Formulation of Foreign Policy
The creation and enunciation of Foreign Policy is a prerogative of the Head of State or Government. It is then articulated either by the Head of State or Government or by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. In some instances, the legislature may also have considerable oversight in formulating such policy.
Zimbabwe’s Foreign Policy is formulated through a transparent participatory or consultative process involving various stakeholders at various levels.
The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe sets the parameters of Zimbabwe’s Foreign Policy, whilst Government Ministries, for example the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Industry and Commerce, Regional Integration and International Co-operation, Health and Child Welfare and Transport and Infrastructural Development, play a significant role in moulding, shaping and refining the country’s Foreign Policy. The Parliament of Zimbabwe has a direct input into Zimbabwe’s Foreign Policy through Parliamentary debates and the ratification of foreign and international treaties.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in particular is charged with the responsibility of co-ordinating the implementation of Zimbabwe’s Foreign Policy through its interface with foreign envoys in Zimbabwe and abroad, relying mainly on its personnel at Head Office and at its diplomatic Missions located strategically throughout the globe.
Implementation of Zimbabwe’s Foreign Policy
The implementation of Zimbabwe’s Foreign Policy is guided by a number of considerations, namely, forging regional, political, economic and cultural co-operation with Zimbabwe’s neighbors as well as with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) regions; promoting African unity and solidarity through the African Union (AU); development through regional and sub-regional initiatives; promoting solidarity and cohesion among developing countries through such organizations as the Non-Aligned Movement; promoting South-South cooperation through the Group of Fifteen (G15), the Group of Seventy Seven (G77) and other organisations; and promoting international peace, security and co-operation through the United Nations.
The pursuit of Zimbabwe’s Foreign Policy is clearly demonstrated by Zimbabwe’s commitment to the furtherance of international peace, security and the search for sustainable economic development in various spheres. The pursuit of these objectives can help to explain for instance, Zimbabwe’s military role in support of Mozambique’s campaign against RENAMO rebels during the 1980s, its military engagement in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the 1990s as well as Zimbabwe’s distinction in UN-peacekeeping operations in Angola, Somalia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Kosovo and East Timor.