Assembly Asked to Condemn 'Wanton Killing' in South Africa, Other Aspects of Racism throughout the World

UN Chronicle, November-December 1985 | Go to article overview

Assembly Asked to Condemn 'Wanton Killing' in South Africa, Other Aspects of Racism throughout the World


Assembly asked to condemn "wanton killing' in South Africa, other aspects of racism throughout the world

Asking the General Assembly to strongly condemn South Africa's "wanton killing' of peaceful demonstrators and workers on strike, as well as its arbitrary arrests of leaders and activists of mass organizations, the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) concluded in October debate on items relating to apartheid, racism and racial discrimination, and self-determination.

The draft resolution, one of six texts approved by the Committee, also asked the Assembly to call for the "immediate lifting' of the state of emergency in South Africa, to reaffirm its rejection of the so-called "new constitution' as null and void, and to reiterate that peace in that country could only be guaranteed by the establishment of majority rule.

Approved by a vote of 105 in favour to 17 against, with 9 abstentions, the text would have the Assembly reaffirm the right of the Namibian people, the Palestinian people and all peoples under foreign and colonial domination to self-determination, independence, territorial integrity, national unity and sovereignty without foreign interference. The Assembly would also reaffirm the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for their independence by all available means, "including armed struggle'.

The Assembly was asked to denounce the "collusion' between Israel and South Africa, to strongly condemn the policy of those Western States, Israel and other States whose political, economic, military, nuclear, strategic, cultural and sports relations with South Africa encourage it to persist in its suppression of peoples right to self-determination, and to demand the immediate application of the mandatory arms embargo against South Africa.

It was also asked to call on the current Chairman of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the Secretary-General of the United Nations to continue their efforts in finding a just and durable solution to the question of Western Sahara.

By a second text on self-determination, adopted without a vote, the Assembly was asked to declare its opposition to acts of foreign military intervention, aggression and occupation, which have resulted in the suppression of the right of peoples to self-determination in certain parts of the world, and to call on those States responsible to cease such actions immediately.

Under a third draft, adopted by a vote of 129 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 8 abstentions, the Assembly was asked to strongly condemn the policy of apartheid in South Africa and Namibia as a "crime against humanity' and to urge Member States to adopt political, economic and other measures in conformity with United Nations decisions in order to eliminate apartheid.

The Assembly was also asked to call on Member States to adopt legislative, socio-economic and other measures to ensure the prevention of discrimination based on race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin. It would call on States parties to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination to protect fully the rights of national or ethnic minorities, as well as the rights of indigenous populations.

Under a fourth draft, adopted by a vote of 111 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 23 abstentions, the Assembly was asked to appeal to all States to ratify or accede to the 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid.

The Assembly would also ask the Human Rights Committee and the Committee against Apartheid to intensify efforts to compile periodically a list of individuals, organizations, institutions and representatives of States deemed responsible for crimes of apartheid as enumerated in article II of the Convention, as well as those against whom legal proceedings had been undertaken. The Secretary-General would be asked to make that information known to Member States and to the public. …

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