British policy towards Southern Africa: Lord Carrington's United Nations speech

On 25 September 1979, the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Lord Carrington, spoke in the General Debate on world affairs at the current session of the U.N. General Assembly. Concerning Rhodesia, Lord Carrington maintained that Britain had not abandoned its responsibilities. The British Government engaged in consultations with all the parties involved in the conflict. The Commonwealth meeting in Lusaka lay the foundation of the present approach. British proposals for a settlement were endorsed, and the Commonwealth accepted the British Government’s constitutional responsibility to grant legal independence to Rhodesia on the basis of majority rule. The British were guided by the Lusaka principles, with the focus on seeking agreement on an independence constitution, requiring compromise on both sides. Britain had already secured agreement to proposals on the constitution. Progress was also made in discussions with the leaders of the Patriotic Front, although difficult negotiations still lay ahead.