Over the past three decades the apartheid regime has emerged as a vicious oppressor and a ferocious exploiter of the peoples under its domination, an aggressor bent on military conquest in southern Africa. In South Africa, as the regime continues its fight for the survival of the apartheid system, the brutality of its repressive measures reaches new levels, while in the rest of southern Africa, especially in Namibia and in the People`s Republic of Angola, its acts of aggression constitute a flagrant breach of peace and security which obliges the Security Council to take action under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter.
The international community and especially the peoples immediately affected by the criminal practices of the South African regime demand this action.
The impediment to the enforcement of sanctions is, as is well known, the infamous role of one or two permanent members of the Security Council which see it as their bounden duty to protect the apartheid regime as it perpetrates its crimes against the peoples of South Africa and southern Africa.
The recent decision of the International Monetary Fund to grant a massive loan to the Pretoria regime serves the same purpose of strengthening the regime by subsidising its programme of violent repression and armed aggression against the countries and peoples of southern Africa, including the Indian Ocean islands.
The central message of the International Year of Mobilisation for Sanctions against South Africa is that the allies of the South African apartheid regime must no longer be allowed to go unchallenged by the international community.
Today, on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the 1962 sanctions resolution, we meet to honour some of the outstanding representatives of that community who by their devoted effort and initiative over many years have contributed to the growth and development of what has now become a powerful world movement for sanctions. This is therefore a historic event in which the African National Congress feels privileged to participate. We are grateful to the Chairman of the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid for inviting us and to you, Mr. President, for calling upon us to make a statement.
By the act of conferring awards on the late President Houari Boumediene of Algeria, the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the honoured guests who are here today in person, the General Assembly recognises them as authentic representatives of the spirit of 1945 which gave birth to this Organisation. For our part, we know them as outstanding champions of the cause of freedom from colonial and racist domination, of freedom from exploitation and war, and as resolute campaigners for effective international action against the apartheid system.
It may be of interest to recall that in 1955, in South Africa, at a famous Congress of the People - a Congress which adopted the famous Freedom Charter - held in Kliptown, Johannesburg, which was attended by one of the recipients of the high award today, His Grace Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, the people of South Africa gave him their highest award, known as Isitwalandwe, for his outstanding contribution to our liberation struggle at the time. His presence here today as the recipient of yet another award testifies to the consistency of his involvement in the struggle for human justice. His record is in varying degrees the record also of the other recipients of awards today, whom we have known for many years.
By this act the General Assembly, in the name of united humanity, is calling for many millions more of the class of those who are being honoured today. Equally, this ceremony, held in the Year of Mobilisation for Sanctions against South Africa, constitutes a pledge by the world community to work even more vigorously for the imposition of mandatory and comprehensive sanctions against apartheid South Africa. We - the African National Congress, the liberation movement in South Africa, the oppressed masses of that country - for our part pledge that those efforts will be more than complemented by the temper and tempo of the liberation struggle inside South Africa.
On behalf of the African National Congress and the popular masses in our country, we sincerely congratulate the distinguished fighters for freedom, justice and peace who have today become holders of the United Nations special award.
We wish also today to express our deep appreciation for the support and assistance that our struggle enjoys from the United Nations and its Member States, from non-governmental organisations and from people around the globe. Thanks to that support, inter alia, our people, united in action, have become mighty in struggle. A new and democratic South Africa will yet be born. Our common victory is certain. 1 On November 5, 1982, the United Nations General Assembly held a special meeting devoted to the observance of 1982 as the International Year of Mobilisation for Sanctions against South Africa. The meeting was arranged on that day as it was twenty years since the General Assembly adopted resolution 1761 (XVII) recommending, for the first time, sanctions against South Africa. At that meeting, awards were presented to seven persons in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the international movement for sanctions against South Africa: the late President Houari Boumediene (Algeria), Romesh Chandra (India), Madame Jeanne Martin-Cisse (Guinea), the Most Reverend Trevor Huddleston (United Kingdom), the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (United States of America), Abraham Ordia (Nigeria) and Jan Nico Scholten (Netherlands).
Archbishop Huddleston delivered a keynote address on the occasion.