Soviet draft declaration of 1960 in the United Nations and implications for Southern Africa
The United Nations Organisation fulfils an instrumental role in addressing injustices, conflict and humanitarian problems. After the Second World War the demand of African states for independence from colonial rule became inevitable as they strove to bring about a more free and humane world. By the 1960s, the Soviet Union, as principle member state of the United Nations, proposed a draft declaration that called for the total eradication of colonialism in all its forms. In terms of global political relevance, it was to be of critical importance as it stimulated intense discussion against colonialism. Although the declaration of the Afro-Asian group would be formally approved as the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Territories and Peoples, the initiating role of the Soviet delegation could not be underestimated. The implications of the draft declaration proved wide-ranging, as it led to an intensification of political pressure and economic sanctions against the remaining colonial states in Southern Africa, the minority rule in apartheid South Africa in particular. The author seeks to reassess the original Russian political documents of the Soviet draft declaration that formed the foundation for the eradication of colonialism since the mid-20th century.