Kampuchea, Disarmament Discussed in Visit to Asia and Pacific

UN Chronicle, February 1985 | Go to article overview

Kampuchea, Disarmament Discussed in Visit to Asia and Pacific


Kampuchea and disarmament issues were of particular concern during the Secretary-General's three-week trip (25 January-15 February) to South-East Asia and the Pacific, during which he visited eight nations.

After visiting Thailand, Laos and Viet Nam on the first leg of the journey (25 January-1 February), the Secretary-General said he had gone to the area to make an evaluation on the question of Kampuchea and to attempt to encourage progress towards a negotiated settlement. He had received "clarifications" from the leaders of Viet Nam regarding their position which he intended to convey to the other parties concerned.

He did not feel that a quick solution would be easy or even possible in the near future, but he stood ready to assist all involved to find common ground for a dialogue towards a negotiated settlement in South-East Asia. The Secretary-General appealed to all to "stop confrontation, start talking, make peace."

Mr. Perez de Cuellar had talks in Thailand with Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanonda and Foreign Minister Siddhi Savetsial. He was received by His Majesty King Bhumibhol Adulayej. While in Bangkok, the Secretary-General also met with Samdech Norodom Sihanouk and Prime Minister Sonn Sann of Democratic Kampuchea. On his way to Hanoi, he made a brief stopover in Laos, where he met with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phoune Sipaseuth. During his visit to Viet Nam (28-30 January), he met with Prime Minister Pham Van Dong and held talks with Foreign Minister Nguyen Co Thach.

In Malaysia (1-3 February), Mr. Perez de Cuellar had talks on the Kampuchean situation with Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad and Foreign Minister Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen. In remarks at a dinner on 2 February in Kuala Lumpur, he said that after a protracted period of suffering, destruction and agony, "we have a moral obligation to enable the peoples of the region to fulfil their legitimate aspirations for peace and dignity, and to a future of well-being and prosperity".

Mr. Perez de Cuellar also discussed with the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister their country's efforts to fight drug abuse, and its position regarding the question of Antarctica. Also discussed were plans for the United Nations 40th anniversary and the International Youth Year.

During a five-day visit to Indonesia (3-7 February), the Secretary-General met with Indonesian President Gen. Soeharto, Vice-President Umar Wirahadikusumah, and Foreign Minister Mochtar Kusumaatmadja. Discussions with Indonesian leaders centred mainly on the question of Kampuchea. He was also briefed on the situation of Indochinese "boat people" in Indonesia, now totalling 20,000.

On a stopover in Singapore (7 February), Mr. Perez de Cuellar held discussions with Foreign Minister S. Dhanabalan, concentrating on the Kampuchean situation.

New Zealand

and Australia

Disarmament and nuclear issues highlighted many discussions during his visits to New Zealand and Australia.

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