The UDM’s foreign policy is founded on the will of the people as expressed by the norms and principles found in the South African Constitution. The UDM will pursue, through its foreign policy, prosperity and security in the interests of South Africa’s people.
2. Aims and objectives
The UDM shall define and pursue South Africa’s national interests strictly according to the norms and principles, expressed in the Constitution, in the execution of the country’s relations with the outside world. UDM Foreign policy aims to productively engage with the peoples of the world to improve the prospects for peace, cultural enrichment and economic well being of people at home and abroad. South Africa should contribute to UN mandated peace initiatives continentally and the rebuilding of the societies in the neighbouring states which had been destabilised, by Apartheid aggression, in the SADC region.
2.1. Determinedly work towards reclaiming the international opportunities squandered under favourable circumstances after the 1994 elections.
2.2. Deal effectively and professionally with the increasing challenges and demands of globalisation and the new world order, while at all times putting the interest of South Africans first.
2.3. Establish South Africa as a country respected internationally for excellence in diplomacy, business, environment, tourism, sport and culture.
2.4. The UDM will guide South Africa to a world role optimally commensurable with the country’s needs, intrinsic capabilities, financial and manpower resources. Priorities will be carefully determined in order to maximise the interests of all South Africans within the means it has at its disposal.
2.5. The UDM’s foreign policy will be characterised by non-ideological and universal principles, meaning that South Africa will maintain friendly and mutually beneficial relations with all states, regions, power blocs and internationally organisations. South Africa will prescribe to the basic rules, norms and laws underpinning international society.
3. Foreign policy principles
The implementation of foreign policy must be effectively coordinated at Ministerial level between the departments of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Industry, Defence and Home Affairs.
The UDM proposes the establishment of a National Council on Foreign Affairs. This council will set long-term foreign policy goals during regular discussions with the department of Foreign Affairs and Parliament and ensure long-term continuity in policy. The Council will be constituted with members representing the departments of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Industry, Defence and Home Affairs, as well as other departments such as Environmental Affairs and Tourism, as well as Arts, Culture, Science and Technology. The Council will have the power to co-opt any person or institution to advise and assist it.
The UDM’s foreign policy for South Africa shall rest on the following four broad principles:
3.1. The happiness and welfare of the South African people
• Under a UDM administration South Africa’s foreign policy shall be subservient to the will, the aspirations and needs of the South African people.
• The UDM will bring South Africa’s foreign policy closer to the South African people. Their welfare and security are paramount in all goals pursued. A great number of South African people continue to live below the poverty line, and the gap between the rich and poor is in fact growing. This is an intolerable and dangerous situation, but a situation that can be addressed through Foreign trade, aid and investment.
• Through trade, investment and other forms of beneficial international partnerships, maximally utilise foreign resources to bring welfare and happiness to the many disadvantaged South Africans who have yet to benefit from political liberation.
3.2. Respect for, and the promotion of, universal human rights, justice and democracy
• South Africa’s peaceful transformation to democracy gives it the moral status and legitimacy to play a leading and universal role in the promotion of human rights and democracy.
• While the UDM believes that the role of an interfering international moral crusader would be counter-productive and harmful to South Africa’s national interests, it stands for “prudent activism” and collective foreign policy engagement e.g. multilateral peace-keeping in cases of serious human rights violations.
• Cooperate with other states, the United Nations, the Organisation of African Unity and the Non-Aligned Movement to protect and promote human rights and democracy on a universal basis.
3.3. The security of the South African state
• The UDM believes that the best guarantee for national security lies in a democratic mode of government and a free and content population.
• The territorial integrity and sovereignty of the South African state and the human security of its people shall be protected and defended at all cost.
• Military power is seen by the UDM as the final answer to external threats. Such power will only be used once all other measures aimed at peaceful settlement are exhausted.
3.4. Establishing and maintaining professional standards of diplomatic excellence
• South Africa’s success as an international role player depends to a large extent on the quality of its diplomacy, especially its economic diplomacy.
• High standards of training and international criteria of excellence and professionalism will be the UDM’s minimum requirements for any diplomat entrusted with the promotion of South Africa’s national interests abroad. Training in the latest technology will be introduced, since it forms the basis of modern diplomacy.
• Under a UDM administration the department of Foreign Affairs will be structured and operated on the basis of these criteria of excellence and will, under the guidance of the President, Cabinet, Parliament and the National Council on Foreign Affairs, play the primary role in all bilateral and multilateral interaction.
