• Short Summary

    The United States, Britain and France have blocked the adoption of a Security Council resolution to apply a mandatory embargo on the export of arms to South Africa.

  • Description

    GV INT Security Council in session (SILENT)

    SV ZOOM TO President of Security Council speaking (SOUND)

    LV U.K. delegate speaking

    SV China delegate speaking in Chinese

    GV Delegates voting

    LV ZOOM TO Council President speaking


    ABDUL KARIM AL-SHAIKHLY: "As the consultations progressed, it became evident, however, that certain members would not now or ever be willing to consider the illegal occupation of Namibia if continued could constitute a threat to international peace and security. It became evident that they would not consider even remotely the possibility of application or Chapter Seven of the Charter against South Africa now or ever. Such were the impressions of my delegation. Certain attitudes on the part of certain members of the Council could only strengthen the resolve of those who are fighting for freedom and ??? to survive their struggle by all that is available to them and to disregard the sacrifices and the consequences whatever they may be. The members of the council should not fail to take this likely development into account. The situation would then deteriorate beyond redemption and we would be confronted not with a threat to international peace but with an armed conflict, the international dimension of which no one can contemplate."

    UNITED KINGDOM DELEGATE: "Our aim is to exert effective pressure upon the South African Government to change its policies. We believe this should be the aim of the Security Council too and that this council should avoid action that would weaken not strengthen its ability to influence events in Namibia."

    "ABDUL KARIM AL-SHAIKLY: "The vote is as follows. Ten in favour, three against, four abstentions. Accordingly the draft resolution is not adopted owing to the negative vote of the permanent members."

    Initials BB/0025

    The sound with this film includes English speech by the President of the Security Council session, Abdul Karim al-Shaikhly and the United Kingdom delegate.

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The United States, Britain and France have blocked the adoption of a Security Council resolution to apply a mandatory embargo on the export of arms to South Africa.

    The veto, only the second triple veto in UN history, came during voting at the United Nations on Friday (6 June) on the Namibian debate.

    The resolution, submitted by the council's five non-aligned members, would also have determined that South Africa's "illegal occupation" of Namibia (South West Africa) constituted a threat to international peace and security. Then members, including the Soviet Union, China and Sweden, voted for the draft.

    On Saturday (7 June) the three countries vetoing the proposal came under attack by African nations. The same three Western powers cast the first triple veto last October to prevent the expulsion of the racially-segregated republic from the United Nations.

    The United States, Britain and France maintained that South Africa's involvement in Namibia, the former German colony, was not a threat to international peace.

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    Media URN:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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