Special Committee Against Apartheid

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Alternate Names: Special Committee on the Policies of Apartheid of the Government of the Republic of South Africa
Duration: 1963 - 1994
Location: New York, United Nations


The United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid (originally called the Special Committee on the Policies of Apartheid of the Government of the Republic of South Africa) was established by the General Assembly, under resolution 1761 (XVII) of November 6, 1962, to keep the racial policies of the South African Government under review throughout the year. It began its work in April 1963. The Committee worked to promote the international campaign against apartheid under the auspices of the United Nations. Its primary concern was to press for effective international sanctions against the South African regime, arrange assistance to the victims of apartheid and to the liberation movements; and to ensure constant publicity to the inhumanity of apartheid and the resistance of the people in order to secure widest support for action. It initiated, or assisted anti-apartheid movements and other bodies to organize, public campaigns - e.g. for arms and oil embargoes against South Africa; for sports, cultural and consumer boycotts of South Africa and other "people's sanctions"; against loans to or investments in South Africa; and for the release of political prisoners in South Africa. It organized scores of conferences, seminars, hearings and other events around the world to promote concerted action by governments and the public. The Special Committee Against Apartheid elected African Ambassadors from member states as its chairman. The Chairman were: Diallo Telli (Guinea), 1963-1964; Achkar Marof (Guinea), 1964-1968; Abdulrahim Abby Farah (Somalia), 1969-1972; Edwin Ogebe Ogbu (Nigeria), 1972-1975; Madame Jeanne Martin Cisse (Guinea), 1975-1976; Leslie O. Harriman (Nigeria), 1976-1979; B. Akporode Clark (Nigeria), 1979-1981; Alhaji Yusuff Maitama-Sule (Nigeria), 1981-1983; Major-General J.N. Garba (1984-1990); Ibrahim A. Gambari (Nigeria), 1990-1994. E.S. Reddy served the Special Committee Against Apartheid from 1963-1984 first as Principal Secretary of the Committee and later as Director of the Centre Against Apartheid. (Source: UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL COMMITTEE AGAINST APARTHEID SELECTED STATEMENTS AND OTHER PRESS RELEASES, 1963-1983 Compiled and edited by: E.S. Reddy, Former Director of the United Nations Centre Against Apartheid; various General Assembly resolutions on the United Nations website.)