states. The global economic recovery remains slow and sluggish, putting at risk the goals to end poverty, unemployment and inequality and the goals to achieve inclusive and just economic development.
These economic conditions are detrimental to the rise of the developing world. It undermines the potential of the South African economy to recover and become inclusive and resilient, affecting negatively our pursuit of the goals of the National Democratic Revolution as expressed in the National Development Plan. It also undermines the actualisation of south-south cooperation into prosperity for poor nations.
Simultaneously, it encourages powerful countries to exercise economic protectionism, to the detriment of efforts to build development-friendly global multilateral trade regimes. It leads to powerful countries stone- walling the Doha Round of trade negotiations under the auspices of the World Trade Organization, as witnessed in Bali in 2014 where the aspirations of the developing world were thwarted. The gulf between the industrialized North and the developing South is exemplified in the negotiations over climate change, among others.
Yet, still emerging economies have registered economic growth rates higher than most of the developing world, helping them to absorb the pressures arising from the global economic crisis that the industrialized North is largely responsible for. As the bigger countries of the South accelerate past some of the G7 economies, their confidence and assertiveness in global affairs also grows.
This state of the world presents a mixture of opportunities and challenges for South Africa. One of the challenges is whether our foreign policy is sufficiently flexible to respond to these changing dynamics. A second is whether our institutions, including diplomatic services, are geared towards strengthening our position in spite of negative trends and to harness opportunities arising from positive changes such as growing South- South cooperation.
A third challenge is how we could grow our economy under the conditions of slow global economic growth. This must take into account what big industrialized countries do or don’t do in relation to economic governance. Fourthly, how do we harness the activism of non-state actors and different spheres of government like provinces and municipalities, in order to expand beneficial international relations. Finally, what does the idea of national interest entail in conditions where global and local realities, principles, values and institutions are interconnected? In this context, how do we reconcile ‘national’ interest with the pursuit of pan-Africanism and a progressive internationalist movement?
HISTORICAL MANDATE OF THE ANC: A PROGRESSIVE INTERNATIONALISM
Progressive internationalism is a radical perspective of international relations that the liberation movement developed out of the struggle for liberation. It is born out of its interaction with fellow liberation movements throughout the world and international solidarity movements. It is radical in that it entails opposition to the perpetuation of the legacy of global imperialism manifest in the global power asymmetry, the dominance of the global North over the South and the world, structural global inequality and poverty.
Paradigms of violence and the global world manifest in militarization of international relations, global racism and patriarchy, neocolonialism and other ills that delay the development of both a new truly post-colonial world system and an inclusive globalized economy. It envisages a just, equitable, non-racial, non-patriarchal, diverse, democratic and equal world system. It requires the building of alliances and solidarity with progressive forces in the South and North fighting for similar objectives in world affairs.
The NGC discussion document of 2015 correctly points out that the liberation struggle in which progressiveness is born began when the colonial/ imperial project expanded to the South in the 15th to the 19th century. In this period, the world witnessed the rise of a global system of imperialism as the basis of a modern world system that continued to perpetuate unequal power relations. The colonization of South Africa since 1652, almost two hundred years after Vasco da Gama, had rounded the Cape, was intimate element of the global imperial process. Hence, the liberation struggle was about the national question and the international situation.
The period between the calamitous conference of colonial empires in Berlin in 1884-5, which decided on the colonial scramble for Africa, and the achievement of independence from the 1960s saw the growing internationalization of anti-colonial struggles through alliances and solidarity campaigns. This internationalist outlook of the African struggles is epitomized by the Pan-African Conferences that took place between 1900 and reached their heights in the 1950s.
In the backdrop of the so-called Second World War as the Western world developed the Atlantic Charter as a set of principles to govern world affairs, the movement developed an alternative set of principles and rights contained in the African Claims. This envisaged a world shaped not just by the aspiration and interests of the Western world, but one also shaped by African demands. It thus made clear its opposition to the imperial idea of a world system designed without the consultation of peoples outside the West.
Progressive internationalism also draws from the experience of the movement as an active participant in the making of a global South solidarity challenging the North-dominated post-World War 2 world order that found its most prominent expression in the Afro- Asian Solidarity Conference in Bandung, Indonesia, in 1955. The Bandung Conference sent a strong signal that a world system cannot be built on the basis of our exclusion, exploitation, domination, marginalization and without our input. It cemented the foundations of the solidarity of progressive forces of the South
emerging to contest the onset of new imperialism under the leadership of the US as the dominant global power after war.
It also outlined a vision of South-South Cooperation in the form of solidarity with unfinished struggles against colonialism and apartheid as well as socio-economic and political co-operation among independent countries of the South. It is from this that the principles of self-reliance, sovereign equality of states, sanctity of national sovereignty, solidarity and non-alignment in the Cold War between the East and West emerged. These principles remain critical in the progressive movement throughout the movement with the Non- Aligned Movement (NAM), the World Peace Council (WPC), the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization (AAPSO), and the Organization of Solidarity for Peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America (OSPAAL), and many other vehicles for progressive international solidarity.
The expansion of the international solidarity pillar of the anti-apartheid struggle after the banning of the liberation movements and the incarceration of its top leadership in the 1960s was a critical moment in the history of the global progressive movement. Anti- apartheid solidarity movements mushroomed all over the world, helping to place the South African struggle on the world map and connecting it to the other global struggles.
The relationships developed in the joining together of anti-colonial and anti-imperial struggles evolved into alliances that today have a crucial role in responding to the stubborn persistence of imperial designs that accompany regime change, militarization of oceans and outer-space, the establishment of military bases all over the world, dominant approaches to the War on Terror, the abuse of Responsibility to Protect, the manipulation of the International Criminal Court, the resistance to transformation of the World Bank and the IMF, frustration of the global consensus for the reform of the UN and its Security Council, the imposition of bilateral and trilateral trade arrangements outside the ambit of the WTO negotiations, global land grab, and others.
The implications of progressive internationalism for foreign policy since the ANC assumed the reigns of political power include contestations within and outside the movement about the ideological outlook of foreign policy, the relationship between values and interests, the balance between relations with the North and cooperation with the South, the opposition to regime change agendas, the country’s active role in building continental and regional integration, the role in peacemaking and peacekeeping in Africa and so forth. The movement needs to continuously discuss how progressive internationalism relate to the idea of Ubuntu Diplomacy. It needs to explain the relations between progressive internationalism and other alternative paradigms of international relations within the world progressive movement such as revolutionary internationalism.
