South African’s National Liberation Movement
“A Better Africa and A Better World”
The ANC will be hosting a dialogue on the Russia-Ukraine conflict under the theme “A better Africa and a better World.”
The dialogue is the ANC’s contribution to global efforts at finding a peaceful resolution to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. This is consistent with the ANC’s policy of non-alignment and non-aggression, progressive internationalism, peace, solidarity and friendship. The Russia-Ukraine conflict has a negative impact on the world as evidenced by rising food, gas and oil prices.
The dialogue will be led by a panel of experts, practitioners and thought leaders in international relations consisting of Dr Oscar Van Heerden-Moderator, Comrade Lindiwe Zulu-Member of the ANC National Executive Committee, Fasiha Hassan-Member of the Gauteng Legislature, Prof Chris Landsberg-University of Johannesburg, Clayson Monyela-Deputy Director-General of the Department of International Affairs and Cooperation and Welile Nhlapo-former ambassador to Ethiopia and the United States. In attendance will also be members of the diplomatic corps.
The dialogue will be hosted by the ANC Secretary General, Fikile Mbalula.
OUR PERSPECTIVE AND APPROACH TO THE CONFLICT
Many seminal perspectives have been offered on a number of thematic issues that have a bearing on the globe. Developments taking place across the world have a huge impact on the markets and the diplomatic space. Topical to these wide ranging perspectives which offer a broader view of the world from varying prisms has been the raging war between Ukraine and Russia, its debilitating effects on the global economy, accounting for a rise in food, gas and oil prices, emergence of new economic blocs and new alliances, the diminishing value of the dollar as the international reserve currency, amongst other factors.
These views shape the world in many ways, moving towards a new world order from a unipolarism to multilateralism, modern diplomacy, mutual cooperation and partnerships for reciprocal growth.
In addition to a number of seminars, commentaries and writings, the ANC’s International Relations subcommittee will host a seminar designed to shape to the discourse and its contribution to a changing world will be convening a number of dialogues under various topics to give context to the debates in the international relations space as a contribution to global efforts to build a peaceful world in congruence with its vision and commitment towards a better Africa and a better world.
“The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.”-Karl Marx
In this equation the Russia-Ukraine conflict is inevitable in view of its implications and importance in an evolving world that gravitates to a new order of multilateralism. This dialogue is one of many geared towards changing the world. It is a contribution towards the forthcoming BRICS Dialogue of Political Parties and the BRICS Summit that will taking place in South Africa.
BUILDING A BETTER AFRICA AND BETTER WORLD
Pillar 6 of the ANC 2023 advocates for the creation of a better Africa and better world. This ideal is an effort to create a peaceful global order based on collaborations for shared prosperity, elimination of famine, diseases, inequality, wars, climate destruction and the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.
The Africa 2063 Agenda is a vehicle to strive for a better Africa. How can this be achieved? The purpose of the formation of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963, which preceded the African Union, was an effort to end to apartheid and colonialism. By ending apartheid, a democratic South Africa would transform itself into an influential and major role player in the international arena, contributing towards Africa’s prosperity.
The ANC had long adopted this posture in 1955 when it adopted the Freedom Charter by declaring that “There Shall Be Peace and Friendship”.
The African Union expanded this agenda to include creating a better Africa through the 2063 African Agenda, economic integration and intra-trade, amongst its developmental objectives, transformation of multilateral institutions, representation in the United Nations, the African Court of Human Rights, solidary, peace, friendship and progressive internationalism.
Peace and friendship is a programme to advance internationalism and international working class struggles. The African Union adopted an agenda to achieve an Africa at whose pinnacle is an agenda of development, peace, accountability and democracy.
The African Peer Review Mechanism, the Pan African Parliament, regional economic and political blocs, the Malabo Protocol and other bodies, through their committees are instruments created to advance the Africa Agenda 2063.
South Africa has a role to play in the acceleration and support of this important agenda. A free and peaceful world can be pursued through dialogue and partnerships, non-aggression, progressive internationalism and solidarity which have been the principles applied by the ANC in the course of its existence and its furtherance of its objectives.
To pursue progressive internationalism in a changing world, to attain a better Africa and a better world, the 55th Conference of the ANC adopted Building a Better Africa and Better World inclusive of peace building; post-conflict reconstruction and development; solidarity and campaigns; Party-to-Party, Intra-Party and Multilateral Relations; Transformation of Global Governance; and Policy Development as pillars upon which its international relations is anchored.
RUSSIA- UKRAINE CONFLICT-THE IMPLICATIONS
In its agenda of attaining a Better Africa and Better World hinging upon its pillar of peace building, South Africa adopted a diplomatic stance of dialogue and non-aggression. This stance, is the fulcrum of its international diplomatic policy of non-alignment and dialogue to build peace had major implications for South Africa.
