• Short Summary

    INTRODUCTION: The South African government has been quoted as saying it will not only counter international sanctions, but will retaliate for national survival.

  • Description

    GV (MUTE) General Assembly in session (2 shots)

    CU Botswana representative Legwaila Joseph Legwaila speaking (4 shots)

    GVs (MUTE) Delegates (4 shots)

    SV United States representative Jeane Kirkpatrick speaking

    SV SWAPO representative Theo-Ben Gurirab speaking in English


    LEGWAILA: "South Africa cannot cheat us, Mr. President, Why it is that, after refusing to negotiate seriously in Geneva, they are new so anxiously willing to participate in the debate here? What is it that they want to tell us in New York that they would not tell us in Geneva? We have had more than enough of their bad faith, Mr. President. The time has come for them to realise this, to understand that their blatant infidelity to assurances made in good faith cannot be remunerated. Mr. President, we have all agreed that the UN-supervised elections envisaged in the plan must be free and fair. The parties must be treated equally. Even SWAPO stated in Geneva that, once agreement to the date of the implementation of 435 was reached, SWAPO's status as the sole and authentic representative of the Namibian people would change. The frontline states have publicly pledged to respect the outcome of free and fair elections in Namibia, whether SWAPO wins or not."

    KIRKPATRICK: "In explanation of the vote, I wish to make clear that our collective abstention neither reflects, nor implies, any judgments on the merits of the various resolutions offered. We naturally regret the circumstances that have given rise to this debate. As Sir Anthony Parsons (British representative) noted in his statement on behalf of the Five, our objective remains to secure a peaceful, and an internationally-recognised, settlement in Namibia. Few of the resolutions before us contribute to the objective, and we again urge all concerned to look for positive ways forward."

    GURIRAB: "The plight and tragedy of the oppressed Namibian people has been dramatised time and again. And an overwhelming majority of the member states have ordered, time and again, the racist colonial oppressors in Namibia to terminate their illegal military and administration occupation of our country, so that our people can exercise their inalienable right to self-determination, freedom and independence. The question of Namibia is nothing more, nothing less, than question of de-colonisation, and of illegality. The problem of Namibia, therefore, is a question of colonial oppression and subjugation, of illegality, and of ruthless, illegal exploitation of the human and natural resources of our country by the Pretoria racists and the major western countries and their trans-national corporations."

    Initials BB


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: INTRODUCTION: The South African government has been quoted as saying it will not only counter international sanctions, but will retaliate for national survival. This was the reaction from Pretoria on Saturday (7 March) to the United Nations General Assembly's vote the day before calling on the Security Council to impose further sanctions against South Africa over Pretoria's failure to grant independence to Namibia (South West Africa). The vote was 114 to nil in favour, with 22 members abstaining. The abstainers included the United States, Britain, France, West Germany and Canada. These countries, called the Western contact group, had drafted a plan for UN-supervised elections in Namibia before its independence. A second resolution, also calling for sanctions against South Africa, was adopted by 125 votes to nil, with 13 abstentions. The General Assembly had debated the Namibia issue for five days before a series of 10 resolutions was presented and voted upon.

    SYNOPSIS: Contributing to the debate on Thursday (5 March) was Botswana's Permanent Representative, Mr. Legwaila Joseph Legwaila.

    Five of the 10 resolutions were adopted by identical votes of 133 to nil, with five abstentions. United States representative Jeane Kirkpatrick explained their abstentions, and SWAPO representative, Theo-Ben Gurirab, presented its views.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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