The United Nations Security Council on Friday (13 June) voted unanimously to approve a resolution condemning South Africa for repression against opponents of apartheid, and calling for an end to the system of racial separation.
U. S. Ambassador to UN, Donald McHenry, speaking in United Nations.
GV Delegates voting ZOOM TO CU same.
CU British representative, Sir Antony Parsons speaking.
Mchenry: "Despite the bitterness born of bigotry and racial injustice, the bloody heritage of civil was and the understandable fears of both blacks and whites about the real possibilities for peaceful co-existence, a new country was born in peace in Zimbabwe. We have not yet reached a final settlement in Namibia. That situation too, demonstrates, I believe, the advantages of peaceful, as opposed to violent, settlement. South Africa can take that course, the course of peaceful settlement, but there is another course, a course of resisting change by the South African government. We all know too well what happens on this path ... the repressed who are effectively disenfranchised, and with no peaceful means of redress, lash out in frustration in the only way open to them ... violence. Violence in turn breeds repression on the part of the authorities. Repression leads to more and greater violence in a cycle from which there seems to be no escape."
PARSONS: "There is no recognition in this resolution that the South African authorities have, during the recent unrest, shown more restraint than on occasions in the past. It is not right to compare recent events with the Soweto riots of 1976 or the Sharpville shootings. Many speakers in this debate have exaggerated the actions of the South African authorities during the present troubles. The resolution in front of us does not acknowledge these positive developments. It reiterates the rhetoric of old resolutions. The Council is in danger of imprisoning itself in its own past, of devaluing its own language. In saying this, I stress again that we do not condone what has been done. How could we ever condone the shooting of a school child? But if this Council is to transmit the right message to South Africa, it must not destroy its credibility by inaccuracy and exaggeration."
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Background: The United Nations Security Council on Friday (13 June) voted unanimously to approve a resolution condemning South Africa for repression against opponents of apartheid, and calling for an end to the system of racial separation. The resolution called on the South African government to act immediately to dismantle apartheid and grant all citizens equal rights. The U. S. ambassador to the United Nations, Mr. Donald McHenry, warned of racial violence if South Africa continued to resist change.
SYNOPSIS: The Council vote was unanimous, fifteen for, none against and no abstentions. It was one of the sternest rebukes to South Africa by the Council in its long series of resolutions dealing with apartheid. The African countries which drafted the resolution dropped a call for an oil embargo on South Africa. This was unacceptable to the West.
The British representative, Sir Antony Parsons, said many of those who had addressed the Council had exaggerated the action of the South African government in the present troubles.