Copenhagen (Denmark), November 15, 2023 (SPS) – The Danish-United Nations Association organized yesterday at the headquarters of the Danish Parliament in the capital, Copenhagen, a Nordic Conference on the conflict in Western Sahara under the title “How can the Conflict be resolved before it escalates?”
The Nordic Conference brought together representatives of Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland and witnessed interventions by parliamentarians, party representatives and professors, in addition to the former Personal Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Western Sahara, Ambassador Christopher Ross, and the former Force Commander of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), Major General Kurt Mosgaard.
At the invitation of the Danish-United Nations Association, a Sahrawi delegation participated in the Nordic Conference led by Dr. Sidi Mohamed Omar, member of the National Secretariat, Representative of the Polisario Front at the United Nations, and coordinator with MINURSO, along with Ms. Abida Mohamed Bouzid, Representative of the Polisario Front in Denmark, and Ms. Senya Bashir Abderrahmane, Representative of the Polisario Front in Sweden and Norway.
In her opening speech, Ms. Annette Lind, a member of the Danish Parliament for the Social Democratic Party, stressed the need to pay due attention and expand international interest in the issue of Western Sahara to find a final solution to the issue.
As for Mr. Jens Christian Wandel, Chairperson of the Danish United Nations Association, he pointed out in his intervention the need to highlight the Sahrawi issue and related issues that are related to the right to self-determination, human rights and international law, which requires everyone, added Mr. Jens Wandel as citizens and politicians, to work towards achieving a peaceful, just and lasting solution to the long-standing conflict.
In his intervention, Major General Kurt Mosgaard presented an overview of the history of Western Sahara and the formation and role of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), recalling that MINURSO’s mission is to organize a free and fair referendum to decide the fate of the people of Western Sahara.
In response to a question about the extent of the impact of the fisheries agreements between the European Union and Morocco, Major General Kurt Mosgaard said that such agreements act as an incentive for Morocco and therefore only encourage the occupying state to persist in refraining from engaging in the peace process.
For his part, Ambassador Christopher Ross discussed the experience of direct negotiations sponsored by the United Nations between the two parties to the conflict, the Polisario Front and Morocco, highlighting that so far they have not led to any tangible progress and that there is no alternative to a real process of self-determination.
According to the former UN Personal Envoy, the failure of the United Nations to find a just and lasting solution that guarantees the people of Western Sahara their right to self-determination is due to a number of reasons, including Morocco’s unwillingness to enter into serious negotiations and its insistence that its “proposal” be the only subject of negotiation and that the role of the Personal Envoy should be limited to being a “facilitator” instead of being a mediator and having an effective role in the peace process.
As for Mr. Søren Søndergaard, Member of the Danish Parliament for the Red-Green Alliance Party, he affirmed his party’s firm position in support of the right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination through a free, fair and impartial referendum and called for more work to confront the blackmail policies practiced by the Moroccan occupying state at the European Union level.
Mr. Eric Hagen, representative of the Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara, stressed the need to redouble efforts at the level of the Scandinavian countries in order to put an end to the Moroccan occupation policies in Western Sahara, which include gross violations of human rights and the systematic plunder of the wealth of the Sahrawi people in collusion with foreign parties.