Fez - The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to hold an informal meeting on the Sahara on Thursday April 17, according to the program of work of the SC.
Fez – The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to hold an informal meeting on the Sahara on Thursday April 17, according to the program of work of the SC.
During the meeting, which will be held less than two weeks before the end of the MINURSO’s mandate in the disputed territory, the 15-member council will hear a briefing form Christopher Ross, the UN Secretary General’s Personal Envoy to the Sahara, as well as from the United Nations Special Representative in The Sahara and head of MINURSO, Wolfgang Weisbrod-Weber.
Members of the council will also discuss the implementation of resolution 2099 adopted by the SC in April 2013 on the renewal of MINURSO’s mandate for one more year.
Resolution 2099, which was adopted by consensus, renewed its call on the parties to the conflict, Morocco and the Polisario Front “to conduct negotiations, without preconditions and in good faith, taking into account the efforts made since 2006 and subsequent developments, with a view to achieving a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable political solution.”
While it called on Morocco and the Polisario to “continue in their respective efforts to enhance the promotion and protection of human rights in Western Sahara and the Tindouf refugee camps,” it renewed its call on the parties to “endorse the recommendation in the report of 14 April 2008 (S/2008/251), which states that “realism and a spirit of compromise by the parties are essential to achieve progress in negotiations.”
In an attempt to revive the deadlocked negotiation process, the UNSG personal envoy made three trips to North Africa, the first one in October 2013, while the second and third one took place in January and February-March respectively.
Since the adoption of resolution 2099, the American diplomat adopted a new approach, which consists in holding in separate and confidential meetings with Moroccan officials and the Polisario representatives, as well as Algeria and Mauritania.
The UNSG’s annual report on the “Situation in the Western Sahara” is due on April 10th. Members of the SC will base their annual resolution on the renewal of MINURSO’ mandate on the recommendations included in the UNSG’s report.
While in the weeks preceding the release of the UNSG’s report last year, there had been rumors regarding the inclusion of a recommendation on the establishment of a human rights monitoring mechanism in the Sahara and the Tindouf camps, no information has filtered on such proposal this year, which may indicate that Ban Ki-moon’s report won’t include a clear recommendation on such a mechanism.
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