Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Namibia, Dr. Theo-Ben Gurirab has been the Speaker of the National Assembly of Namibia since 2005. Regarded as one of the founding fathers of the Republic, Dr. Gurirab was also a Member of Parliament, a member of the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) Central Committee and Politburo. A seasoned diplomat and negotiator, Dr. Gurirab served for 14 years as SWAPO's Chief Representative to the United Nations, and later, as its Permanent Observer, from 1972 to 1986. From 1986 to 1990, he was SWAPO’s Secretary for Foreign Affairs. Throughout these years, he played a major part in negotiations leading to Namibia’s independence. Elected in 1989 to Namibia's Constituent Assembly—which became the country's first National Assembly in 1990, Dr. Gurirab was a key drafter of the country's Constitution. He became Foreign Minister at Namibia's independence in 1990, a post he held until he was appointed Prime Minister in 2002. During his tenure as Foreign Minister, Dr. Gurirab was elected as the President of the United Nations fifty fourth General Assembly on 14 September 1999. He served that position until September 2000.
Serving as the President of the General Assembly at the time of the interview on 3 November 1999, Dr. Gurirab discusses his involvement with SWAPO and the United Nations, as well as the road to Namibia's independence and Security Council resolution 432 (1978)(S/RES/432(1978)).