Written by Larry Attree and Sunil Suri, Saferworld:
“As South Africa co-hosts a special event in New York on achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), interest is growing in the role the country could play in helping shape the goals that will replace the MDGs after 2015. While South Africa will be sensitive to the views of other African member states before asserting its own position, both its domestic and foreign policy priorities make it a potentially crucial advocate of a new global agenda to tackle violence, injustice and inequality, argue Larry Attree andSunil Suri.
With record unemployment (currently 25%), rampant inequality (a gini coefficient of 0.69), and widespread corruption, South Africa has a challenging domestic agenda as it approaches two decades since the end of apartheid. So it is little surprise that South Africa’s foreign policy receives scant attention at home, with the exception of particular events, such as President Mugabe’s disputed electoral victory, and the recent killing of South African peacekeepers in the Central African Republic. Even in these cases, it is overlap with domestic concerns that ensures widespread coverage.
However, from a recent visit to South Africa as part of Saferworld’s new Rising Powers and post-2015 project, it is clear that there is growing interest in the country about the regional and global debates taking place about a post-2015 development framework. While officials we met stressed that ‘post-2015’ was not yet part of their lexicon, suggestions about what should be included in the framework were plentiful.”
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