Since the first democratic elections were held in South Africa, the country has enjoyed a period during which international acclaim for the moral victory over oppression and the triumph of democracy have produced certain material and diplomatic benefits. This window of opportunity can be expected to narrow with the passage of time.
The IFP believes that the government cannot afford to waste time in consolidating advantages offered, such as the trade pact with the European Union, or in cementing relations with traditional friends. The IFP thus supports the bi-national forums with the US and Germany and urges the extension of this process to other friendly trading partners.
The IFP also supports closer cooperation with other international and regional institutions, such as the European Union, the World Trade Organisation, the ACP, the Commonwealth of Nations, the United Nations, the Organisation of African Unity, the Southern African Development Community and the non-aligned movement.
The IFP values prudence in foreign relations, giving full recognition to the complexity of managing conflicting claims in international life. Moreover, the IFP recognises that the international community remains, in spite of the ending of the Cold War, divided into blocs of states, which have been formed on the joint bases of tradition, perceived interests, geographical location and practical experience. The IFP believes that prudence dictates the continuing adherence to traditional allies and friends, while exploring the development of expanded relations with other nations and blocs, on the basis of mutual interests, shared historical experience and the search for a new basis for international peace, security and justice.
The IFP believes that certain specific factors influence foreign policy trends in most, if not all, sovereign states, and that these factors are fundamental and similar. For this reason, the IFP’s policy on foreign relations will be based on the following salient and internationally acceptable principles relating to friendly relations and cooperation among states, and which were developed and codified in accordance with the United Nations Declaration (annexure to Resolution 2625 of the General Assembly – 24 October 1970):
The IFP believes that South Africa should engage in international relations in order to maximise and advance its national interests. This fundamental objective and ultimate determinant should guide its leaders and decision makers in taking the country towards:
The IFP would seek to strengthen South Africa’s position in the international community, and especially within those countries which make up the traditional framework of South Africa’s foreign relations, while working vigorously to promote and develop close ties of friendship and mutual support with Africa.
The IFP believes that South Africa should continue to play a strong role in promoting trade and communication among other African states, that it should support the programmes of the SADC, and that it should cultivate western support and cooperation in ensuring the rapid development of the region. The IFP will support and promote bilateral relations between South Africa and its neighbours such as Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana, Mozambique and other SADC countries.
The IFP cannot see any long term advantage to South Africa accruing from the persistence of links with states which eschew democracy and promote international terrorism.
The IFP believes that South Africa should remain active in the AU and that should direct its energies to the promotion of diplomatic initiatives aimed at achieving solutions to conflicts, cooperation in trade matters, cross-border crime, illegal migration, and the arms trade, as well as improving cooperation in trade, technology transfer, health, disease control, agriculture and environmental issues.
The IFP supports the initiative to see the AU Security Council enlarged and to see South Africa seated in the enlarged council. In this context, the IFP supports the role which South Africa might be able to play as an advocate of African interests. The IFP is opposed to the commitment of South African troops to African peacekeeping operations, unless it is as a member of an international peacekeeping force.
The IFP believes that South Africa should actively lend its support to the campaign to eliminate the scourge of terrorism and to terminate the criminal activities of drug rings and international gangsters.
The IFP strongly supports the concept of an orderly world, based on the recognition of the sovereign rights of states, freedom of commerce and movement, and freedom from fear. It thus endorses multilateral measures aimed at arms control and the elimination of cruel and inhuman methods of waging war.
The IFP’s guiding principles for South African foreign policy are: