Jean-Paul Marthoz teaches international journalism at the Université de LouvainlaNeuve and journalism ethics at the Institute of Higher Studies of Social Communications, Brussels. He is senior adviser to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists and deputy chair of the advisory committee of Human Rights Watch’s Europe and Central Asia division. He is foreign affairs columnist for the Belgian daily Le Soir and associate editor of the policy journal Europe’s World, and is the author or co-author of some 20 books on journalism and foreign policy.
The idea that South Africa has to devote itself to solving its internal failings and to use its foreign policy to reach these internal objectives should tower over the South African government as the last benevolent farewell from the founder and father of the ‘new country’.
In 1994, the new South Africa emerged as a promising foreign policy actor. It launched ambitious plans to develop the continent and expressed a strong commitment to the global South. The country has become a legitimate voice of Africa on the world scene but its foreign policy is plagued by ambiguities.
Brazil’s new-found status as an economic power and conflict mediator has led some to question their motives. President Dilma Rousseff will have to find ways to deflect accusations of self-interest and regional hegemony.
Who would have thought of comparing or matching Turkey and Brazil? Well, illustrious Brazilian author Jorge Amado did it when he wrote a great novel about a Turk, in fact an Ottoman Arab migrant, roaming the roads of Brazil in the early years of the 20th century. NOREF director Mariano Aguirre did it when he asked me to write two briefing notes on the ‘new foreign policy’ of these two countries. And finally Turkey and Brazil did it when last year they joined together to propose their mediation in the Iranian nuclear crisis.