United Nations special envoy to Namibia Ahtissari arrived in Windhoek on Sunday (6 August) to begin a mission aimed at bringing independence to the South African-ruled territory.
CU: United Nations Special Envoy to Namibia Martti Ahtisaari speaking in English
AHTISAARI: "Ladies and gentlemen of the press, following the adoption of the Security Council resolution 431 on 27th July, 1978, on the question of Nambia, I have been appointed by the Secretary General as his personal representative for Namibia. In this connection I was called upon by the Secretary General to head a mission to proceed to Namibia to conduct a survey of the arrangements necessary for the implementation of the Council's resolution. I'm happy to inform the press that we have now completed administrative arrangements for the mission to leave New York on Saturday 5th August to arrive in Windhoek Sunday (6th August). I shall be accompanied on this mission by Major General Hannes Philip (phonetic) and a secretarial staff of 47 Unites Nations officials, drawn mainly from relevant departments and organisation of the United Nations. In the context of the mandate entrusted to me by the Secretary General on this first mission, I shall establish contact within Namibia with all the parities directly concerned with the implementation of the Council's decision. The mission is scheduled to complete its work within two to three weeks, as the Secretary General mentioned in his statement in the Council, and to return to New York after that. On the basis of the findings of the mission, the Secretary General will then submit to the Council a report containing his recommendations for the implementations of the proposal in accordance with the Security Council resolution 385, 1976. Fully aware of the magnitude of the responsibilities entrusted to me by the Secretary General. I should like to assure all parties my fullest co-operation in regard to the implementation of the Council's decision. In this connection I would also urge them to extend to the mission their fullest co-operation, to ensure the completion of its assignment on schedule. I am certain that it is the interest of all parties that we work together towards a peaceful settlement which will provide new hope for the future prosperity of Namibia
and its people.
South Africa rules Namibia in defiance of the United Nations and is awaiting the report being prepared by Mr Ahtisaari and his mission for Secretary General Kurt Waldheim, before deciding whether to accept a settlement plan drawn up by five western powers.
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Background: United Nations special envoy to Namibia Ahtissari arrived in Windhoek on Sunday (6 August) to begin a mission aimed at bringing independence to the South African-ruled territory. An estimated 6,000 demonstrators from at least two of Namibia's three rival political groups made their presence felt outside the airport, while inside the Finnish diplomat was being greeted by South Africa's Administrator General, Judge Marthinus Steyn. Before leaving New York Mr Athissarri spoke to newsmen about the purpose of his mission.