fifty years ago December 8, 1971 Archives

From the Archives (December 8, 1971): U.N. Assembly debates Indo-Pak issue

United Nations, Dec. 7: Somalia and seven other countries laid before the General Assembly to-day a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in the India-Pakistan war. The move came moments after the 131-nation Assembly took over the problem from the deadlocked Security Council. The Council decided by a 11-0 vote just before midnight last night to put the problem before the veto-free Assembly in the hope that it would produce an overwhelming appeal to the warring nations. The United States and China joined nine other countries in the action. The Soviet Union, Britain, France and Poland abstained. The resolution also urged a withdrawal of all troops to their own side of the India-Pakistan borders. Tunisian Ambassador Rachis Driss said that “it is a crime to speak while war is threatening mankind. We should remain here until we reach a decision.” The Assembly scheduled additional meetings in the afternoon and evening. And, in an effort to speed up action, Assembly President Adam Malik placed a 10-minute timelimit on all speeches except those of India and Pakistan.

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