South Africa and the United Nations

South Africa and the United Nations

South Africa was one of the founding members of the United Nations (UN), which came into existence in 1945. However, in 1974 the credentials of the South African Delegation to the United Nations were rejected due to international opposition to the policy of apartheid, and the South African Government was prevented from participating in the work of the General Assembly .

During the late 1970s and early 1980s UN Security Council sanctions were instituted against South Africa, while the UN gave financial support to national liberation movements. Both the Pan African Congress (PAC) and the African National Congress (ANC) obtained observer Missions at the UN with the organisation's financial support.

The democratic elections in South Africa in April 1994 paved the way for the complete normalisation of South Africa's relations with the UN. Since then South Africa has participated actively in all aspects of the work of the organisation.

A seminal event in the history of the UN was the UN Millennium Summit, held in September 2000 to consider the role of the organisation in the 21st century. It was attended by the vast majority of the world's leaders. President Thabo Mbeki and Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma actively participated in this historic event. The Summit culminated in the adoption of the UN Millennium Declaration, which represents an important framework for the organisation's activities in the years to come. It encapsulates, inter alia, important concerns relating to Africa and the developing world in general, regarding socio-economic development and security affairs.

The successful implementation of the objectives contained in the Millennium Declaration, particularly those aimed at improving the security, economic and social conditions of the people of Africa, is of specific importance to South Africa. It will therefore constitute one of the key elements in the country's future interaction with the General Assembly of the UN as well as with the other bodies of the organisation.

Click here to read more about the United Nations.

- South African History Online -

Last updated : 31-Mar-2011

This article was produced by South African History Online on 31-Mar-2011

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