Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 20. 1972
U.N. Rep's Visit
U.N. Rep's Visit
Dr. Barakat Ahmad, Rapporteur of the United Nations Special Committee on Apartheid, will visit New Zealand next month as a guest of the Halt All Racist Tours movment, and will be speaking in Wellington on the 8th of September.
Dr. Barakat Ahmad, Rapporteur of the United Nations Special Committee on Apartheid, will visit New Zealand next month as a guest of the Halt All Racist tours movement, and will be speaking in Wellington on the 8th of September.
The latest public opinion poll on next years Springbok Rugby Tour makes it clear that the great majority of New Zealanders want the tour to come here, and it is very easy for the government and sporting bodies to dismiss those opposed to the tour as a tiny minority.
In fact, however, organisations like Hart are simply expressing the over-whemingly dominant world opinion that white racist South Africa should be isolated. The visit of Barakat Ahmad should help to make this clear to New Zealanders. It will also whow up the National Party Government as the hypocrites they are, mouthing their opposition to apartheid while they are flagrantly disregarding U.N. decisions against contact with South Africa. No doubt the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be highly embarrassed by Dr. Ahmad's visit as a high-ranking U.N. representative invited by a non-conformist non-governmental organisation.
Barakat Ahmad is particularly well qualified to represent the U.N. in New Zealand as he was accredited to the Indian High Commission in Wellington some years ago. As Hart's chairman, Trevor Richards said recently, "In Barakat Ahmad we have the unique blend of an international diplomat and a man who knows New Zealand well". In public statements Dr. Ahmad has shown that he understands the sacrifice New Zealanders must make to cut off the opportunity of sport with South Africa. However he points out that while it was painful for Indian to cut off its very substantial trade with South Africa, the Indian people accepted the sacrifice with no hesitation.
Dr. Ahmad's visit is being fully financed by Hart and will cost $3000. As his visit is extremely important politically as well as educationally Hart is asking for money to help pay for it. You can send a straight donation to the 'Hart Speakers Fund' at the movement's national office, 101 Rugby Street, Christchurch. Entrance to Dr. Ahmad's public meetings will cost only 50c and finally Hart is organising fund-raising dinners in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. The dinner in Wellington will be held at the James Cook Hotel on Saturday September 9th and tickets cost $10 each. Thus sum will probably be too much for most students, but not a great inconvenience for lecturers and professors who after all get valuable publications like Salient for nothing. If you want to come to the Wellington fund-raising dinner, contact Peter Wilson, the local Hart area officer (c/- Students Association, P.O. Box 196).