Author: James Barber.
This article outlines principles which, shortly before taking office in 1994, the ANC said would be the foundation for its future foreign policy. The ANC stated that their core concern was the pursuit of ‘human rights’, which were directly related to the promotion of democracy. Other principles included respect for international law, support for peace and disarmament, and universality. These were to be pursued in four settings. First, the global division between the First and Third Worlds as the government was concerned about economic inequality and unjust global trading systems. Second, international organizations as these were seen as central to the search for human rights, peace and equality. Third, demilitarization resulting in South Africa's forces being used for self-defence and peacemaking and keeping only. The government believed that this would produce savings which could be redirected into social development. Finally, supporting the rest of Africa as the ANC believed South Africa could not flourish if surrounded by poverty. The article examines how far the ANC governments of Presidents Mandela and Mbeki have succeeded in implementing the principles, and how far they have fallen short. The article also includes a discussion of Mbeki's policy towards Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.