ANC National General Council, 29 June - 3 July 2005

Commissions 1 & 2


1. Introduction

The commissions based their discussions on a presentation made Cde Aziz Pahad as well as the review of the Stellenbosch resolutions.

Generally, both commissions concluded that significant work has been carried out in support of the decisions of the last NGC and the Stellenbosch conference. Furthermore, our characterisation of the global forces and the assessment of the international balance of forces remain valid.

2. The Commission reflected on the following three challenges:

2.1. Poverty and underdevelopment
2.2. Peace and security
2.3. Restructuring of global exercise of power

3. Consolidating the African Agenda

The commission reaffirmed that poverty constitutes the deepest and most dangerous structural fault in the contemporary world and global society, and that this is most manifest in the African continent. Consequently, Africa stands as the biggest challenge that the global community faces. This calls for greater focus on Africa, which necessarily has to be led by an assertive African leadership resolved to shape the destiny of the continent. It is in this context that the commission strongly supported the continued engagement of the ANC and government with the African Agenda through strengthening African Union structures including the Pan African Parliament, support for NEPAD and the struggle for peace and the peaceful resolution of conflict.

The commission, having in mind the significant progress registered in advancing the African Agenda since Stellenbosch, noted that we are at a critical point where real possibilities exist to further advance this Agenda.

The commission noted that since Stellenbosch our interventions in the DRC and Burundi have assisted in decisively advancing the peace process. Both these African countries are now at the threshold of holding democratic elections.

In Côte d'Ivoire the appointment of our President as the African Union mediator has confirmed the recognition of the genuine commitment of our movement to peace and stability in our continent. We noted that whatever the remaining challenges, significant progress has been made in assisting the people of Côte d'Ivoire.

The African Union has also tasked South Africa to chair the African Union's post-conflict reconstruction committee on Sudan. This, together with the assistance we provide to the SPLA/M both as the ANC and government, will contribute to the stabilisation of the Horn of Africa.

The NGC commends the role played by South African Women in Dialogue (SAWID) in promoting dialogue amongst South African women and those women living in centres engulfed by conflict on the continent and calls for all the necessary support to be given to SAWID by the ANC and government.

Given these advances, we need to defend the gains achieved, by pursuing multi-pronged approaches directed at both government and civil society in these countries, aimed at building democratic institutions and to support the embryonic progressive political party structures.

The commission further recommended that the ANC should make a detailed assessment of the impact of natural resources (oil, water and minerals) on continental peace and security.

4. Global Governance

The commission noted that the global system continues to be characterised by the absence of the balance of power with significant concentration of power in one super power. As part of the progressive movement our task remains that of a decisive redefinition of this system of global governance in the interest of the poor.

As regards the UN reform the Commission noted the elaboration of a common African position (Ezulwini Consensus for which the SA government has given its full support). The commission expressed concern about the lack of popular engagement with this process and called upon the ANC to work with other structures of civil society to elaborate South Africa's position including the reasons why South Africa has put forward her candidature for an expanded UN Security Council.

The commission noted the significant lack of progress towards the attainment of MDGs in Africa. Whilst recognising that the Millennium Review Summit in September 2005 provides an important platform to discuss corrective measures, the ANC should mobilise international public opinion to put pressure on the developed countries to honour the commitments they have already made.

The commission noted with concern that there was lack of adequate mobilisation of our people in support of the Beijing Programme of Action in the build up to the review meeting in New York earlier this year. The commission called on the ANC to make adequate preparations in future.

The commission expressed concern at the lack of progress at the latest Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review meeting in May 2005. We reaffirm our position to defend the right of non-nuclear states to exploit nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The commission noted and supported the ongoing efforts by South Africa to facilitate dialogue between Iran and major western powers.

5. International Solidarity

In the current global environment the interests of the people of the south will best be served by building a strong global progressive movement in support of development and a just world order.

The Commission noted efforts by Luthuli House to strengthen party to party relations as well as relations with other progressive formations. This is particularly important to consolidate democracy and peace as well as assist in advancing a progressive development paradigm. The commission however noted the limitations imposed by the absence of strong progressive formations in many countries in Africa. We stress the importance of ongoing work with any embryonic progressive structures as may exist in sister countries.

The NGC welcomed the hosting of the Pan African Women's Organisation (PAWO) congress in South Africa in July 2006 and calls on the movement and the government to give the necessary support. This congress will focus on the restructuring of PAWO and position the women of the continent to meet the new challenges of the African Renaissance.

