72. Letter From President Carter to United Nations Secretary General Waldheim1

Dear Mr. Secretary General:

I have received a report on the discussions between SWAPO and the five Western members of the Security Council,2 and I am pleased with the evidence of progress toward an internationally acceptable solution to the Namibia question.

Your contribution, now at this point in the negotiations, would appear especially important. SWAPO wants the United Nations to play an authoritative and effective role throughout the political transition to ensure the integrity of that process. I believe that SWAPO’s confidence can best be won if you and your staff define in detail the role which the UN should play during the transition. SWAPO has indicated that, if you should raise the matter, it would have no objection to your initiating contingency planning for this role. I believe your doing so would enhance the likelihood of a peaceful solution in Namibia. You can depend on the full cooperation of our delegation in any contingency planning you may undertake.


Jimmy Carter
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Brzezinski Office File, Country Chron File, Box 51, UN: 1977. No classification marking.
  2. In an August 11 memorandum to Carter, Christopher listed SWAPO’s concessions: 1) “A ceasefire can take place after the parties have reached agreement on general proposals for Namibian independence,” 2)“South Africa can appoint an Administrator General, provided all sides understand that the UN Special Representative has a veto over his actions,” and 3) “SWAPO will not oppose contingency planning by Waldheim for the UN role in Namibia.” (Carter Library, Plains File, Subject File, Box 38, State Department Evening Reports, 8/77)