The movement has to reflect on the current re- alignment of conservative forces with the rise of narrow nationalists, neo-Nazi, racist, anti-Semitic, and populist forces in the North. There are serious implications in the swing to the right in the global North because this signals that the imperialist vision for international relations is gathering steam and may become more aggressive in the coming years.
The movement must critically reflect that the global South is experiencing fractures and tectonic shifts that include the rise of conservative neocolonial forces in countries of the South. The extent to which institutional vehicles for progressive internationalism such as the Socialist International, NAM, G77 and others can maintain a semblance of ideological cohesion in the face of the re-emergence of imperial forces is a subject for debate. How we respond to this and how we plan to help rebuild this cohesion is crucial to how we continue to advance progressive internationalism in a rapidly changing world.
The movement has to also critically reflect on the ramifications of diminishing electoral power on the domestic front signaled by the results of the local government elections for its progressive internationalism. The contestation of this paradigm on the domestic front as conservative and liberal forces become ever more emboldened has the potential to setback the progressive agenda of our international relations policy.
The courting of conservative forces internationally by opposition parties is a search for an alternative alignment of forces to diminish the influence of progressive forces. The narrative in our public platforms that is skeptical of the agency of the South, the African agenda, the solidarity with progressive forces globally, our role in BRICS and so forth points to a shift beginning on the domestic front that the progressive forces have to anticipate.
BALANCE OF FORCES
The current global order however, remains plagued by uncertainty and increasing insecurity. The negative impact of globalization can now be felt by the populations of the developed North as well as the elites in countries of the South. Thus the financial crisis of 2008 and the consequent economic crisis has
impacted on the global social and political landscape. Social movements across the globe are joining forces, especially with the help of new media to connect, inform and mobilise around issues of common concern. In this context the increased connectivity and immediacy of communications, creates both threats and opportunities for progressive social formations to build solidarity and achieve the required transformation of the defunct status quo.
The election of Donald Trump as the new President of the United States has proven all the pundits wrong, just as the vote by the British people to exit the EU caught the world by surprise. However, there is a pattern that is clearly discernable in what appears to be a world plunged into chaos. The general populace have been calling for change in numerous countries on all continents but have been largely ignored and as a consequence they are seeking change. Whether it is through the ballot box, through pressure groups and public protests, the voice of the people is growing louder. We therefore see increasing support for populist political parties, right-wing political positions, narrow nationalism, intolerance, increasing militarism and extremism. Without any doubt the world is facing a wave of anti-establishment sentiment that is changing the socio-political landscape.
Elites across the globe have common cause in maintaining the status quo. As the 2017 Oxfam Inequality Report, entitled “An economy for the 99 percent” reveals, the rich are still getting richer and the poor are getting poorer i.e. inequality is actually increasing. This is in contrast to the neo-liberal argument that there are now fewer poor people than ever before, as a way of supporting the notion that the status quo is beneficial and in the interest of the poor. There is a much more complex interplay of interests and forces competing for the same scarce resources, which has manifested in the above-mentioned anti-establishment sentiment on the one hand and those who, on the other hand believe that the world can still return to the day before the financial crisis occurred.
Amidst this uncertainty and the clash of interests between the various sectors of society, it is easier to recognize the roots of frustration and hopelessness that feeds into insecurity and even extremist violence. At the global level, this manifests in renewed tensions, especially between the big powers, to secure their National Interest, project their power abroad and build new alliances to tip the international balance of forces in their favour.
It is against this view that the system of global governance will continue to be under heavy strain due to geo-politics, the rise of far right-wing parties and anti-establishment governments across Europe, in parts of Asia and Latin America. In this regard, ideological differences and power relations in the global politics will play themselves out in the international bodies that anchors the system of global governance, such as the United Nations (UN), World Trade Organisation (WTO) and other multilateral bodies.
The question that we are consequently faced with is how we can go about building international solidarity to promote a better life for all in a just global order and tip the balance of power in the hands of the people. This is a question of strategy and the implementing tactics of Building a Global Progressive Movement.
It is the agency of the developing world, the South, that has the potential to lead the building of a global economy that is based on the diversity of civilizations and cultures; a global economy that is designed to serve all rather than a small fraction of the world’s population. We have witnessed such activism and energy in a number of international forums where developing countries asserted their shared interests through bodies such as the G77 for example, during the negotiations of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted in September 2015. In this and other negotiations, developing countries have insisted on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities so that poor countries should not be expected to shoulder similar responsibilities for solving structural problems in the world or for translating agreements into action, in the same manner as wealthier developed countries are expected to.
The ANC-led government’s position on this development agenda shared the African position’s insistence that the new agenda needed to build on the MDGs. The G77 also understood the intention of G7 countries and other formations of the North to renegotiate everything and introduce stumbling blocs to the aspirations of poor and developing countries. South Africa has played a catalytic role as a committed African country and as Chair of the G77 during the year of negotiations on a new development agenda at the UN.
The ANC government has positioned South Africa strategically in the BRICS platform whose significance is steadily growing. BRICS now has a number of initiatives that are being concretely implemented. The inauguration of the BRICS Bank represents a tangible way of expanding alternative sources of support to developing countries in need of finance to turn their economies around. Through the efforts of our Government, South Africa is to host the Africa office of the BRICS Bank, further strengthening our efforts to implement the vision of an African Renaissance while deepening south-south cooperation.
However, we have to be alive to the changes in governments within our BRICS partners, as well as the possibilities of other alliances. Brazil has undergone massive political upheaval with the impeachment of President Roussef and subsequent ascendancy of the current president center-right coalition. This development could impact on the cohesion and trajectory of the BRICS formation.
The violation of the Syrian sovereignty and interventionist agenda by forces that seek to bring about regime change in Syria has led to the paralysis in the United Nations Security Council. The paralysis in the United Nations Security Council on the Syrian issue has brought into sharp focus the need to implement reform of the institutions of global governance, so that they reflect today’s realities.
The entry of Russia in the Syrian conflict has changed strategic military balance and resulted in the Syrian forces regaining most of the territory resulting in ISIS and other terrorists grouping retreating. Russia and Turkey have brokered a ceasefire which gives hope for a long term peaceful resolution of the Syrian conflict.
Parallel to the situation in Syria, there is no progress towards dialogue and a political solution for a two- state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The USA, which has significant influence on Israel and the Peace Process in general has not been able to broker peace because of tense bilateral relations between the democratic administration under President Barack Obama and the conservative government in Tel Aviv. The Palestinian crisis will be exacerbated during the Trump administration which has recently made pro- Israeli pronouncements.