We noted efforts made by our government to support the resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict by engaging both parties to the conflict and based on the respect of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.

Recalling the ANC's historic support for the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) peoples right to self determination and our fraternal relations with Polisario Front, the commission commended the decision by the government to give recognition and humanitarian assistance to Western Sahara (SADR) and urges both ANC and the Government to do everything possible to bring a lasting solution to this problem.

The commission recognises the work being done by the ANC in building an International Progressive Solidarity Movement comprising civil, youth and women's organisations. Priority should also be given to maintaining contact with the former Anti-Apartheid Movement as part of building this International Progressive Solidarity Movement. The necessary resources should be committed to this task.

6. ANC Organisational Challenges

The commission noted some work done by the NEC Sub Committee on International Relations in fulfillment of the Stellenbosch resolutions. We noted significant constraints experienced as a consequence of limited resources. The commission called for an urgent implementation of the decisions taken at Stellenbosch particularly with respect to the strengthening of the HQ unit dealing with International Relations.

The NGC noted the lack of focus in our branches on issues of international relations, and calls on the PECs and RECs to establish or strengthen the International Relations sub-committees within our structures, including at branch level. These committees should work together with the sub-committees on political education to promote and deepen understanding and campaigns on International Relations.

The commission reflected on the importance of building a strong ECOSOC chapter in South Africa to help anchor our AU programmes amongst the masses of our people. The commission expressed concern at the current weaknesses of our local ECOSOC and urged the ANC to attend to the urgent task of mobilising civil society structures.

The commission recommends ANC cadres abroad be involved creatively in the ANC's International Relations Unit


1. Democracy, Good Governance and Human Rights

1. Progress registered on the continent with respect to democratisation, promotion of good governance and respect for the rule of law and human rights;
2. Progress with the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM); decisive movement towards elections in DRC and Burundi;
3. The role played by the African Union (AU) in leading this effort; and
4. The recent elections in Zimbabwe and expressing concern about current developments.

And further:
Re-calling the Stellenbosch resolution on good governance and democracy in Africa.

Believes that:
1. Democracy, good governance and respect for the rule of law and human rights are key pre-requisites for the renaissance of our continent.
2. Only the people of Zimbabwe hold primary responsibility for solving their problems;
3. Our current effort to interact with all parties concerned including civil society is an important contribution to finding a solution to the problem;

Therefore resolves:
1. To continue working with progressive forces for the implementation of the APRM, capacity building and the realisation of the constitutive act of the AU;
2. Interact with parties and other role players in DRC and Burundi to attain objectives of lasting peace based on democracy and popular participation;
3. That the ANC and the government of South Africa give urgency to the ongoing engagement with the parties in Zimbabwe.

2. G8

1. That the upcoming summit of the G8 involving a number of developing countries presents an opportunity for further North-South dialogue;
2. The G8 commitment to the G8 Africa Action plan;
3. That the G8 countries have committed themselves to canceling the debt of 18 Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) including 14 in Africa;

1. To mandate the ANC to support the African Heads of State in their engagement with their G8 counterparts;
2. To work with the growing international popular movement to intensify solidarity with the continent.

Calls upon the G8 and other developed countries to cancel all debt owed by African Countries.

3. UN Reform

Noting that:
The process of UN Reform has been under discussion for more than a decade and the NGC is encouraged by efforts to move this process toward finality.
The UN cannot lose the opportunity of its 60th anniversary to adopt practical and measurable outcomes.

1. That the NGC supports the process of UN Reform, and supports, defends and promotes the Ezulwini consensus as an Africa position in engaging the UN member states;
2. That the ANC NGC endorses the position of the ANC NEC and the government for SA to serve as one of the African countries on the expanded and reformed UN Security Council; and
3. That we mobilise all South Africans in support of this position.

Message to world-wide concerts on "Make Poverty History"
1. The second African National Congress (ANC) National General Council (NGC) welcomes the global renewal of commitment to eradicate poverty, promote peace, security and sustainable development, essential for humankind to live in dignity.
2. Extensive support throughout the world, has been mobilised as part of the collective demand to "Make Poverty History", to draw attention on the eve of the G8 Summit, to the plight of millions of people living in dire poverty.

The second ANC NGC, in Tshwane salutes the thousands of people mobilised by the concerts in South Africa, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Russia, USA and Canada.

We thank you and wish you every success.