First report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Sufficient Consensus

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Date
1993
Authors
South Africa. Multi-Party Negotiating Process. Negotiating Council. Ad Hoc Committee on Sufficient Consensus.
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Volume Title
Publisher
CODESA
Abstract
This report contains the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on Sufficient Consensus: The issue of sufficient consensus was discussed in the Negotiating Council on 18th June, 1993. The matter was referred to the Planning Committee for consideration. On the recommendation of the Planning Committee, the Negotiating Council established an Ad Hoc Committee on Sufficient Consensus, consisting of 5 members. They were assisted by the Sub-Committee of the Planning Committee, consisting of 3 members. The Ad Hoc Committee had two discussions. The first was on the 24th June 1993, and the second was on 20th July, 1993. The Committee identified the following issues: The application of sufficient consensus as opposed to the formulation of the Standing Rules; the need to explore the concept of insufficient consensus; the problem of filibustering ; the need for systematic procedures/guidelines for the Chairperson. The Committee recommended that the Standing Rules for the meetings of the Negotiating Forum and the Negotiating Council should remain as they were, and that a set of guidelines should be formulated to facilitate the application of the Rules. The Committee recommended that participants to the Negotiating Council should try to create a constructive negotiating spirit. This would help to avoid “filibustering” or “majoritarianism: The Committee made recommendations on procedural guidelines for the Chairperson, and suggested mechanisms which the Chair could use to counter “filibustering”, and maximise consensus. Finally, the Committee suggested that in order to ensure that good progress was made in the negotiating process, clear time frames would have to be stipulated by the Negotiating Council in respect of any mechanisms employed.
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Keywords
Negotiation--Political aspects--South Africa, Consensus (Social Sciences)
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