Security Council: Massive support for self-determination of Saharawi people

New York, November 3, 2018 (SPS) - Calls for support for the self-determination of the Sahrawi people were numerous on Wednesday at the United Nations Security Council where the majority of delegations reiterated unequivocally their support for the inalienable right of the Sahrawis to self-determination.

The US delegation to the UN, which was the first to speak after the vote on the resolution extending the mandate of MINURSO, referred to "a new approach" by the United States to resolve the conflict, saying that there can no longer be "Business as Usual" with Minurso and Western Sahara.

A key element: the American declaration made public just after the adoption of the resolution makes no reference to the Moroccan autonomy plan and is in line with their position expressed in October during the work of the Fourth Committee on Decolonization. namely, "let the colonial peoples freely determine the political status of their territories".

In a message to France and Morocco, the United States "warned against any idea (that can make believe) that the finish line was crossed". "The political process is just beginning," said the US diplomat, while the representative of France already mentioned "a positive dynamic that must be built" to justify his request to extend the mandate of the Minurso a year.

What is certain, the Geneva process will be under the watchful eye of the US administration that will monitor closely the progress and results. More affirmatively, Jonathan Cohen said that the Geneva meeting will not be "a single event" but the beginning of a process for the settlement of the conflict. The Security Council "will not let Minurso and Western Saraha fall into oblivion," he promised.

The request of the Security Council and Washington for the relaunch of the political process is expressly addressed to Morocco, which has so far undermined all initiatives to resume negotiations. The Polisario Front, for its part, has repeatedly reaffirmed its willingness to participate in the settlement process without preconditions.

Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Ethiopia, Bolivia and many other delegations reaffirmed their support for a solution granting Sahrawis the right to speak about the future of their territory.

Sweden, which voted in favor of the resolution, welcomed the resumption of negotiations, which will begin in early December in Geneva.

His representative, Irina Schoulgin Nyoni, said her country would like to contribute to ending the status quo in Western Sahara.

"Resolution 2414 has paved the way for the resumption of the UN-sponsored political process, while today's 2440 maintains positive momentum with the resumption of direct negotiations," said Irina Schoulgin Nyoni.

"The ultimate goal () is to achieve a just, lasting, mutually acceptable political solution that allows the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara," she added, asserting that "this ultimate goal remains as relevant as ever".

Before the Security Council, the representative of Sweden recalled that the question of Western Sahara has so far suffered "a lack of attention and political will".

"This is no longer the case today, the opportunity is given to resolve one of the most protracted conflicts on the agenda of the United Nations," she said.

"The United Kingdom supports the work of Personal Envoy Horst Kohler and focuses on the progress made towards achieving a lasting, mutually acceptable solution that provides for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara," said its representative to the UN.

Speaking at the meeting, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said the international community and the Security Council should "contribute to the success of the process launched by Mr. Horst Kohler.

This is a unique chance to advance the settlement of the Western Sahara issue, "he insisted.

"Ethiopia continues to say that the solution to this dispute must be based on a mutually acceptable political solution, respecting the right to self-determination enshrined in the United Nations Charter. Only the implementation of this right can help get out of the crisis," said its representative, Taye Atske Selassie.

However, Ethiopia abstained from voting because the remarks made by its delegation were not taken into account by the United States, he said. (SPS)