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Resolution 556

South Africa


Resolution 556 (1984) of 23 October 1984
The Security Council,

Recalling its resolution 554 (1984) and General Assembly resolutions 38/11 of 15 November 1983 and
39/2 of 28 September 1984, which declared the so-called "new constitution" contrary to the principles of the
Charter of the United Nations,
Reaffirming the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, particularly article 21, paragraphs 1
and 3, which recognize, inter alia, the right of everyone to take part in the Government of his country, directly
or through freely chosen representatives, and the will of the people as the basis of the authority of Government,
Alarmed by the aggravation of the situation in South Africa, in particular the wanton killing and the maiming of
defenceless demonstrators and workers on strike as well as the imposition of virtual martial-law conditions
intended to facilitate the brutal repression of the black population,
Gravely concerned at the continuing arbitrary arrests and detentions without trial of leaders and activists of
mass organizations inside the country as well as the closure of several schools and universities.
Commending the massive united resistance of the oppressed people of South Africa, including the strike by
hundreds of thousands of black students, to the imposition of the so-called "new constitution".
Commending also the Asian and coloured communities in South Africa for their large-scale boycott of the recent
"elections" which constituted a clear rejection of the so-called "new constitution".
Reaffirming the legitimacy of the struggle of the oppressed people of South Africa for the full exercise of the
right to self-determination and the establishment of a non-racial democratic society in an unfragmented
South Africa,
Convinced that racist South Africa's defiance of world public opinion and the imposition of the rejected
so-called "new constitution" will inevitably lead to further escalation of the explosive situation and will have
far-reaching consequences for southern Africa and the world,
1. Reiterates its condemnation of the apartheid policy of the South African regime and South Africa's continued
defiance of the resolutions of the United Nations and designs further to entrench apartheid, a system
characterized as a crime against humanity;
2. Further condemns the continued massacres of the oppressed people, as well as the arbitrary arrest and detention
of leaders and activists of mass organizations;
3. Demands the immediate cessation of the massacres and the prompt and unconditional release of all political
prisoners and detainees;
4. Reaffirms that only the total eradication of apartheid and the establishment of a non-racial, democratic
society based on majority rule, through the full and free exercise of adult suffrage by all the people in a united
and unfragmented South Africa, can lead to a just, equitable and lasting solution of the situation in South Africa;
5. Urges all Governments and organizations to take appropriate action, in co-operation with the United Nations
and the Organization of African Unity and in accordance with the present resolution, to assist the oppressed
people of South Africa in their legitimate struggle for the full exercise of the right to self-determination;
6. Demands the immediate eradication of apartheid as the necessary step towards the full exercise of the right to
self-determination in an unfragmented South Africa, and to this end demands:
(a) The dismantling of the bantustan structures as well as the cessation of uprooting, relocation and
denationalization of the indigenous African people;
(b) The abrogation of the bans and restrictions on political organizations, parties, individuals and news media
opposed to apartheid;
(c) The unimpeded return of all the exiles;
7. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council on the implementation of the present
8. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

Adopted at the 2560th meeting by 14 votes to none, with I abstention (United States of America).

South Africa
South Africa
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560 765
Security Council Composition