The United Nations Security Council on Monday (13 November) called on South Africa to cancel immediately the elections planned for Namibia next month.
SV President of Security Council, Monsieur Leon N'Dong asking countries to cast their votes
GV PAN Council members voting in favour of resolution
SV & GV Council members abstaining (3 shots)
SV United States delegate taking notes
SV President announces result of vote in French
GV Security Council
SV Canadian delegate Ambassador William Barton addressing Security Council in English
BARTON: "Time is short. South Africa should be under no illusions as to our determination. We have abstained on this resolution because we believe that our efforts should be directed to obtaining and supporting the efforts of the Secretary-General, to secure their co-operation rather than to prejudging the possible outcome, as does paragraph six of this resolution. However, it would be a mistake to interpret our abstention as a lack of sympathy for the resolution, or the direction in which it points the Council in the event that South Africa fails to co-operate in the implementation of resolution four-three-five. We will make our judgements on the facts at the appropriate times, and act accordingly We reaffirm our commitment to resolution four-three-five. We will continue our efforts, and we will give all our support to the Secretary General in his endeavours to obtain the co-operation of South Africa in the little time remaining."
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Background: The United Nations Security Council on Monday (13 November) called on South Africa to cancel immediately the elections planned for Namibia next month. The fifteen-nation body also warned South Africa, which rules the territory, that failure to agree to elections supervised by the United Nations there, would force the council to bring in "appropriate actions under the charter", including economic sanctions.
SYNOPSIS: The President of the Council, Monsieur Leon N'Dong is from Gabon in west Africa. He asked the delegates to vote for the resolution which called for cancellation of the year. South Africa had unilaterally set up the elections. A vote on the test of the resolution had been expected on Friday (10 November), but informed sources said Mauritius one of the three Africa members, had been instructed to abstain.
And the attitude of some other members was in doubt. Further consultations with governments over the weekend resulted in delegations previously in doubt voting for the text. The resolutions was sponsored by Gabon, India, Kuwait and Nigeria. They were joined in voting for the resolution by China, the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia.
The five western members -- the United States, France, Britain, West Germany and Canada - abstained. A Western ministerial delegation which visited Pretoria last month had said it considered the unilateral elections in December as null and void. But it agreed that South Africa should still have a chance to show it would co-operate with the United Nations. The Security Council President announced the result: adopted by ten to nil with five abstentions. Then, Ambassador William Barton of Canada, speaking for the other western members of the council, said they felt the deep sense of disappointment which lay behind the resolution.