Magazine article UN Chronicle

International Conference for Independence of Namibia Calls for Mandatory Sanctions against South Africa

Magazine article UN Chronicle

International Conference for Independence of Namibia Calls for Mandatory Sanctions against South Africa

Article excerpt

International Conference for Independence of Namibia calls for mandatory sanctions against South Africa

The International Conference forthe Immediate Independence of Namibia, held from 7 to 11 July in Vienna, has called for the immediate adoption and imposition by the Security Council of "comprehensive mandatory sanctions", under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, against South Africa.

The Conference also called for the"immediate implementation without precondition or modification" of the United Nations plan for the independence of Namibia, as embodied in Council resolutions 385 (1976) and 435 (1978). (For background on plan, see p. 33).

The Conference was attended by128 Governments. Also participating were representatives of United Nations organs, specialized agencies and other intergovernmental organizations, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), SWAPO, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the African National Congress of South Africa (ANC) and the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC), as well as international and national non-governmental organizations.

The Conference acted after reviewingand analyzing in depth the prevailing situation in and relating to Namibia and obstacles to Namibia's transition to genuine independence and other factors. It adopted by acclamation two documents: a 37-paragraph Programme of Action and a 25-paragraph Declaration.

"The struggle of the peoples ofSouth Africa and Namibia has reached an acute turning point", the Conference stated in its Programme of Action. "In this twentieth year after the General Assembly terminated South Africa's mandate over Namibia, the United Nations must take all necessary measures to bring about the immediate independence of Namibia."

It invited the General Assembly atits forthcoming special session on Namibia, scheduled to be held from 17 to 20 September in New York, to "consider and adopt effective action to secure the immediate independence of Namibia".

The Conference appealed to theUnited States and the United Kingdom, "permanent members of the Security Council, which have thus far prevented the Council from acting effectively, to reconsider their position" regarding imposition of sanctions.

Governments were called on "torender sustained and increased moral and political support, as well as financial, military and other material assistance to the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) in its legitimate struggle for the liberation of Namibia".

In its Declaration, the Conferenceaffirmed the immediate independence of Namibia decreed by the United Nations. The United Nations plan for Namibian independence was "unconditional", it stated. (The plan foresees a cease-fire in the Territory under United Nations supervision to be followed by a withdrawal of South African forces and free elections supervised by the Organization. A United Nations peace-keeping force would also be sent to the Territory).

"Namibia's independence cannot,therefore, be held hostage to the global political and economic designs of some Powers, and the convenience of a universally condemned regime", the Conference stated in the Declaration. "The determination and courage of the Namibian people must be invigorated by complementary international action for freedom, independence and human dignity, which is what the Conference . . . stands for."

Six substantive agenda items wereconsidered: consideration of the situation in and relating to Namibia; review of progress and problems encountered during two decades by the international community in its effort to implement General Assembly resolution 2145 (XXI), terminating South Africa's Mandate over Namibia; concrete proposals for new initiatives aimed at implementing that resolution and recommendations to accelerate the achievement of independence for Namibia; measures for securing the early implementation of the United Nations plan for Namibian independence; solidarity with and assistance to the people of Namibia in their struggle for self-determination and independence; and a comprehensive study on and economic map of Namibia. …

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