On Tuesday (19 October), the United States, France and Britain vetoed a proposed United Nations Security Council arms embargo against South Africa.
GV: United Nations building (2 shots) (silent)
SV: Italian delegate Piero Vinci speaks (in English)
SV: French delegate Jacques Lecompt speaks in French.
SV PAN: delegates seated.
SV: UK delegates James Murray speaks.
GV: Security council
SV: President of council Iqbal Akhund of Pakistan speaks as delegates vote. (7 shots)
VINCI: "What we should really investigate in this Council at this stage is whether or not there has been a departure since last january by South Africa from their well known, outdated positions. A departure from traditional policies of prevarication and the populations mainly concerned. In short, such a substantial modification to allow us to believe in the quick change which foreshadow the prompt independence of the territories in question. We believe that should we be able to spot a change in political philosophy this would apply to both Rhodesia and Namibia, where the racial and political set-up is basically the same."
MURRAY: "Mr. President, my delegation wanted a constructive resolution. Both in the foundations laid in Security Council resolutions 366 and 385, which could have been passed unanimously and which could have served to increase the pressure on the South African Government. For the reasons I've explained, we cannot regard the present text as constructive in this respect and my delegation will vote against it."
AKHUND: "Will those in favour please raise their hands. And those opposed. Those abstaining. The result of the voting is as follows. The draft resolution received ten votes in favour, three votes against and two abstentions. The draft resolution has not been adopted owing to the negative voting of three permanent members of the Security Council.
The two previous triple vetoes by Wester powers were also related to South Africa. In October 1974 to prevent its expulsion from the United Nations and in June last year to block an earlier bid to impose an arms embargo on the Republic.
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Background: On Tuesday (19 October), the United States, France and Britain vetoed a proposed United Nations Security Council arms embargo against South Africa. The embargo had been proposed in a bid to make South Africa relinquish control of the mineral-rich territory of Namibia (South West Africa). It was only the third time that the Council has witnessed a triple veto.
SYNOPSIS: Italy and Japan abstained in the vote. Italy's Permanent representative, Piero Vinci, gave his country's reasons.
The French Permanent Representative, Jacques Lecompt, also addressed the Council. France is the only one of the three veto nations who still supply arms to South Africa. Monsieur Lecompt said that the Council should not ignore that some progress had been made in Namibia. The timing of the resolution was inappropriate he said.
Next to speak was Britain's James Murray.
Then Council President, Iqbal Akhund, called for voting.