FP Virtual Dialogue: Africa’s Path to Security & Peace

December 18, 2020

African Leadership & the UN Security Council

Foreign Policy, in partnership with Brand South Africa, convened a high-caliber panel to spotlight African leadership on the United Nations Security Council and assess progress toward shaping a more multilateral, representative and relevant global governance body.

Seeking a greater role and voice for Africa on the global stage, South Africa has dedicated its tenure on the Security Council for the 2019-2020 term to the legacy of President Nelson Mandela and his commitment to peace. The country has aimed to prioritize issues of conflict prevention, peacebuilding and security sector reform as well as to advocate for assistance and equity as the African continent confronts COVID-19. 

In conversation with Ambassador Jerry Matthews Matjila, South Africa’s Permanent Representative to the UN, and a panel of prominent journalists covering the U.N., we explored the objectives South Africa envisioned for its presidency of the Security Council, outcomes achieved, and the country’s strategic position in an increasingly polarized world. 

How is the relationship between the UN and the African Union evolving to support the AU’s Agenda 2063 and its Silencing the Guns campaign against violence and conflict? What is the impact of great power competition on South Africa’s national and regional priorities? And looking ahead, how might future relations between the United States, the UN and countries across the African continent be rebuilt to support the Sustainable Development Goals, multilateral approaches to global security and recovery post-COVID?

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