This year marks the 50th anniversary since the occupation of Palestine territories by Israel. This should mark a turning point in the global efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian question. It must be underscored that the Israeli illegal settlement activities are in contravention of international law and UNSC Resolutions and therefore constitute a major threat to the historic quest for a Two State solution.
We will join other progressive forces in the world to give impetus to the Palestinian struggle, through campaigns in different platforms to internationalise the Palestinian struggle. We call on the UN to play an active and central role as a representative world body in efforts to resolve the Palestinian question.
A worrying feature of the world we live in is the renewed phenomenon of militarization. This phenomenon is not limited to the developed world but has is occurring in some parts of the developing world thereby fueling conflicts in Africa, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the Middle East.
Differences between global powers find expression in the international bodies that anchor the system of global governance, such as the United Nations (UN), World Trade Organisation (WTO), and other multilateral bodies.
The United Nations is facing serious challenges such as the paralysis of the Security Council as a result of power rivalry within it and geopolitics. Thus the UN as a representative world body has to remain at the center of global governance and multilateralism. The recent rise of right-wing narrow nationalist movements, for example as expressed in the form of the Trump’s America first doctrine which will manifest in a less active role by the US in multilateral system.
We have to mobilise progressive forces in the South and worldwide to strengthen the system of global governance and the UN in particular, to remain a bulwark against unilateralist and war-mongering tendencies that are based on crude national interests of the powerful nations. For Africans, the African Union (AU) provides an important vehicle as a continent’s premier body, to engage the system of global governance with one voice.
The scourge of terrorism and violent extremism continue to be on the rise and constitute a major threat to international peace and security. The global response to the phenomenon in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US have not provided a comprehensive and holistic approach to address the issue with its root causes. Global military activities by Western powers particularly in Libya, and their policies in Syria, have provided a fertile ground for terrorism and violent extremism to flourish.
The recent rise of the Islamic State (IS) can be directly linked to western military activities in Iraq, Libya and Syria. This phenomenon has resulted in massive irregular migration of people from the Middle East and North Africa. The irregular large scale migration caused by conflicts and wars in these regions have led to a regrettable conflation of migration with terrorism. The ability of the UN Security Council to promote international security is hampered by its limited legitimacy as it is yet to be reformed in order to reflect the current geopolitical realities. It is also hampered by geopolitical contestations where Western powers are often pitted against the East, particularly Russia and China as witnessed in matters of the Middle East. In this context, regional military alliances like NATO have grown bolder in their geopolitical positioning and influence in world affairs. Divisions in the UN Security Council are often limiting and almost paralyzing its ability to ensure an end to unnecessary conflicts. It is clear that it would need a fundamental reform of
the Council for it to regain both its legitimacy and its effectiveness as a custodian of global peace and security.
Yet, the discussions on the reform of the UN and its Security Council have stalled and very little progress has been made thus far to address its anachronistic status.
There is also a growing agency of non-state actors, NGOs and corporations in the shaping of global discourses and, by implication, actions on current global issues. International NGOs and corporations have taken advantage of globalization by deepening their role in shaping the thinking about global and regional problems and offering solutions to them. They both can act as an extension of powerful countries in advancing the goals of new cultural, economic and political imperialism or they can promote a progressive agenda. The countries of the South are often least prepared to respond to the use of non-state actors as proxies and are not often effective in countering them by using their own non-state actors to advance their interests or to counter Northern geopolitical games.
There is a progressive civil society that has kept the agenda of social justice, fairness, equality, equity, access to essential services, anti-imperialism and food sovereignty alive. The frequency of parallel People’s Assemblies on the sidelines of major meetings of elites such as at Davos and in WTO ministerial meetings, suggest that the poor want to make inputs in efforts to make their lives better. They are saying “nothing about us without us”.
ANC’s ROLE IN BUILDING A BETTER AFRICA
A prosperous, stable, secure, and peaceful Africa remains an important objective of the ANC’s international relations policy. We have recognised from our establishment in 1912 that South Africa’s prosperity and success is linked to the success and prosperity of Africa. The concrete work done towards the achievement of the African renaissance since 1994 is the ANC’s response to the clarion call for the regeneration of Africa.
Africa was an important pillar of the strategy of isolating the apartheid state and the creation of a rear base for the armed struggle, a strategy that would help bring the apartheid state to its knees. After our liberation, we continued to work with fellow Africans to advance African unity, solidarity, development and integration. For this reason, we played an active part in the transformation of the OAU into the African Union with improved capacity to respond to post-Cold War challenges in Africa.
We actively participated in the development of a number of social, economic and political policies and protocols, and in pushing for their full implementation. As a movement in power, we played a significant role in the crafting and operationalisation of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) as a collective developmental vision and programme for Africa in partnership with strategic partners in the world. And in 2013, the African leaders adopted Agenda 2063, a vision of the Africa we want.
South Africa is today acclaimed for its role in promoting peaceful and inclusive resolution of Africa’s conflicts in countries like Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, the DRC, Sudan, South Sudan, Madagascar, Comoros and, Zimbabwe.
We have played a meaningful role in the strengthening of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The development of SADC’s political, security and developmental programmes are crucial contributions to the process of building a regional integration machinery that is able to respond to the region’s challenges of poverty, conflict and underdevelopment. This machinery is important for the stability and prosperity of South Africa also. To this end, we as a movement in power have worked with the region to develop sound policies and programmes, which can assist in stabilising and assisting the region’s growth.
In line with our fellow Africans we recognise that for Africa to be prosperous it must be based on inclusive growth and sustainable development. Therefore, we commit ourselves to eradicating poverty within one generation, by building shared prosperity through the social and economic transformation of the continent. We shall develop and participate in efforts to utilize African resources, particularly natural resources to power investments in the agricultural and marine (blue economy) sectors, as well as act in an environmentally responsible actor in development.
Cognizant of the colonial lag, the ANC shall posit that we look at better resource management, with African countries firstly co-operating amongst each other in common resources, and thereafter with other emerging market countries, so as to create an emerging market bloc on strategic natural resources.
The South African government has played a positive role of a partner in development instead of a hegemon in regional and continental politics. In this regard we contributed to peace in the region and the continent in general. Nevertheless, there have been concerns about links between our efforts on the continent and domestic imperatives of growing our economy, creating new developmental opportunities and other forms of returns for investments made. The view that African renaissance initiatives have so far been state-led is in fact a criticism of the movement’s failure to lead the mobilisation of civil society in support of the goal of African renewal.
