• Short Summary

    The U.N. Security Council voted on Wednesday night (July 29) ??? ask the long inactive?

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    GV exterior U.N. building (2 shots)

    MV Finnish representative speaking at Security Council meeting

    SV Security Council

    TRANSCRIPT: ??? JAKOBSON: "Mr. President, I now turn to the second draft resolution before the Security Council today, the draft submitted by the Finnish delegation proposing that we request from the International Court of Justice an advisory opinion on the legal consequences for states of the continued presence of South Africa in Namibia. This question has been the subject of consultations between the members of the Council for the past five or six months and it was also of course considered by the ad hoc sub-committee which included proposals among its recommendations to the Security Council. I shall therefore remit by remarks to a statement of the main arguments which in our view speak in favour of submitting such a question to the International Court of Justice. First, an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice would have considerable value in defining and spelling out in legal terms the implications for states on the continued presence of South Africa in Namibia. Second, an advisory opinion would also be of value in defining more precisely the rights of Namibians, those staying in Namibia as well as inhabitants of Namibia residing abroad. In this way it could perhaps accord some measure of added protection to Namibians whose basic human rights are being suppressed through the application of South African repressive legislation. Third it is our expectation that an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice will underline the fact that South Africa has forfeited its mandate over South West Africa because of its violation of the terms of the mandate itself. For South Africa has acted contrary to its international obligations, contrary to the international status of the territory and contrary to international law. It is important in our view to expose the false front of legality which South African authorities attempt to present to the world. This would help the United Nations and the governments of member states to mobilise public opinion in their countries, especially in those countries which have the power to influence events in Southern Africa in a decisive way. In addition to the arguments I have now mentioned another more general argument suggests itself. I have in mind the need to re-activate the International Court of Justice itself. It is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and the highest international authority on law."

    Initials RG/MB/BJ

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The U.N. Security Council voted on Wednesday night (July 29) ??? ask the long inactive World Court to re-examine the question of South-West Africa.

    In proposing the news initiative on Namibia (as the former German colony is called at the U.N.) Finland's ambassador Max Jakobson spoke of the need to activate the International Court of Justice whose decline of authority was damaging to the entire U.N. system and the structure of International law. Britain, the Soviet Union and Poland abstained when the resolution was adopted by 13 votes to none.

    The Council also adopted an earlier resolution calling on all States that maintain diplomatic and consular relations with South Africa to issue a formal declaration to the South African Government stating that they do not recognise Pretoria's authority in Namibia and consider South Africa's continued presence there "illegal."

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