Sahara – UN: New consultations at the Security Council on the 15th and 27th April

Two new consultations about the Western Sahara issue, should take place respectively on the 15th and 27th April at the UN Security Council in New York. According to the Colombian ambassador at the UNO, Nestor Osorio, whose country, which turns to ensure the presidency of the SC for the month of April, the first meeting, would be devoted to the examination of the UN report about the Western Sahara. The report would be submitted in due time to the fifteen members of the Council, by the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.
A second meeting is programmed for the 27th April, to adopt a resolution concerning the renewal of the MINURSO mandate which would expire at the end of April.
During these two meetings, the members of the SC reaffirm their support to the efforts of the UN Secretary General personal envoy for the Western Sahara, Christopher Ross, aiming to bring closer the positions of the parties concerned by the conflict. They will also call Algeria and Mauritania, neighbouring countries and the members being present as observers in the negotiations about the Sahara issue, to get more involved in the stimulation of direct negotiations.

During a recent visit to the UN headquarters in New York, the Moroccan foreign affairs Minister, Taib Fassi Fihri has started with Ban-Ki-Moon, to make an assessment of the informal negotiations process about the Western Sahara at the light of the 6th round results taking place at the beginning of Mars in Malta.
The UN Secretary General has recently qualified this last round of discussions of being “a step forward” within the Sahara conflict settlement process.
The informal negotiations gathering the delegations of Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Polisario in the presence of Christopher Ross, should lead normally to direct negotiations but they continue being confronted with the Polisario stucking in their position along with its main support Algeria. The latter continue holding on to the self-determination referendum option, which was, nevertheless, judged to be impracticable by the former UN Secretary General’s personal envoy for the Western Sahara, Peter Van Walsum. They have, besides, done anything to impose and obtain his resignation and his replacement by the present Christopher Ross.


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