The ANC, like many others recognise that it is an imperative for Africa to be an integrated continent that is politically united and based in the ideals of Pan Africanism and the vision of the African Renaissance. Africa cannot accelerate its development and progress, if it is not united. We concur with the objectives of Agenda 2063, to link Africa through modern world class infrastructure, increased intra-African trade, greater movement of people and goods, and ensuring that the remaining territories in Africa which are occupied need to be liberated. As the ANC, we also recognise that as South Africa and its economy has been further integrated with other African economies, the South African economy has benefited.
With increased numbers of persons from within the continent attracted to South Africa, our economy has benefited from the inflow of Africans with scarce skills and are economically active. The ANC shall educate our general populace regarding these economic spin offs as some sections of the society feel unfairly impinged upon by persons from within the continent.
This is in line with our values and ideals as a pan- Africanist movement. Therefore as the ANC we must engage progressive forces and liberation movements on the continent to adopt developmental policies which will contribute to their countries’ prosperity.
Therefore, it is imperative for us to recognise that the fluidity of politics and objectives within our continent require us to respond dynamically and with speed in defence of African renaissance. We shall however remain focused on pursuing the values of solidarity and shared prosperity within the continent. The ANC has a responsibility to promote economic development on the continent that will enable us to address our domestic imperatives.
Another matter of particular concern is the slow pace of continental integration. We need to strengthen linkages between the AU and its building blocks, the regional economic communities, to realise a better Africa that we all aspire for. We must encourage our African leaders to fully embrace Africa’s shared values and continue with concerted actions to improve the living condition on the continent with a view to realise African renaissance.
The ANC understands that the fluid global and continental environment throws up new dynamics, which impact on our ability to expeditiously and energetically promote the African agenda as encapsulated in many common positions, protocols and the Constitutive Act of the African Union. These need to be analysed and thoroughly discussed for enhanced comprehension.
Revitalising Africa and robust engagement
In thinking carefully and creatively about our strategic role in creating a better Africa in the current global climate, part of our focus should be on re-energising the continent for greater progress towards the African renaissance. This includes re-invigorating efforts to strengthen the AU, NEPAD, African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), and SADC. We need a sharper focus on the implementation of common policies and programmes that the continent has painstakingly developed as an expression of this agenda for change.
But we should also be open to other initiatives that might be started or we should allow for the execution of old plans differently. Our strategic role should be informed by the dialectical relationship between continuity and change in a constantly changing environment. This dialectic is best managed on the basis of an enlightened understanding of what is in South Africa’s interests where this does not mean narrow self-interests, but a host of developments that should considered to be for the greater good of South Africa and Africa, directly or indirectly. Yet, we guard against pursuit mainly that which will be of immediate direct value as opposed to creating conditions for long-term sustainability of the South Africa.
It should be equally recognised that any programme of revitalising Africa will be stillborn if it continues to remain in the realm of government and government- to-government relations and institutions. The low-level involvement of the general public in these initiatives has to be remedied as a matter of urgency.
Africa is home to the youngest population of all the continents. It is important that we invest in our youth to ensure that they meaningfully participate in shaping the continent’s future. The ANC is pleased by the commitment of the AU as demonstrated by its focus on youth during the January 2017 Summit which was held under the theme “Harnessing the demographic dividend- through investment in the youth”. This augurs well with our NDP injunction to maximise the benefits of our own national demographic dividend.
Strengthening institutions and leadership
A key component of the African agenda is the strengthening of continental and regional institutions.
The recent events in Cote d’Ivoire and Libya suggest that of primary importance will be to ensure that these institutions, especially the African Union, including its organs, and the Regional Economic Communities, as well as SADC have sufficient political, intellectual, and technical capacity to respond quickly to the ever- changing context. This raises the question whether we should not as a movement stimulate a broad and inclusive discussion about the character of political and institutional leadership that is required to respond to the particular challenges of our time as well as how the continent and sub-region will sustain a certain level of leadership on African concerns globally and within Africa.
The government has been involved in the processes leading to the merger of the African Court of Justice and the African Court of Human and People’s Rights, the review of the mandate of the Pan African Parliament with a view to transforming it, and the operationalisation of financial institutions provided for in the AU Constitutive Act including the African Development Bank (AfDB). These efforts must be continued.
As indicated above, central to the agenda of these institutions and leadership should be the popular aspirations of our people with their mass participation.
Consolidating African governance Building on the work done to promote adherence to AU principles of good governance and democracy as well as the APRM initiative, the ANC and government should ensure that the governance guidelines and systems are understood, promoted and adhered to. Failure to make progress in efficiency and effectiveness of governance undermines the achievement of a better life for all in Africa and creates opportunities for external powers to interfere in Africa.
We need an Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law. These principles are not negotiable or nice-to-haves, they are imperatives and fundamental to Africa being a prosperous, stable and secure continent. Furthermore, in this post-millennial, neo-colonial world, as we have witnessed with the outcomes of the so-called Arab Spring countries, if these principles are not adhered to, then under the guise of promoting good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law, African countries are undermined and their resources exploited, and even leaders are chosen for them, in the interest of the West.
Our position on the need for deeper continental unity and our principled support of the campaign to build a union government for Africa remains, despite the lull in the continental debate on Union Government. We maintain that the road to this phase of continental unity is through the strengthening of regional communities, which the African Union considers to be building blocks for African unity.
Believing that the unity we create should be sustainable and systematic; we consider a strong focus on strengthening regional integration as the surest route to a strong continental unity and one that is best poised to respond to developmental imperatives of the continent. The support and expectation to see the full implementation of the African Union decision to strengthen the African Union Commission is an essential glue that connects various parts of the Union.
The ANC supports the process of exploring the transformation of the AU Commission into an Authority in the hope that such a transition could result in a more efficient and effective central organ of the AU. The ANC will continue to encourage inclusive public discussions amongst African peoples on the options towards stronger continental integration. The courage of South Africa to put forward one of its seasoned leaders to lead the AU Commission, must be commended. The work done on making the Commission more efficient, improving internal systems, less reliant on donors, particularly consultants is the basis for the African Union to be a lot more successful in its endeavours.
We must also realise that Africa cannot be united just by governments coming together, the people must unite. We are a vast continent with a multitude of cultures, languages, dialects, practices, etc. One cannot just decree understanding and unity, with so much diversity. Especially, after three hundred years of divide-and-rule tactics by Western colonisers. Therefore, we support the message of Agenda 2063, with its promotion of an Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, values and ethics. As Agenda 2063 compels us to strive towards Africa being a strong, united and influential global player and partner.
