The United Nations Plan for Namibian Independence

Article excerpt

The United Nations Plan for Namibian Independence

The United Nations plan for the independenceof Namibia was based on a proposal to the President of the Security Council on 10 April 1978 by representatives of five Western States--Canada, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. The proposal was designed to bring about independence for Namibia during 1978 in accordance with Council resolution 385 (1976).

On 30 January 1976, the SecurityCouncil had adopted unanimously its resolution 385 condemning the continued illegal occupation of the Territory of Namibia by South Africa, and declaring that, "in order that the people of Namibia may be enabled freely to determine their own future", free elections under the supervision and control of the United Nations must be held "for the whole of Namibia as one political entity".

The Council also declared that, indetermining the date, time-table and modalities for the elections, "there shall be adequate time, to be decided upon by the Security Council, for the purposes of enabling the United Nations to establish the necessary machinery within Namibia to supervise and control such elections, as well as to enable the people of Namibia to organize politically for the purpose of such elections".

It demanded South Africa make "asolemn declaration accepting the foregoing provisions for the holding of free elections in Namibia under United Nations supervision and control . . . and recognizing the territorial integrity and unity of Namibia as a nation".

On 27 July 1978, the Counciladopted resolution 431 (1978), in which it took note of the Western proposal (S/12827) and requested the Secretary-General appoint a Special Representative for Namibia in order to ensure early independence for the Territory through free elections under the United Nations supervision and control and to prepare a report containing his recommendations for the implementation of the proposal in accordance with resolution 385. Following this, Martti Ahtisaari was appointed the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Namibia.

UN plan approved: On 29 September1978, the Council adopted resolution 435 (1978), creating the machinery for implementing resolution 385. In resolution 435, the Council approved the report of the Secretary-General for the implementation of the Western proposal. It decided to establish under its authority a United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG) to assist the Secretary-General's Special Representative to ensure the early independence of Namibia through free elections under the supervision and control of the United Nations. …


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