• Short Summary

    The Untied Nations Security Council met on Friday (27 May) and unanimously approved a resolution aimed at closing Rhodesia's overseas government offices.

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    SV INTERIOR Mauritius delegate, Radha Krishna Ramphul speaking in English

    SV British delegate, Mr. Robin Byatt, speaking

    CU French delegate, Jacques Leprette speaking (in French)

    SV President of Security Council, Thomas Boya, announces vote (in French)

    TOP VIEW Security Council in session

    Rhodesia's Foreign Minister, Pieter van der Byl, condemned the Security Council resolution on Saturday (28 May). He said in a published statement that it was a direct contravention of the universal declaration of human rights on the right to free speech.

    RAMPHUL: "I must hasten to say that regrettably, at least in my personal view, the present draft resolution does not go far enough. I would prefer a draft resolution that covered all the peaceful measures contained within and conceivably outside article 41 of the charter. My delegation would particularly welcome positive action by this Council against those states which deliberately and adamantly continue to stifle its purposes by accommodating the illegal regime in southern Rhodesia or by facilitating its international trade and services. Nevertheless, given the sadly inelastic consensus in the committee, the present draft resolution by the Council imposing progressive sanctions, most of them mandatory, against the rebel racist regime in southern Rhodesia."

    BYATT: "It is well known Mr. President that there are elements of Article 41 of the Charter, which in relation to southern Rhodesia, pose difficulties for some members of the Council, including the United Kingdom. There are however, many elements in Article 41 and we will be ready as we have been in the past to seek ways in which the application of the economic sanctions which the Council has applied can be improved. The text of the third operative paragraph as it now stands before us is a compromise which is probably not regarded as ideal by any member of the Council. But my delegation are glad that a spirit of compromise has prevailed and that the discussions to which I have referred have resulted in a text which, I understand, all can accept. It is in that spirit of compromise rather than as an expression of total satisfaction with the wording that my delegation have joined with others in co-sponsorship. The agreement which has been reached will enable the Council to adopt unanimously a further resolution on sanctions against southern Rhodesia. That action will be a clear warning to the illegal regime in Salisbury that until a satisfactory solution to the problem of southern Rhodesia has been found, the application of sanctions by the international community will not be relaxed but rather strengthened. Thank you Mr. President."

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    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The Untied Nations Security Council met on Friday (27 May) and unanimously approved a resolution aimed at closing Rhodesia's overseas government offices. The resolution was a compromise agreement though Britain's representative, Robin Byatt, said that he was pleased that the Council could agree on action to tighten sanctions against Rhodesia. But just before Mr. Byatt spoke, the Mauritius representative Randha Krishna Ramphul, said he felt the resolution lacked power.

    The Security Council were then addressed by the French representative Mosieur Jacques Leprette. Rhodesia maintained an information office in the French capital, Paris, until February this year when it was closed down by President Giscard d'Estaing's government. However, two other information offices are still open in Washington and the Australian city of Sydney. The Salisbury government also has agencies in South Africa but that country has so far refused to apply United Nations sanctions against Rhodesia. The resolution to close down Rhodesia's overseas government agencies was sponsored by all 15 members of the Council.

    President of the Security Council, Benin's Thomas Boya, said that he would consider the resolution passed unless there was any dissent from the representatives. There was none and the resolution was carried unanimously with out a vote.

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