South Africa's ‘Total Strategy’

September 9, 1983

Report Outline
While Minority Control
Regional Domination
The American Role

While Minority Control

World Protest Fails to Break Apartheid

Almost as inevitable as the coming of fall, another session of the United Nations General Assembly means another round of condemnations of the white supremacist government of South Africa. Up for the U.N.'s consideration during the 38th annual session, beginning Sept. 20 in New York, is a report from its World Conference on Racism calling for new efforts to coerce South Africa to end its policy of apartheid, or racial separation. The conference specifically asks the Security Council to declare economic sanctions against South Africa. And it asks member nations to end all sporting, cultural and scientific contacts with that country.

The push for sanctions against South Africa hardly broke new ground. The world community, especially the Third World nations of Africa and elsewhere, have long denounced South Africa's apartheid government. Over the past 20 years, the United Nations has passed many resolutions against apartheid, created a Special Committee Against Apartheid, adopted the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, passed in 1977 a mandatory arms embargo against South Africa, and declared 1982 to be the International Year for Mobilization of Sanctions Against South Africa. The U.N. also, in 1965, declared South Africa's occupation of South West Africa, also known as Namibia, to be illegal.

These actions and other forms of international criticism, along with the nation's geographic isolation on the tip of the black-dominated African continent, have created the image of South Africa as a “pariah state.” South Africa is hardly alone in the world though. Despite occasional and intermittently vigorous criticism from Western nations, including the United States, South Africa has normal diplomatic, economic and commercial trade relationships with most of the West. Vast mineral resources and the willingness of multinational manufacturers from the United States and Europe to locate there helped turn South Africa into a modern, industrial nation, so dominant regionally that it controls not only its own economic destiny but the destinies of the black African states around it.

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