Question of Southern Rhodesia

XXVIII. RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED ON THE REPORTS OF THE FOURTH COMMITTEE
3115. Question of Southern Rhodesia

The General Assembly, Having considered the question of Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Having examined the relevant chapters of the report of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples [1] Having heard the statements of the representatives of the Zimbabwe African People's Union and the Zimbabwe African National Union [2] who participated in an observer capacity in the Fourth Committee's consideration of the item in accordance with the decision taken by the General Assembly at its 2139th plenary meeting, on 3 October 1973,[3] Having heard the statement of a petitioner,[4] Recalling its resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960, containing the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, and its resolution 2621 (XXV) of 12 October 1970, containing the programme of action for the full implementation of the Declaration, as well as all other resolutions relating to the question of Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) adopted by the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Special Committee, Taking into consideration the programme of action adopted by the International Conference of Experts for the Support of Victims of Colonialism and Apartheid in Southern Africa, held at Oslo from 9 to 14 April 1973 [5] Bearing in mind that the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as the administering Power, has the primary responsibility for putting an end to the critical situation in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) which, as repeatedly affirmed by the Security Council, constitutes a threat to international peace and security, Reaffirming that any attempt to negotiate the future of Zimbabwe with the illegal régime on the basis of independence before majority rule would be in contravention of the inalienable rights of the people of that Territory and contrary to the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and of resolution 1514 (XV), Condemning the continued oppression of the people of Zimbabwe by the illegal racist minority régime, the arbitrary imprisonment and detention of political leaders and others, and the continued denial of fundamental human rights, including in particular the criminal measures of collective punishment, as well as the establishment of the so-called "tribal trust lands", which creates an apartheid State in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Condemning the continued illegal presence and intensified military intervention of South African forces in the Territory, which assist the racist minority régime and seriously threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity of neighbouring African States, Strongly deploring the failure of the Government of the United Kingdom to comply with provisions of the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and the Special Committee, and in particular its persistent refusal to co-operate with the Special Committee in the discharge of the mandate entrusted to it by the Assembly, Deeply disturbed at the attitude taken by the United Kingdom authorities in respect of the activities of the national liberation movements of Zimbabwe, including the refusal of those authorities to issue passports and travel documents to members of the movements,

1. Reaffirms the inalienable right of the people of Zimbabwe to self-determination, freedom and independence and the legitimacy of their struggle to secure by all the means at their disposal the enjoyment of that right as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations and in conformity with the objectives of General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV);

2. Reaffirms the principle that there should be no independence before majority rule in Zimbabwe and that any settlement relating to the future of the Territory must be worked out with the full participation of the genuine political leaders and representatives of the national liberation movements, who are the sole and authentic representatives of the true aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe, and must be endorsed freely and fully by the people;

3. Calls upon the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, in the discharge of its primary responsibility as the administering Power, to take all effective measures to terminate the illegal racist minority régime and not under any circumstances to accord to the illegal régime any of the powers or attributes of sovereignty, and requests that Government to ensure the country's attainment of independence by a democratic system of government in accordance with the aspirations of the majority of the population;

4. Calls upon the Government of the United Kingdom to bring about the conditions necessary to enable the people of Zimbabwe to, exercise freely and fully their right to self-determination and independence, including:

(a) The expulsion of all South African forces from the Territory forthwith;

(b) The unconditional release of all political prisoners, detainees and restrictees;

(c) The repeal of all repressive discriminatory legislation;

(d) The removal of all restrictions on political activity and the establishment of full democratic freedom and equality of political rights;

(e) The convening, as soon as possible, of a national constitutional conference where the genuine political representatives of the people of Zimbabwe, including the national liberation movements, would be able to work out a settlement relating to the future of the Territory for subsequent endorsement by the people through free and democratic processes;

5. Further calls upon the Government of the United Kingdom to ensure that, in any exercise to ascertain the wishes and aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe as to their political future, the procedure to be followed should be in accordance with the principle of universal adult suffrage and by secret ballot on the basis of one man one-vote, without regard to race, colour or educational, property or income considerations;

6. Requests the Government of the United Kingdom, bearing in mind its responsibility as the administering Power under Chapter XI of the Charter,, to secure the full enjoyment by the. African people of Zimbabwe, both within and outside the Territory, of their fundamental human rights, their just treatment and their protection against abuses, including in particular their right to travel freely, and to ensure the full utilization of all available assistance in co-operation, as appropriate, with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees;

7. Requests all States, directly and through their action in the specialized agencies and other organizations within the United Nations system of which they are members, as well as the non-governmental organizations concerned and the various programmes within the United Nations, to extend to the people of Zimbabwe all the moral and material assistance necessary in their struggle for the restoration of their inalienable rights;

8. Requests the Government of the United Kingdom to remove any obstacles to the effective utilization by the African people of Zimbabwe, both within and outside the Territory, of offers by the States, organizations and programmes referred to in paragraph 7 above of educational and training grants and facilities and, at the same time, to ensure that adequate resources are made available for the education and training of the people of Zimbabwe;

9. Calls once again upon the Government of the United Kingdom, in accordance with the relevant General Assembly resolutions, to co-operate with the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples in the discharge of the mandate entrusted to it by the Assembly and to participate in the work of the Special Committee in connexion with the latter's consideration of the question, as well as to report to the Special Committee and to the Assembly at its twenty-ninth session on the implementation of the present resolution;

10. Invites all Governments, the specialized agencies and other organizations within the United Nations system, the United Nations bodies concerned and non-governmental organizations having a special interest in the field of decolonization, as well as the Secretary-General, to take steps, as appropriate, to give widespread and continuous publicity through all the media at their disposal to information on the situation in Zimbabwe and the relevant decisions and actions of the United Nations, with particular reference to the application of sanctions against the illegal régime;

11. Requests the Special Committee to keep the situation in the Territory under review.

2198th plenary meeting,
12 December 1973


[1] Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 23 (A/9023/Rev.1), chaps. I and IV-VII [2] Ibid., Twenty-eighth Session, Fourth Committee, 2038th, 2039th and 2045th meetings. [3] See "Other decisions", p. 111 [4] Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-eighth Session, Fourth Committee, 2039th meeting. [5] A/9061, annex, sect. IV.
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