In this regard the ANC calls on all stakeholders and governments to preserve and consolidate achievements recorded during the chairship of Dr Dlamini Zuma and ensure that we pursue the AU’s long-term vision of Agenda 2063. To this effect we must support the new Chair of the AU Commission while defending the advances made in the implementation of the Agenda 2063 programmes.
The ANC is conscious to the current realignment that is taking place on the continent with serious implications for the future of the African Agenda. In this regard it is imperative that we build, cultivate and revive the historic and strategic alliances with progressive parties on the continent to preserve this agenda. Thus, if left unchecked the current realignment would create subjective conditions for the return of neo-colonial and neo-patrimonial political and economic relations in the continent.
In pursuit of the objective of continental unity the ANC views the readmission of Morocco to the AU as an opportunity to expedite the resolution of the Western Sahara political situation in accordance with the AU and UN resolutions. Morocco withdrew from the OAU in 1984 in protest against the membership of Western Sahara and therefore their readmission shall usher a new era in recognition of the inherent status of Western Sahara within the AU.
We must work within the collective of the AU to resolve this long standing and potentially divisive matter. The ANC undertakes to intensify mobilisation of continental and international revolutionary forces to preserve Western Sahara status in the AU. In this connection we remain resolute in our support for the People of Western Sahara’s quest for self-determination.
Furthermore, we have remained consistent with our solidarity with the people of Palestine in their cause to realise the Palestinian Statehood. We cannot turn a blind on Israeli efforts to galvanise support from Africa and elsewhere with a view to undermine the Palestinian cause. As observed in 2016 President Netanyahu visited a number of African countries to garner support for its foreign policy towards Palestine. Furthermore the ANC shall engage progressive forces on the continent on the need to develop a common position and posture in preparation for the upcoming Israeli-Africa Summit scheduled for October 2017 in Togo.
However, we cannot be united in the African Union, but the moment we are in the UN or other global bodies we do not act in unison. Notwithstanding our individual national interests, we cannot only just be saying it, that African unity is the key to unlocking our potential, but we must also act united in the global stage.
In this regard, reform of the UN, especially it’s Security Council is very important for Africa, and therefore, the ANC and the South African government, must reignite discussions within the continent so that we have a single position that is not just adhered but visibly supported by all fifty-four AU member states.
By 2020 All Guns Will Be Silent
The noble aim of Agenda 2063 to ensure that all conflicts in Africa will be resolved by 2020, must be supported by the ANC. We continue to adhere to the principle of allowing citizens of conflict-ridden or crisis-prone countries opportunities to own solutions to their problems, since this is an important condition for lasting peace, and one that must anchor the mediation efforts. Our track record in peaceful settlement of conflicts in Africa bears out the correctness of this principled position. Yet to sustain this position, we must ensure that there is sufficient popular understanding of the value of this approach.
However, for this principle to work more efficiently we must also ensure that there is sufficient capacity in regional and continental institutions to rapidly respond to crises before they become entrenched. We will continue to contribute to post-conflict reconstruction and development, peacekeeping operations and peace diplomacy through the support of mediation efforts. The engagement of interested external actors is crucial for ensuring their support for African solutions.
The developments that took place in North Africa in early 2011 illustrate the need for the AU organs to respond quickly and appropriately to the social upheavals. The ANC supports the government’s efforts to ensure that the outcomes of these challenges are inclusive and generally credible transitional governments.
Therefore, it is also imperative to monitor and expose foreign involvement on the continent. We must be wary of countries in the North, particularly the United States (and its allies) as well as France in its former colonies, involving itself by military means on the continent. In this regard we must focus on the designs of AFRICOM, especially since it may take the form of military co-operation in the form of the war against terrorism or drugs, as opposed to a United States military base being established.
With all the developments and progress achieved since the demise of European colonialism, we have not yet as a continent overcome the serious consequences of slavery, colonialism, and neo-colonialism. And today we are witness to the colonial umbilical cord remaining, such that a significant part of our culture and identity is tied to the former colonial master. As South Africans we know that many had to pay an exacting price to be allowed to hold democratic elections, and we still are paying that price today. It seems that there is no sunset on the sunset clauses. It would be important as Africans to discuss the prices we all had to pay for liberation, so that we can rid ourselves of the consequences of slavery, colonialism, and neo-colonialism.
SADC, and the integration of its member states must be the number one priority of the ANC, and ipso facto, the democratic government.
Having been involved in the process of the reform of the SADC Secretariat and in consolidation of its policy agenda, the task of the movement and the government is to promote the strengthening of the capacity of SADC central organs to fully execute SADC decisions taken and to co-ordinate the implementation of its programmes. This will require that by example South Africa encourage the strengthening of SADC National Committees as key nodes for domestication of the SADC agenda.
There has to be a clear alignment of our domestic programmes with the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan. Without this, the vision of developmental regional integration expected to help create developmental states in the region and thus fight against poverty will falter. The movement has to ensure that this happens in order to ensure that developmental regional integration helps the region to respond to both the globalisation process and changing power dynamics that come with it.
It is in our own interest to promote an improved regional stability through support for peace, conflict resolution and prosperity. In this regard, preventative diplomacy and early warning systems are crucial tools for achieving this. The movement supports the efforts to ensure that the new SADC election advisory body and the mediation mechanism work optimally. It will actively participate in regional efforts to ensure successful and democratic elections as contained in the “SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections”. Failure in this regard will lead the growth in post-election disputes and violence, which in turn will attract the hawkish external powers.
The advance of the agreed deeper economic integration initiatives ought to be ensured. The establishment of a SADC Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in 2008 was meant to lead towards the establishment of a SADC Customs Union, which has not yet taken place. The ANC supports efforts to implement the FTA, as the basis for greater integration programmes. The regional body must be able to get the region ready for both a customs union, which is now two years behind its scheduled launch, and a common market. The SADC-East African Community (EAC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) initiative should receive support from the ANC and the government.
This initiative seeks to amalgamate the economies of the three regions with a combined market of 26 countries with a population of 625 million people and a total gross domestic product (GDP) of $1.6 trillion. The ANC should contribute to public awareness about these developments.
SADC Integration should be comprehensive and all- encompassing to include the formation of a SADC Parliament.
