HC Deb 20 May 1981 vol 5 cc268-9

1. The Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States of America met in Rome on 3 May 1981, to review the situation in Namibia. The Five Ministers expressed their Governments' deep concern over the failure of the Geneva Conference and their regret over the outcome of the recent consideration of the issue by the Security Council. They noted, however, that the discussions in the Security Council indicated a general desire on the part of the great majority of participants in the debate for the Five to continue their efforts in the search for a solution to this problem.

2. The Five Ministers reiterated their Government's commitment to an internationally acceptable settlement to the Namibia issue, one of the major problems of the African continent, the solution of which they see as essential for the stability of Southern Africa. The Ministers reaffirmed their conviction that only a settlement under the aegis of the United Nations would be acceptable to the international community.

3. The Ministers stated their belief that Security Council resolution 435 provides a solid basis for the achievement of a negotiated settlement and agreed that continued efforts should be made to bring Namibia to early independence in accordance with Security Council resolution 435. At the same time, the Ministers recognized that the settlement plan as endorsed by resolution 435 with the complementary measures that have been added to it, such as the proposal for a demilitarised zone, has not proved sufficient to bring about implementation. They agreed that the search for a settlement should be intensified and that ways to strengthen the existing plan should be considered.

4. The Ministers believe that there is a need to establish understanding among all parties about the shape of the future, independent Namibia. Accordingly they instructed officials to develop proposals encompassing measures, including constitutional arrangements, with the aim of enhancing prospects of achieving a negotiated settlement. Senior officials of the Five will meet in late May for this purpose.

5. The Ministers affirmed that the close co-operation of all the parties concerned is essential to the effort to bring about a negotiated solution. The Western Five intend to consult with all interested parties in exploring and developing specific proposals which would facilitate a settlement.

6. Finally, the Ministers agreed that the Namibia issue has been on the international agenda for too long. They committed their Governments to vigorous action in the effort to bring Namibia to independence at an early date.

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