13 October 2010
For the second time, South Africa has won a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. The country will push for international peace and the African agenda during its two-year term.
South Africa received 182 votes in the 192-member UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday. The country last served on the UN Security Council in 2007/08.
The UN General Assembly also elected Germany, India, and Colombia to two-year seats on the council, commencing 1 January 2011. Canada and Portugal went to a second round of voting.
Each non-permanent country sits on the council for two years alongside the permanent powers – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States – who have the right to veto any council resolution.
“If elected to the UN Security Council, South Africa will be guided by its commitment to multilateralism, advancement of the African agenda and the peaceful resolution of conflicts,” the Department of International Relations and Co-operation said on Monday.
South Africa surprised many, and outraged some, during its first term on the council, when it joined Russia and China in voting against a Security Council resolution on human rights issues in Myanmar.
In a recent interview with the SABC, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane acknowledged that they should have communicated better during that experience. She said the country had now gained international experience.