“The centrality of the ANC’s international relations in advancing the National Democratic Revolution is directed its historical mandate of the principle of “There shall be peace and friendship’-ANC 55th Conference.
In the course of its efforts to end the conflict the non-alignment stance attracted new enemies, indicting its sovereignty and territorial integrity, the exchange value of the rand against the dollar, the economic damages suffered as a result of the United States’ (US) accusations of South Africa arming Russia, the economic implications of Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the hosting of the BRICS Summit, and perhaps, its membership of BRICS and bilateral relationship with China, the world’s second largest economy.
BRICS joins economic blocs across the world. Its formation has major implications. The interest shown by other countries in joining BRICS is a major consternation in the diplomatic space.
AGOA is significant for South Africa. And so is BRICS. Both AGOA and BRICS contribute to South Africa’s economic growth, job creation and poverty eradication initiatives and Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the global South. A balancing act of South Africa’s national interest is imperative.
What value does South Africa derive from its membership of BRICS vis-à-vis AGOA? To respond to this vexing question South Africa should pursue its national interest without compromising its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Threats of AGOA should not reduce South Africa’s bargaining power and restrict it in pursuing Party-to-Party, Intra-Party and multilateral relations with any country and party in the world in the advancement of its national interests.
This has the serious danger of rendering South Africa a neutral spectator, inimical to its mission of peace building, and most critically, its sovereignty.
“Our historical mission is to contribute to the building of a better Africa and a better world that is humane, just, equitable, democratic and free from poverty, diseases and famine”:-ANC 55th Conference
Non-alignment cannot be narrowly reduced to neutrality. It is a pivotal cog in South Africa’s peace initiatives and its international relations core pillars and strategy towards a global peaceful order based collaborations and partnerships.
South Africa’s peace initiatives and pillars as contribution to peace building were boosted by African States of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Comoros, Senegal and Zambia. This is ha historical mission and efforts to end war.
“Africa is severely impacted by the unfolding global developments.
Africa is not a neutral observer or a disinterested bystander on global politics.”-55th Conference
The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACfTA) is an important vehicle to stimulate growth on the continent. The relationship between BRICS’s New Development Bank and the African Development Bank, if properly harnessed presents massive opportunities for BRICS members States and the African continent in a manner that is expansionary, inclusive, equitable and mutually beneficial, adding impetus to the 2063 African Agenda.
The Ukraine-Russia conflict has tilted the global balance of power, triggering a new order at whose primacy is development and cooperation. This conflict has exposed the effects of investment in military than technology, agriculture, foods security, climate change and other developmental priorities.
It heralded the emergence of new trading blocs and alliances, the inevitability of change as a constant.
The ANC believes that there is no victor in war but casualties. The peace initiatives by President Ramaphosa and other African leaders to resolve the conflict must be commended and supported.
In the midst of these implications and their impact, both domestically and internationally the ANC’s reaffirms its sovereignty and territorial integrity. This includes the promotion of its national interests by forging relationships with other countries and progressive Parties based the common goal of humanity and prosperity.
BRICS POLITICAL PARTIES DIALOGUE
The BRICS Political Parties Dialogue is aimed at building international solidarity networks through party-to-party relations with its historical partners and to forge new relationships with newly formed progressive forces.
To achieve this we must strengthen party-to-party and multi-party relations on our continent to turn consensus into concrete action.
“The ANC must rebuild international solidarity networks through party-to-party relations with its historical partners and build new relationships with newly formed progressive forces. We must strengthen party-to-party and multi-party relations on our continent to turn consensus into concrete solutions.”-President Ramaphosa
The 2023 BRICS Political Parties Dialogue will deliberate on:
- Exploring ways to end the Russia-Ukraine conflict and Resolving conflicts through dialogue and negotiations
- Reforming and strengthening mechanisms for inclusive multilateralism;
- Ways and means to strengthen BRICS, including the New Development Bank and alternate international payment systems, and contribute to the establishment of criteria for BRICS expansion and just development relationships with the Africa;
- Address the challenges of Climate Change and promote environmental protection;
- Political parties will also be called on to play catalytic roles in accelerating growth and sustainable development through global partnerships; and
- Ensuring global peace and security, a prerequisite for achieving the sustainable development goals.
This forum will bring together Party leaders and representatives of political parties across the world. It is envisaged that the BRICS Political Parties plus Dialogue will result in focused discussions, and practical strategies and tactics developed for implementation.
The Russia-Ukraine conflict has changed the world. The world must unite to create a better world.