Mandela calls for lifting of economic sanctions: oil, arms, nuclear embargoes to remain in place.

Position:Nelson Mandela; South Africa

Nelson Mandela, President of the African National Congress of South Africa (ANC), on 24 September called for the lifting of all economic sanctions against South Africa - widespread embargoes imposed by the UN over the years to bring an end to that country's racially-discriminatory policy of apartheid.

Mr. Mandela, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, who had been jailed for 27 years for his opposition to apartheid, said that the historic step should not be viewed "as an act of abstention, but one of engagement", to create the best possible social and economic conditions for the victory of the democratic cause. Sanctions, he told the Special Committee against Apartheid, had brought South Africa to the point where the transition to democracy had been enshrined in the law of the country.

However, cautioning that South Africa had not yet elected a democratic and representative government, Mr. Mandela urged that the mandatory sanctions relating to arms and nuclear materials be maintained, pending the formation of a new government through elections scheduled for 27 April 1994. The issue of the oil embargo should be left to the discretion of the General Assembly's Intergovernmental Group on that matter.

Mr. Mandela wanted the international community to help halt the slide towards a socio-economic disaster in South Africa to ensure the success of a democratic transformation.

Years of apartheid had left a "swath of disaster" in its wake, he said. South Africa's economy had been devastated and million had no food, jobs or housing. Violent crime was increasing as desperate people were willing to kill for a pittance. He expressed hope that international and South African investors would help regenerate the country's economy.

The white minority government still in place, he went on, should not be granted recognition and treated as though it were the representative of all South Africans. However, Governments could, in coordination with the Transitional Executive Council, establish a diplomatic presence in South Africa as a means of assisting its people realize common objectives. The Executive Council, established by the South African Parliament on 23 September, will provide the country's first ever non-racial participation in Government before the elections.

The Security Council should consider what the UN could do to ansure that the elections are free and fair. The important contribution of the UN Observer Mission in South Africa (UNOMSA) on the issue of...

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