ANC’S STRATEGIC ROLE TOWARDS A BETTER WORLD
The multilateral system of global governance, with the UN and the Bretton Woods Institutions at its core, does not reflect the current global realities. In this regard, the world has significantly changed since 1945, for example, countries such as Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom (Empires at the time) ,were the main architects of the current international order, under which, only a quarter of the states were independent. Currently, the international system/system of global governance is conceived by the national interests of Second World War victors at the centre of global affairs.
The current system is anchored mainly on the United Nations Charter which focuses on the following areas: Peace and Security; Development; Human Rights, as well as, International Law. Since its formation, there has always been the awareness of the need to transform the system of global governance, to advance the interests of the South and Continent (Africa).
There’s an urgent need to soldier ahead with the reform of the United Nations and the Security Council (the only body in the world entrusted with the responsibility of the maintenance of international peace and security, including the power to utilise force, i.e. military force). This body continues to be undemocratic and anachronistic, dominated by the P5 Second World War victors, ordinarily conceived as police men of the world and mandated to deal with the prevention of war in Europe. Its agenda is currently predominantly on African issues and few issues on the countries of the South, yet the former and latter are not represented in the permanent category. We therefore need to renew our call for urgent steps to be taken to transform the United Nationals Security Council to reflect today’s global realities.
The adoption of the post-2015 agenda will not be a panacea to socio-economic development challenges of the South and the Continent. The programme is broad enough, forward looking and ambitious however, its implementation will be challenged by a lack of resources.
The slow pace of development in the South and on the Continent has not been due to a lack of programmes, policies and political will, but due to the fact that the playing field has not be levelled. The Continent and country continue to lose significant resources due to illicit financial flows estimated to be more than Foreign Direct Investments.
We therefore call for urgent steps to address this phenomenon on the global level. We are mindful of the challenges facing traditional formations of the South, the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) and the G77 + China, due to the global political realignment occasioned by the end of the Cold War.
These formations have over the decade’s been the “vanguard” for advancing the interests of least developed nations of the South and Continent. These states constitute a significant majority in international organisations. They have over the years used these critical platforms to advance the African agenda and serve as a bulwark against unilateral tendencies by the most powerful states.
Respect for International law including the rule of law and global governance remains critical. The resolution of international challenges and problems should be based on internationally agreed norms and standards. International law in its facets, conventions, treaties and protocols, has to be based on the equity of states, respect for sovereignty and fairness. International law should never be skewed in favour of powerful states who have for centuries used the international system to their advantage and to advance their own interests at the expense of poor countries of the South.
The adoption of the Rome Statute of 1998 by the international community was a significant step in the fight against impunity and the gross violations of human rights, perpetration of heinous crimes and crimes against humanity. South Africa actively participated in the negotiations of the important international statute on the understanding that the statute will be applicable to all states on the basis of equity. It is regrettable that the power relations in the Rome Statute remained skewed in favour of the powerful western powers who were given untrammelled power through an unrepresentative structure like the UNSC.
It remains unprecedented that that non-state parties to an international treaty could have the power to make a treaty they are not party to. In essence only two out of the five permanent members of the UNSC are parties to the Rome Statute. The Statute and the unbalanced manner in which the western powers prefer it to be implemented does not give due regard to fundamental issues of the need to strike a balance between peace and justice.
34 African states are signatories to the Rome Statute. However in the recent past they have raised concerns about the manner in which the Rome Statute is implemented without due regard to the continent’s efforts to address issues of conflicts and peace, some of which are lasting legacies of colonialism. It is therefore fundamental that, the AU and its member states urgently finalise efforts to enable the African Court on People and Human Rights to discharge its expanded mandate. The continent shall deal with issues of impunity, gross violations of human rights and perpetration of crimes against humanity without being over reliant on the international justice system.
South-South cooperation in its manifestations remains critical for the advancement of the developmental interest of the countries of the South. South Africa should continue to harness the benefit of strategic relationships with countries of the South. It should remain our priority to strengthen the Non-Aligned movement and Group of 77, to continue to play their vanguard role in an international system that is skewed in favour of the West.
South Africa’s participation in the system of global governance has always been about advocating for transformation from within, with an aim to serve the interests of the small poor countries of the South and the Continent. The system of global governance anchored on multilateralism and respect for international law remains fundamental in the conduct of international relations affairs.
Strengthen North-South Dialogue
Our resolve remains the need to address the gap between the rich North and the poor South. We must continue utilising existing mechanisms such as the Joint Africa- EU strategy which provides a long-term framework for relations between the African Union and the European Union, based on partnership.
We are mindful that the relations between Africa and the EU remains skewed in favour of the European, however commits to undertake necessary steps to correct this situation. Another worrying factor is that African countries still remain producers of raw materials and commodities supplying the industrialised North. This highlight the importance of building infrastructure which should be a catalyst for industrialisation in Africa.
Shared prosperity could also be realised through the reform of international finance institutions like the WTO, IMF and World Bank. Furthermore, the G20 should be utilised as an important instrument to stabilise the global economy, provide necessary stimulus to advance growth in the global South.
Owing to progressive nature of South Africa and the ANC, it is important that international platforms are used to actively engage like-minded countries of the North to advance the Agenda of the South.
South Africa’s relationship with the North and the US in particular remain crucial. While the Obama administration has assured a full renewal of the AGOA agreement, the future of this agreement under the Donald Trump administration remains uncertain, especially since the latter’s administration has not as yet made pronouncements on his engagement with Africa. The South African government should engage the US administration to preserve AGOA.
The ANC recognise the importance of parliament as an agent for implementation of South Africa’s foreign policy. In this purview parliamentary solidarity is informed by our historical relations and the current foreign policy objectives which are based on domestic imperatives. Since the advent of democracy parliament has gained valuable experience in advancing the African Agenda, Agenda of the South and deepening mutual partnerships with the North as well as promoting multilateralism.
Our participation in the Pan Africa Parliament (PAP) is predicated on the need to advance participatory democracy, good governance and prosperity. The ANC urges our Parliamentarians to remain steadfast in pursuing the transformational agenda of the PAP. We believe that moving the PAP from its advisory status to a legislative body requires renewed commitment from our continental political leadership.
Furthermore, the ANC should intensify efforts to build better alignment between the PAP and the AU and the SADC Parliamentary Forum. Thus we need to harmonise the work of parliamentary bodies at regional and continental levels.
Our parliament shall build strong relations with parliamentary forums in different hemispheres through participation in the Inter-parliamentary Union to advance common agenda. The ANC believes in reinforced solidarity with parliamentary forums such as the African Caribbean and Pacific Parliamentary Forum and strengthen cooperation with the European Union to advance our foreign policy objectives.
