Sunday, 10 December 2006 20:00 Khaye Nkwanyana Editorial Dept - Africa

It is without doubt that the ascendancy of South Africa this year on the 1st of January in the Security Council of the United Nations had raised some hopes and expectations in the developing world in terms of the additional voice albeit powerful to that multi-lateral institution of global peace and conflict resolutions, this is the case notwithstanding the ephemeral nature of our occupation of that seat of preponderance.

South Africa is perceived as one of the leading third world countries on issues of global peace, democracy and a firm believer in every countries self determination and that (whilst contestable at times) every sovereign state must resolve its own internal problems unless otherwise demonstrably to the insufficient capacity to do so or in the case where such are magnifying as to destabilize other countries thereby tempering with world peace.

We have been very loud in Middle East turmoil’s in particular about the US role which is partisan and complicit to the volatility which had plunged citizenry in that Region to permanent uncertainty. We have equally been involved in many African conflict resolutions as a country and through multilateral institution in the continent, African Union, and we have been involved even in other parts of the world, at times asked to broker peace like in Sri Lanka (Tamil Tigers) and the other conflict in European soil between the Sinn Fein and the Protestants.

Our ambassador will have to, within the short space of time succeed to push important resolutions both for global peace and self determination for states still facing oppressions of whatever form.

The Burma debacle in terms of our vote that represented the contrary of what we stand for and what the developing world expect us as a principled country notwithstanding (although the defense has been that it was a human rights commission issue not a UN Security Council issue), we are left with two key, but not exclusively, important questions whose resolutions, I contend, will locate us at the register of those who brought salient and systemic change in world affairs that is  the Cuban question and the Western Sahara. The Western Sahara question for us as a country, at least we have reasons to appreciate our engagement with it within the continent through government. Its recognition as a sovereign state was a giant step. But Saharawi people are still subjected to the worst forms of oppression that calls for more pressure to the Moroccan regime. There is a need for further UN resolution at least led by an African state like ours and to therefore give more legitimacy to AU in forcefully building a Western Sahara state which self determination. This question cannot linger infinite.

The most critical of all that we should attend to as a country without apology is the decades old economic embargo imposed by the US in Cuba because of  people of Cuba’s choice to be a Socialist country. This blockage is closer to push to extinction the current generation as a result of economic stagnation as there are very few daring countries that trade with Cuba with many of them (including South Africa) opting not to trade with Cuba because of US fear and the central provision in this embargo that any country trading with Cuba may risk American economic boycott. This is a worst form of bullying the world by dictating who to trade with and who not.

South Africa has a rich history with Cuba right from Anti-Apartheid struggle. This relationship extends even post Apartheid epoch with the many doctors given by Cuba to South Africa to address the shortage problem. Many of our medical students are studying medicine for free in Cuba in order to better our health system with trained medical cadres. We cannot be at the permanent receiving line without giving back; many resolutions for decades have been passed by the Security Council for the removal of the blockade but US has been perpetually undermining the UN. South Africa must lead on this question with her entry in the Security Council and push for other strengthened, time-framed and enforceable resolution with the result that the Unite State’s downplay should be called into question in the context of all global peace and security issues through which the US has been party and therefore undermining any attempts to redress those.

Like people of Western Sahara, Cuban people are subjected to worst permanent of all human misery so that a propaganda would b sustained that a class project other than capitalist project cannot thrive and cannot survive, this being sustained at the decimation of people who were born in a country that has for decades been living under that self chosen path.

Our foreign policy espouses these elements of self determination and autonomy, we are duty bound as the country to rise up to the occasion and attend to these critical question without relegating others into the back burner.

In order to make our mark in the United Nations we will need, through our ambassador to act like rebels that are impatient for change – that change must take place in now. This revolutionary approach which may be distinct from other African countries like Ghana who have been there for a long time, will go the long way in securing us a place in the sun beyond acting like the club of the Northern countries who have nothing to struggle for in the council except what they have to defend for. History will judge us harshly if we will sink to their level and be Luke warmed as if there are no socio-economic foot steps at our back pushing us for such achievements.

Khaye Nkwanyana
Deputy National Secretary of YCLSA
South Africa

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