Britain has offered to place several hundred troops on standby for United Nations duty and to airlift them to any trouble spot at a week's notice.
SCU British Foreign Secretary, Dr. David Owen, speaking in English from rostrum.
SV African delegates listening.
SCU Dr. Owen speaking
DR. OWEN: "We have wasted a year arguing about the powers of the resident commissioner. I hope now, that after our consultations with the parties, we have found a workable formula for an executive and legislative council with powers on law and order reserved for the resident commissioner. We now must agree the balance of representation on the council and the decision-making procedure; the appointment of a resident commissioner and the length of time he should remain; the timing of elections and the timing of independence; the details of the proposals put forward by the resident commissioner-designate; the Zimbabwe National Army; and, already explained in the presence of General Prem Chand, to all the parties, the establishment of a unified command of all armies; and the timetable for a ceasefire; and the structure of a United nations Zimbabwe force. We have presented some of these proposals to the parties in the form of options. We have not issued ultimatums. The detail is negotiable. But if the parties continue to argue over the structure of a settlement, then let us be clear, the war will continue and the bloodshed will increase, and neither the United Kingdom, nor the United States will be able to prevent a fight to the finish. This is a critical moment, if we are to prevent the escalation which could take all parties over the brink. Then the voice of the international community must make itself heard, in support of a negotiated solution and of our proposals. More insistent still is the voice of the people of Zimbabwe themselves, weary of war and seeking a just peace. They want a settlement, they want an all-party conference, they want majority rule and, above all, they want peace."
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Background: Britain has offered to place several hundred troops on standby for United Nations duty and to airlift them to any trouble spot at a week's notice. The offer was made by British Foreign Secretary, Dr. David Owen on Wednesday (September 27) while addressing the United Nations General Assembly. Diplomats said later that Rhodesia could be one of the assignments envisaged by Dr.Owen for such a force. In his speech, Dr. Owen stressed that British armed intervention was ruled out in Rhodesia and there was no question of Britain or any other Western power sending troops to impose a settlement. Rhodesia, also known by the African name of Zimbabwe, unilaterally. Rhodesia, also known by the African name of Zimbabwe, unilaterally declared independence from Britain in 1965 and for the past 12 years has been subjected to sanctions imposed by Security Council. Dr. Owen said Britain is now actively preparing the ground for round-table talks to negotiate a final settlement for an independent Zimbabwe.