In early 2015 SALO held a dialogue on Major South African Foreign Policy Trends and Issues for 2015 which received an overwhelming response, including a recommendation to annualize the dialogue. SALO therefore hosted a dialogue on the same theme for 2016, as part of an annual dialogue series.
The phrase “punching above its weight”, has been invoked by some to denote South Africa’s role in international affairs. Whether one agrees with this assertion or not, it is hard to dispute the fact that South Africa, since 1994, has taken on a huge international responsibility, be it in peace and security or multilateral fora. Understanding South Africa’s foreign policy priorities and strategic direction is thus an important subject for those with an interest in international political and economic affairs and foreign policy issues in particular.
The dialogue addressed the following key questions;
- What possibly will be the key items of SA’s Foreign Policy for 2016?
- What are some of the key trends and considerations likely to inform the country’s international engagements in 2016?
- Keynote: Aziz Pahad, former Deputy Foreign Minister and a current SA Special Envoy to the Middle East. Mr Pahad also chairs the South African Council on International Relations which advises the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation.
- Ambassador Welile Nhlapo, first SA ambassador to the OAU, former SA Ambassador to Washington DC, former Special Envoy to the Great Lakes and former National Security Advisor in the Presidency
- Shannon Ebrahim, Foreign Editor for Independent Media
- Deprose Muchena, Regional Director for Southern Africa, Amnesty International