We will not be dictated to, says Lindiwe Sisulu of SA's role on UN Security Council
SA will not allow other countries to dictate to it during the country's stint on the UN Security Council.
This was the firm stance of international relations minister Lindiwe Sisulu, who was addressing the second day of debate on the state of the nation address in parliament on Wednesday.
Sisulu dug in her heels, saying SA would not shirk its responsibility on African issues in the international body.
"SA will use its time at the security council, as well its chairship of the African Union, and will use Brics and other multilateral forums, to continue calling for a strong and timeous intervention for anything that needs decisive steps," she said.
In January, SA assumed its seat as a non-permanent member of the council for the next two years, while at the weekend SA was announced as the chair of the AU for 2020.
Sisulu focused a lot of her speech on promoting the important multilateral organisations, saying SA had a huge responsibility in stamping out anything that was anti-multilateralism.
"Our work in the UN Security Council is important for SA, Africa and for the developing world. Here we seek to reverse dangerous trends towards unilateralism and protectionism, which is being spearheaded by some countries," she said in a veiled reference to the US.
Since the election of Donald Trump as US president, there has been a growing push against multilateral forums such as the UN, with the US pushing for trade rules that were seen as protectionist.
Sisulu said SA would always seek to promote and protect a rules-based international body.
"At this point, we would like to apologise to the country for the glitch we made on the issue of Myanmar. It will not happen again. We are correcting that," she added.
In December last year, SA changed its vote and backed a resolution condemning human rights violations by Myanmar against the minority Rohingya people. This was after SA abstained from voting in November, causing an outcry.