As elected representatives of South Africans, the ANC will assist parliament to improve communication with the public so as to enhance comprehension of our international engagements. South Africans needs to be kept abreast with international developments and the extent to which our international relations efforts contribute towards addressing national challenges.
Economic diplomacy is an important component of our foreign policy which seeks to contribute towards the realisation of the NDP vision and trajectory. Since the advent of democracy and following our reintegration into the global economic system, we sought to leverage trade and investment opportunities to create a better life for all our people.
The ANC and government has gained valuable experience in this purview as evidence by the benefits we derived through revising and realigning our economic diplomacy strategies and plans. These economic policy strategies and plans include, but not limited to, the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP).
At this juncture we wish to renew our commitment to contribute towards a fair and equitable world trade system. Furthermore, government shall strive to strive to improve coordination of our economic diplomacy efforts. In this regard, we are encouraged by the efforts which are under way to ensure fully operationalisation of the recently established economic diplomacy unit in DIRCO.
This will enable us to take advantage of the economic boom in the continent and improve trade levels with both traditional and newly identified markets. In doing so our business and the private sector must adhere to corporate laws in host countries and contribute to the improvement of local socio-economic conditions.
Strengthening the understanding of party-to-party and political multi-lateral relations
As observed in our 2012 National Conference and our recently held 2015 National General Council, the Africa National Congress needs to (i) strategically participate in multi-lateral political institutions and organisations,
(ii) Consolidate relations with the former liberation movements, (iii) strengthen relations with fraternal parties in the continent, and, (iii) expand the scope to relations with parties in the south and progressive organisations and movements in the north. These relations have been the nucleus and cornerstone that has shaped our international relations instruments in pursuing a better Africa in a better and just world but have also paved and smoothed the road in the development our State to State relations.
The party-to-party relations reflect the commitment to building alliances and networks of progressive forces joined together by a shared progressive agenda for respective countries and the world. State to state relations within progressive internationalism requires the support that comes from inter-party relations. The relations serve to continually renew the ideological and political bonds that have bound us together with many across the world that seek a better, just, fair and equitable world.
The pursuit of progressive internationalism also creates the need to link with governing parties especially in Africa and the South for purposes of aligning our respective political agendas even where a governing party may not be classified strictly as a progressive force. Progressive parties assume the reigns of government for a time and suffer setbacks at some point means that party-to-party relations refer to governing parties that may not always be classified as progressive.
With the constant swing of political power from progressive to conservative forces, and back to progressive, which has become common, party-to-party relations, serve as a scaffold by which the progressive agenda is carried through behind the periods of setbacks.
The movement has to constantly rethink its approach to these relations on the basis of a careful reading of the international balance of forces. This must be guided by the pursuit of the progressive agenda for international relations in the face of shifts in global power relations. These resolutions underlined the importance of prioritising our relations with the Southern African former liberation movements, especially in Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. In this regard the ANC has been fairly successful in not only maintaining relations, but also enhancing them at both party-to-party and governmental levels, as is the case with Angola. We need to consider broadening the former liberation platform to encompass other liberation movements on the continent such as PAIGC, PAIGV, FNL and so forth.
It is still necessary for us to continue assessing the ideological orientation and character of the various fraternal organisations and parties on the continent to identify those with political visions that are reconcilable with that of the ANC to determine the basis of party- to-party dialogue. This would also assist the ANC to identify and strengthen the African progressive movement. Our ability to help build a progressive movement has the potential to build stronger relations with both governments and democratic forces in Africa generally, as well as greatly enhance the possibilities of a global progressive movement.
In growing the global progressive movement to attain the goal of a better Africa and better and just world, free from hunger disease and underdevelopment we continue to engage various political parties to understand the plight of the poor and broader Africa. This makes it imperative for us to continue the already existing relations and further seek relations with political parties through party-to-party relations and other global forums. We continue to maintain relations with many political parties. Socialist International
The Socialist International as a body took time to come to terms with the anti-colonial movement, some of its members, especially after the Second World War when the anti-colonial movement intensified in Africa and Asia, established fraternal relations with several political formations of the national liberation movements. South Africa has thus been visible in the ranks of the Socialist International for decades.
However, it was the South African Labour Party, not the ANC, which pioneered South Africa’s membership of the Socialist International. The Labour Party, formed in 1909, was for the period leading up to the First World War a home to most of the nascent, socialist forces in South Africa, which at that time were largely confined to the white minority.
The Socialist International, for its part, also evolved, and from the 1970s in particular it started reaching out, both organisationally and in terms of its outlook and agenda, to parties and forces outside the borders of Europe. The ANC was recognised by these parties as the leading force in the liberation struggle in our country. It is in this context that President Oliver Tambo, in his January 1987 Olaf Palme Lecture in New York, could observed that: “Our own people will always remember Olaf Palme as one of us, an unswerving opponent of the apartheid system, one who took sides by supporting the oppressed and our organisation, the African National Congress.”
Hence the ANC, from the 1970s – and at the invitation of the Socialist International – started direct engagement with this organisation, at first as an observer. For the ANC, engagement with the Socialist International was part of the effort to build a strong, global anti-apartheid movement. The ANC also became associated as an active member of the two fraternal organisations of the Socialist International: the International Union of Socialist Youth and the Socialist International Women. With the end of apartheid, the ANC continued to participate in the Socialist International, and decided to seek full membership in 1999. The ANC sees the Socialist International as an important forum for the mobilisation of the world progressive movement around issues of a better world and a better Africa.
Today, the Socialist International’s African membership is significant – some 18 African parties out of a total of about 90 full member parties. Of the 30 member parties with a consultative status, seven are from Africa; and of the 16 member parties with observer status, three are African. This includes parties which were historically part of the alliance of anti-colonial forces, and others are based in parts of the African Diaspora. Many of these parties are, objectively, part of the forces that support efforts to achieve a better world and a better Africa.
The ANC had together with others decided to effect changes in the Socialist International to curtail the dominance of Europeans in the organisation and to allow greater representation of other regions in the globe. This had taken effect in recent years but has resulted in strong resistance from European parties by withdrawing their funding with a view to collapse the organisation. However, with the limited funding it had resulted in reduction of staff but the organisation is still operational. Currently there are limited progressive political party platforms and this is one of the few opportunities that allows for engagements between progressive parties.
Our relations in South and Latin America continue to grow but we must pay particular focus to the Caribbean as it would be necessary for the ANC to participate in this region and its progressive forums like the Sao Paulo Forum, which can assist us in growing and deepening relations with progressive formations and political parties.
