John Malecela, Permanent Representative to the United Nations
United Republic of Tanzania
Nearly two years ago, gentlemen, the United Nations banded together to defend the people of South West Africa, also known as Namibia. In what was truly one of the hallmarks of our progressive era, the General Assembly removed the mandate of the South African state to rule over the nation, a move which has inspired millions of Africans who recall the horrors of colonial rule as well as the masses around the world who yet live under the tyranny of apartheid, racism, and colonialism both outright and subtle. Several months later, the General Assembly met again, establishinga United Nations Commission for the region, to administer the nation in a manner following the principles upon which this organization was founded upon.
It was a victory that day, not just for the Namibian people, who yearn for freedom and equal rights, but for all members of the United Nations, who can now claim that they have stood up for the rights of a long-suffering nation in the face of oppression. But it is, I say with a heavy heart, a victory that we have not capitalized on.
For we have yet to see action from the United Nations Security Council. I do not say this to speak ill of the members, permanent or otherwise, but as a reminder. We have taken steps forward, but the apartheid regime in South Africa has dug in its heels, and refused to comply with the regulations of an organization in which it claims membership, remaining inactive in the face of the international community's demands for justice. So it is therefore that I motion for the following on behalf of the United Republic of Tanzania, a concerned friend of all Africans seeking to liberate themselves from the bonds of colonialism:
Tanzania votes yes.Acknowledging that the Republic of South Africa has taken no steps to comply with General Assembly resolutions to transfer control of South West Africa back to the United Nations, and further
Recognizing that the occupation of South West Africa is therefore illegal under international law,
Reminding the Security Council that it is their primary responsibility to maintain international peace and security on behalf of the United Nations, and
Realizing that it is the obligation of the General Assembly, as per UNGA resolution 377 A ("Uniting for Peace"), to act when the Security Council cannot, it is
Proposed that the United Nations Commission for South West Africa be renamed to the UN Commission for Namibia, to better reflect the cause of the citizens of that region,
Advised by the General Assembly that the Security Council adopt an immediate article declaring the South African occupation of Namibia illegal, outlining the actions to be taken to ensure the Republic of South African complies with such a resolution, and
Pledged by the General Assembly that if the Security Council does not take action by 1 July 1968, UNGA resolution 377 A will be invoked and an emergency session on Namibia will be held.