The Republic of South Africa began its official participation in the international arena from 1994 and since then has joined the Organization of Africa Unity (OAU), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). It has also assumed membership in the United Nations and its specialized agencies such as the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and was re-admitted to the Commonwealth. In a lecture delivered at the University of Pretoria, in October 20111
- Working with countries of the developing south to address shared challenges of underdevelopment in SADC and Africa; , the South African president briefly described the four pillars that guide South African foreign policy as follows:
- Promoting global equity and social justice;
- Working with countries of the developed North to develop a true and effective partnership for a better world; and
- Strengthening and transforming the multilateral system to reflect the diversity of nations, and ensure its centrality in global governance.
He also pointed out that the primary focus of South African foreign policy is the African continent. In translating this, South Africa has been participating since 1994 in many African and SADC initiatives aimed at finding sustainable solutions to African political and economic challenges within the framework of the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). In this regard, many protocols and other instruments have been adopted to deal with various aspects of the African socio-economic and political challenges. This research is aimed at compiling the status of protocols adopted by the African Union and the Southern African Development Community in South Africa with a focus on their signing and ratification as part of the implementation process of these protocols.