UNITED NATIONS– The international community may be sleepwalking its way into a global conflict without understanding that there can be no victors in a future world war.

That is the view of the Special Envoy for South Africa’s candidature for membership of the United Nations Security Council, Aziz Pahad, who has arrived in New York to lobby member states ahead of the elections in June to select new non-permanent members of the UNSC.

Pahad, a former deputy minister of foreign affairs, says South Africa hopes to represent the broad challenges facing Africa and forming a stronger link between peace, stability and development.

I hope we’ll get a chance to talk about the broad African challenges and how, when we’re talking of peace and stability, how do we then deal with the issue of growing poverty, inequality, unemployment and as you know, that’s a huge challenge not only for South Africa but for many other countries in the world.

Pahad says despite South Africa’s sharp criticism of the lack of reform of the Security Council, it remains important to have a voice representing poor and weaker countries at the table while warning of dangers that lie ahead.

I think since 9/11 and subsequent to this, since the Middle East crisis has taken dimensions where some major powers are taking sides in the question, we are in a very dangerous situation. Personally, I think that the international community might be sleepwalking itself to either an accidental or a decision to go to another big power conflict and they must understand that another world war is a war that nobody can win because of the nuclear proliferation and because all powers have announced major new weapons. So hopefully common sense is going to prevail.

Despite criticism over Pretoria’s human rights posture and allegiances, Pahad argues that human rights remain central to South Africa’s foreign policy positions.

Pahad also commented on lessons learned after the controversial vote in support of the no-fly zone over Libya which led to the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi.

My own view was that once that clause, ‘by any means possible’, was inserted, then we should have expected that that resolution, outside of that, was quite an innocent resolution but they had already been building up towards a regime change in Libya, there was already momentum and once that clause was inserted you had to then expect (it), he says.

He also believes Pretoria’s controversial vote during their last term in the Security Council in favour of a no-fly zone over Libya was a mistake.

Elections for the news members of the Council for 2019/2020 take place in June and South Africa is running unopposed for the African seat.