Timor-Leste calls on the UN to organise self-determination referendum in Western Sahara

New York (United Nations) 23 October 2020 (SPS)- The Permanent Representative of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste to the United Nations, H.E. Mrs. Maria Helena Pires, called on the full implementation of the UN Mission to Western Sahara through the organization of a self-determination referendum, in her country’s statement before the 75th Ordinary Session of the UN General Assembly Fourth Committee Thursday.

“Timor-Leste calls on the full implementation of MINURSO’s mandate, to hold a referendum to allow the Saharawi people to exercise their right to self-determination,” she stressed.

She further urged “the UN Secretary General to appoint a new special envoy as soon as possible to resume the talks between Morocco and Frente Polisario with the participation of Algeria and Mauritania.”

Timor-Leste, she said, “feels a strong responsibility to speak on the issue of decolonization, as we consider that this Committee played an important role in the realization of our own right to self-determination and continues to have a crucial role in achieving the United Nations priority and goal to eradicate colonialism.”

On another hand, she adds, “Timor-Leste strongly stresses that the right to self-determination is a fundamental right. It is a right that is enshrined in the Constitution of Timor-Leste and hence our commitment to assist and contribute to the realization of the rights of the Saharawi as well as the rights of the Palestinian people, to full independence and sovereignty over their natural resources, so as to ensure development and the well-being of their people.”

Timor-Leste, she concluded, “shares the view that the continued existence of colonialism, in its many forms, is a violation of basic human rights and an obstacle to the economic and social development and the well-being of all people. Timor-Leste upholds that the subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination, and exploitation, constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights and impedes the right of all people to self-determination, as contained in the General Assembly Resolution 1514 of December 1960.” (SPS)

090/500/60 (SPS)