4. UDM strategies for foreign policy areas:
On the basis of the abovementioned principles, the UDM will concentrate South Africa’s diplomatic efforts on the following strategic areas:
4.1. Africa: The Southern African Region:
• Restore, affirm and strengthen South Africa’s leadership and bridge-building role in Africa and in Southern Africa particularly, with the aim to bring peace, economic progress and social welfare to all the people.
• Champion the restructuring and capacity building of regional organisations in our region so that economic cooperation, peacekeeping and conflict resolution may be carried out effectively.
• The development of democratic norms within SADC and AU institutions. The role played by SADC and AU leaders must match their records on governance in their own countries, and rules must be developed for punishing dictators within SADC and the AU.
The UDM believes that democracy and a human rights culture are the essential prerequisites for a successful African continent. SA’s foreign policy in Africa will be based on example, leadership and the active promotion of a common moral and intellectual environment on the continent. It will make brutal and undemocratic behaviour an intolerable and punishable offence.
Leadership, co-operation, good neighbourliness, bridge building, development and wealth-creation should characterise South Africa’s role in the region. The UDM will strive to transform SADC into a more effective tool of regional economic integration, development and modernisation and regional security. It will also strive to replace the South African Customs Union (SACU) with an arrangement more congruent with the region’s development needs. The UDM will create a separate Africa Development Directorate in the department of Foreign Affairs, staffed with experts in the key disciplines related to regional development, security and integration.
The UDM proposes the appointment of an additional Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs specifically responsible for Southern Africa. This will demonstrate the importance that South Africa attaches to making the region a political and economic success.
4.2. Africa: The rest of the African Continent (non-SADC):
• The UDM believes that Africa should empower and equip itself to tackle its own problems and shape a better future for the continent. Towards this end, a future UDM administration will seek to shape the AU into an effective instrument of collective action to deal not only with Africa’s economic, development and peacekeeping requirements, but also to expunge dictatorships and human rights abuses from the face of the continent.
• To advance South Africa’s leadership role and to elevate Africa’s global position, the UDM will actively work towards South Africa’s inclusion as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
• The UDM will support projects such as the New Africa Initiative if these projects conform to the principles and goals set out above.
4.3. The Industrialised Nations of the Northern Hemisphere:
South African should promote and maintain special relations with the industrialised nations of the North, including the Peoples’ Republic of China and the Russian Federation, as a matter of high priority. In view of the unique and special importance of these relations from an economic, scientific, technical and developmental point of view, the UDM will pursue beneficial partnerships and co-operation in this sphere with great vigour and determination.
Towards this end, preference will be given to well-qualified and talented South Africans, particularly individuals with proven skills in the art of economic diplomacy, to represent South Africa in these countries. Specific goals will be set in terms of trade, tourism and investment as a means to create national wealth to the benefit of South Africans, particularly the poor and the disadvantaged.
4.4. The Southern hemisphere and the Non-aligned World:
• The geographical area comprising Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica, the Indian Ocean and the South Atlantic Ocean will be dealt with in such a way to protect and further South African’s trade, economic, geo-strategic and environmental interests. The UDM strongly supports existing policies concerning a nuclear-free status for the Indian Ocean and the formation of a trading block in this area. It will continue to work towards the strengthening of bilateral relations in all fields, including sports and culture. The department will actively seek practical ways to cooperate with these states to protect oceanic economic resources and the environment from pollution, over-exploitation and destruction.
• The UDM will actively seek to reform and redirect the Non-Aligned Movement, which is at present an expensive and ineffective talk-shop. Towards this end an agenda of practical suggestions will be proposed to member states whereby the Southern Hemisphere could progressively work towards closing the ever-growing gap in terms of economic and diplomatic power and influence vis-à-vis the Northern Hemisphere.
4.5. The United Nations (Multilateral co-operation):
• The UDM strongly believes in the vital importance of these organisations for the new world order and the aspirations of mankind. The UDM will enthusiastically support the UN and its agencies and, within South Africa’s means. We will fully co-operate with them in the pursuance of regional and world peace and the elimination of social and economic inequities, and eradicating human rights violations which continue to degrade the quality of life of the majority of the world’s population. However the UDM does not believe that the UN is a perfect organisation and will work towards the improvement of its performance and efficiency. The UN’s present form should urgently be adapted to reflect the new post-cold war international realities.
• Particularly urgent is the democratisation or restructuring of the Security Council, therefore South Africa must actively seek its inclusion as a permanent member of the Council.
• South Africa should propose or support steps aimed at downsizing the structural and optimising operational aspects of the organisation. The normative objective that the UDM will support is a proportional increase in resources spent on operational functions and a proportional decrease of expenditure on an administration.