African delegates fired their opening shots on Friday (17July) in the United Nations Security Council debate on the sale of arms to South Africa.
GV U.N. Building.
GV INT Security Council Chamber
SCU U.K. Delegate
SCU U Thant
SCU Somali delegate speaks
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 5: ABDUL RAHIM ABBY FARAH: "The attitude which the newly-elected Government of the United Kingdom is likely to...is likely to adopt towards that arms embargo is another cause for deep concern. It has been speculated and indeed it has been maintained by some authoritative commentators in the British press, that the sale of arms of all kinds to South Africa is to be resumed by the British Government. If this is done, and we Africans certainly hope that it will not happen, there would be several adverse effects. First of all, it would obviously give further encouragement to other nations to disregard the embargo. Secondly, by associating herself openly with the South African Government, Britain would do much to break down the moral isolation of South Africa which the United Nations has sought to use a weapon against apartheid, and about which the South African Government is particularly sensitive. Thirdly, and there is not question about this, it would give moral and material support to the extension of the policies of apartheid and to the suppression of the South African liberation movement, whose struggle has been declared legitimate by the United Nation."
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Background: African delegates fired their opening shots on Friday (17July) in the United Nations Security Council debate on the sale of arms to South Africa. The 15-nation council had been called into urgent session at the request of 35 African states, supported by India, pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yugoslavia. Among those expressing their concern about the possibility of arms sales to South Africa was Somali delegate Abdul Rahim Abby Farah, Chairman of the General Assembly's Special Committee on Apartheid.
The opening session had been expected to be a brief one, but reports of an imminent British decision on the resumption of arms sales and a Paris dispatch that a French aircraft firm has offered the South Africans anti-submarine aircraft sparked off a lengthy discussion.
In addition to U.N. Secretary-General U Thant, British Ambassador Frederick Warner attended the debate. Neither Britain nor France replied, but Mr. Warner is expected to speak early next week.
The resolution the Afro-Asians will submit to the Council at the end of the debate is expected to include demands that supply of all vehicles and equipment for the use of the South African armed forces be withheld and that all licenses granted to South Africa or South African companies for the manufacture of arms be revoked.
Diplomatic observers doubted, however, that the Council could in fact do more that reaffirm its mandatory embargo of 1963 and 1964.