The first-ever triple veto cast in the United Nations Security Council saved South Africa from expulsion from the Organisation on Wednesday (30 October).
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Background: The first-ever triple veto cast in the United Nations Security Council saved South Africa from expulsion from the Organisation on Wednesday (30 October).
Ten of the fifteen-member Council voted for expulsion -- one more than the required majority. But the United States, France and the United Kingdom -- three of the Council's permanent members, the only ones with the power of veto -- rejected the proposal. Costa Rica and Austria were the only two states to abstain from voting on the resolution put forward by Kenya, Cameroon, Mauritania and Iraq.
The rejected resolution referred to South Africa's persistent refusal to abandon its policies of apartheid, and to abide by its Charter obligations, and the country's continued presence in the mandated territory of Namibia (South West Africa). The expulsion proposal also referred to South Africa's support for the white-minority government in Rhodesia, already the target of United Nations' economica sanctions.
It was the first time that such a resolution had been submitted to the Security Council, whose concurrence is a prerequisite for expulsion by the General Assembly. On 28 September, the Assembly rejected the credentials of the South African delegation. Since then South Africa has not been allowed to vote and only the Ambassador, Mr. Roelef Botha, has spoken -- in the debate on the expulsion proposal last week.
Angered by the western powers' veto, African delegates later prepared further strategy in their attack on South Africa. They said they would consider proposing the barring of South Africa from the United Nations plenary body and committees for the remainder of the current session, due to end on 17 December.