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United Nations Archives and Records Management Section International relations
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Files of United Nations Secretary-General, U Thant

Files of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, U Thant, including:
The charter of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), with a resolution on apartheid and racial discrimination, calling for the immediate release of Nelson Mandela, Robert Sobukwe and all other South African political prisoners, 1963. News clippings from the New York Times, with reports on the torture of South African detainees, including reports on the detention of Winnie Mandela and an application to protect her from threats by the South African police, 1970. UN Security Council and OAU resolutions and declarations on decolonisation and apartheid, many of which call for the release of all South African political prisoners, 1964 - 1971. Correspondence between the UN and OAU.

U Thant

Files of United Nations Secretary-General, U Thant

Files of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, U Thant, include:
UN press statement calling for the abandonment of the Rivonia Trial and the release of leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu. Letter from Chief Albert Luthuli, President of the African National Congress, sent to the UN Secretary-General, U Thant, about the South African crisis. Albert Luthuli's letter refers the Rivonia Trial and the danger that some or all of the accused could be given the death sentence, and requests that the UN help to save the lives of the Rivonia Trialists. Statement by the UN Special Committee against Apartheid, with reference to the Rivonia Trialists. A record of the 1128th meeting of the UN Security Council, with commentary from Mr. such, the Chinese representative, saying that the Rivonia accused are "on their way to becoming apartheid martyrs." International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) memorandum about relief for the victims of political persecution in South Africa, with reference to the ongoing Rivonia Trial of Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and others.

U Thant

Files of United Nations Secretary-General, U Thant

Background notes on the question of race conflict in South Africa because of Apartheid, including an annexure on the indictment of Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Yusuf Dadoo, David Bopape, Yusuf Cachalia, Ahmed Kathrada, Daniel Tloome and Nana Sita for the contravention of apartheid laws during the 1952 Defiance Campaign.

U Thant

Files of United Nations Secretary-General, U Thant

Files of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, U Thant, including:
The General Assembly Resolution 1761 (XVII) of November 1962, requesting that the South African government abandon all arbitrary trials and release all political prisoners. The General Assembly Resolution A/RES/1881 (XVIII) on the policies of apartheid of the government of South Africa, with reference to reports of the upcoming Rivonia Trial, with the possibility of death sentences for a large number of prisoners, 1963. Notes on the question of apartheid in South Africa, including a review of recent UN proceedings that call for the release of all political prisoners, 1964. Security Council resolutions calling for the release of all political prisoners, 1963 - 1964. Security Council resolution S/5761, calling for the ending of the [Rivonia Trial], and the granting of amnesty to all political prisoners and detainees, particularly the defendants in the Rivonia Trial, 1964.

U Thant

Files of United Nations Secretary-General, U Thant

Files of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, U Thant, including:
UN Security Council resolutions on decolonisation and apartheid, many of which call for the release of all South African political prisoners, 1964 - 1965. UN Special Committee Against Apartheid recommendations to the Security Council, including calls for the release of all political prisoners, 1962 - 1969. A report to the Secretary-General by the Expert Group on South Africa, with reference to opposition to South Africa being constituted as a republic, and Nelson Mandela's role in the call for a nationwide stay-at-home strike as a means of protest. Nelson Mandela's renewal of the call for a national convention, following the call made at the All in Africa Conference of African Leaders (Pietermaritzburg, 1961), and a quote by Nelson Mandela against racism from his 1962 trial, 1961 - 1964. The text of a letter from Mary Benson to the UN Special Committee Against Apartheid enclosing a statement made by Abram Fischer, Q.C., with reference to the Defiance Campaign, Congress of the People, Treason Trial, Nelson Mandela in hiding, the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the purchasing of the Lilliesleaf Farm and the Rivonia Trial, 1966.

U Thant

Files of United Nations Secretary-General, U Thant

Files of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, U Thant, include:
Text of a statement by Achkar Marot, the representative of Guinea, to the UN, refers to Nelson Mandela's imprisonment on Robben Island. Response by the South African government to two articles published in the "UN Monthly Chronicle," which discusses the South African government's position on the Rivonia Trial, including Nelson Mandela's statement from the dock. The conclusion and recommendations of the International Seminar on Apartheid, Racial Discrimination and Colonialism in Southern Africa held in Kitwe, Zambia (1967). The conference recommended special campaigns around the incarceration of outstanding leaders such as Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Robert Sobukwe and Bram Fischer.

U Thant

United Nations Photographic Library

Collection of photographs taken during Nelson Mandela's visits to the United Nations. Scenes covered include:
Nelson Mandela arriving at the United Nations (UN) to address the Special Committee Against Apartheid in the General Assembly (1990). Addresses to the UN General Assembly. Meetings with Secretary-General Javier Perez De Cuellar (1990 - 1991). Meetings with Secretary-General Boutros-Boutros Ghali (1992 - 1994). Nelson Mandela addressing press conferences at the UN Headquarters (1993 - 1994). Nelson Mandela addressing Heads of State attending the 49th session of the UN General Assembly (1994). Mandela's attendance of the 50th anniversary of the UN (1995. Nelson Mandela's attendance of the 53rd session of the General Assembly (1998). Nelson Mandela, as facilitator of the Burundi Peace Process, visiting the UN to brief the Security Council on the situation in Burundi.
Featured together with Nelson Mandela are:
Security Council President Mortar Ouane (Mali) and General Assembly President Harri Holkeri (Finland). Dumisani Khumalo, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the UN; Mayor David Dinkins of New York City. US boxers and boxing officials Mike Tyson, Jose Suleiman, Sugar Ray Leonard and Joe Frazier; Samir Sanbar, Assistant Secretary-General and Lakhdar Brahimi, formerly the Secretary-General's Special Representative for South Africa; Ibrahim Gambari, chairman of the Special Committee Against Apartheid; and Winnie Mandela.

United Nations

Files of United Nations Secretary-General, Kurt Waldheim

Files of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Kurt Waldheim, including:
Documents issued by the UN unit on Apartheid concerning campaigns for the release of all political prisoners. The text of a statement by the chairperson of the UN Centre Against Apartheid regarding the imprisonment of both Nelson and Winnie Mandela, with extracts of a telegram received from Zenani and Zindzi Mandela on the continued imprisonment of their parents. Correspondence concerning the 1976 Day of Solidarity with South African political prisoners, and a statement by the Secretary-General to the UN Special Committee Against Apartheid. Documents relating to the 1977, 1979 and 1981 commemorations of South African political prisoners, with references made to long-serving prisoners such as Nelson Mandela and Zephania Mothopeng.
A press release in which the chairperson of the South Africa Trust Fund, Anders I. Thunborg, calls for the release of Nelson Mandela. A press release in which the chairperson of the Special Committee Against Apartheid, ES Reddy, expresses his satisfaction with the campaign to free South African political prisoners, in which he quotes from the speech delivered by Zindzi Mandela at Wits University in 1980.
Correspondents include ES Reddy, Leslie O. Harriman and Kurt Waldheim

Waldheim, Kurt