CONTINENTAL AND INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY
The ANC was also mandated to build a Global Progressive Movement by the 3rd International Solidarity Conference outcomes as the foundation of the movement with the objective of striving for a better Africa and a just better world free from inequality, disease and underdevelopment. The current global dynamics, the dawn of social movements on social media platforms and its impact on societies has precipitated the urgency to mobilise progressive forces towards building a World Movement against colonial and structural Global Economic Apartheid and to negate the growing co-operation of reactionary states and multinational corporations.
The nucleus for this progressive solidarity movement will centre around the former liberation movements and build up to the progressive social movements, labour union and issue based groups across the continent and the world. The progressive mass democratic movement in this regard will be tasked with shaping and driving the ideological orientation of this movement.
In renewing our collective efforts towards consolidating our continental and international solidarity, the following principles will guide our collective efforts and campaign strategy across the broad mass democratic movement:
- Campaign against the constant exploitation of Africa and her natural resources by Western powers and their multinational corporations;
- Lobby our governments to advance progressive positions on Africa’s development in the African Union, the United Nations and international financial institutions;
- Consolidate the African Union’s initiative of engaging the African Diaspora as the “sixth region” of Africa;
- Condemn our colonisers for sponsoring factionalism amongst liberation movements, including the use of some NGO’s and media outlets;
- Popularize the outcome of the high level panel on the illicit financial flows out the continent and its recommendations;
- To express concern at the prevailing situation of the peoples of Sudan, notably the situation in Abyei, the displacement of peoples in Nuba mountains, South Kordofan and Blue Nile; and for progressive forces to support the AU and UN efforts to stabilize both Sudan and South Sudan;
- To unite on the urgency of advancing the aspirations of the peoples of Western Sahara towards a free and fair referendum as Africa’s last colony seeking self-determination;
- Continue to condemn the delaying actions of Morocco to implement resolution of the United Nations and the African Union in regard to the question of Western Sahara, as well as look at various ways to isolate Morocco;
- To recognize that political solutions in Swaziland should be led by Swazis;
- To develop creative programmes to ensure the potential of women and the youth on our continent is harnessed for a constructive, patriotic role in our societies;
- To condemn the continued occupation of Palestinian territories by the Israeli government and called for a free Palestine along the 1967 borders with (East) Jerusalem as its capital:
- Reiterate support for Palestinian aspirations for an independent state including the full membership of the UN; and called on the UN Security Council to show leadership in halting the expansion of Israeli settlements and the harassment of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails as they have done in their last resolution on this matter;
- A consolidated programme on the celebration on Africa Day and Mandela Day as platform to foster unity, patriotism and fight racism and intolerance.
Organizational integration of International Work
The African National Congress needs to expand and mobilize all South Africans who find themselves outside the borders of the republic in a mechanism that allows the movement to grow internationally, therefore the need to mobilize ANC members and supporters abroad into appropriate mechanism/forums to enable members and these supports to keep in touch with the movement and developments in the country at all material times.
Since the unbanning of our movement and return of the majority of our members from abroad, less attention has been given to the life, plight and political needs of those of our people who for various reasons remain or were redeployed abroad and since the advent of democracy, South African government has spread its footprint to almost all major centres of the world: to reconnect with the rest of the world and to open markets for our goods and services, attract Foreign Direct Investment, promote tourism, seek appropriate technologies, training opportunities for our youth etc.
Throughout this period, some of our companies opened branches abroad, especially in Africa, and stationed South African nationals in these entities for varying periods of time with our professionals and students also taking advantage presented by opportunities abroad and lowered barriers to obtain travel documents and crossed frontiers in their hundreds of thousands. In many of the these countries, South African form huge groups which are organized in US, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Australia, United Kingdom, and Cuba. The movement needs to take urgent advantage and opportunity of these as a base to grow the ANC internationally.
The Constitutional Court ruled in 2009 that South Africans abroad have the right to take part in the National and Provincial Elections, and subsequently implemented in the 2014 elections. Government was called upon to facilitate and make sure that all South African exercise their constitutional rights by the use of our missions and the extension of the Independent Electoral Commission. Therefore a mechanism to organise South Africans abroad under the aegis of the ANC is quite important.
Other political parties have taken advantage of this ruling and mounted Campaigns abroad to woe our people to vote for their parties. It will be surprising if they have not established structures to continue and sustain their campaigns and the ANC needs to enter the battlefield by linking with former Anti-apartheid movements and the continuation of our International solidarity work, this would enhanced our mechanism/ forums abroad. These will also assist the organization in the battle of ideas debate on the international area and will root internationalism in the movement.
This mechanism will also assist the organisation to expand and facilitate its people to people and cultural relations in pursuit of building a global progressive movement beyond formal engagements with parties and political multi-lateral organisation. The mechanism will further relations with social movements and progressive non state actors of common mind.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
Balance of Forces
i) How does the internal election results in our BRICS countries affect the ANC and South Africa;
ii) What does the election of Donald Trump as the new President of the US signify, and what lessons can the ANC draw from this?
ANC’s Role in Building a Better Africa
i) How does the ANC balance the increased economic pressures of the poor in South Africa and the increased migration into South Africa from other regions of Africa, especially taking into account that South Africa’s destiny and fortunes are tied to our continent’s?
ii) How does the ANC assist in integrating our continent, within the reality of different languages (especially Anglo and Franco heritage) and cultures, so that the continental institutes are strengthened?
ANC’s Strategic Role Towards a Better World
i) We remain committed to multilateralism, what strategic role do we play in a world where the lure and temptation of bilateral agreements are prevalent?
ii) What is and how do we assist the African Union, and all its member states, to agree on a single position on reformation of the United Nations, particularly it’s Security Council?
i) What defines progressive parties in the current world order? Can the political party relate to non- progressive parties who are now ruling parties in government and still maintain its relations with progressive parties that are in opposition the parties?
ii) Is there a need to revise the approach of the establishment of a global progressive movement with the emergence of social movements on social media platforms and technological advancement, the weakening and ideological orientation changes of progressive parties, the resource constraints through the impact of globalisation, economic recession and business orientated views weakening governments? What needs to be done differently to realise the objective of a Global Progressive Movement?
i) Identify two international solidarity campaigns that will resonate with our branches.
ii) Now that Morocco has become a member of the African Union what does that mean for our solidarity campaign with Polisario and for the freedom struggle of the people of Western Sahara?
Issued by the African National Congress, 12 March 2017