New York- The phone call held between King Mohammed VI of Morocco and the ban ki-moon has been instrumental in pushing the UN chief to review his report and take Morocco’s concerns into account.
While the advance copy of the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stressed the need for the establishment of a human rights monitoring mechanism in the Sahara and the Tindouf camps, the final report, which has been made available on the UN website, makes no mention of such a mechanism.
In the advance copy, which was released on April 10th, while welcoming the efforts made by Morocco to improve human rights in the Sahara and both parties’ readiness (Morocco and the Polisario) to cooperate with United Nations human rights bodies, the UNSG stressed that “such positive developments should contribute to a more balanced and comprehensive monitoring of human rights.
He went on to say that “The end goal nevertheless remains a sustained, independent and impartial human rights monitoring mechanism, covering both the Territory and the camps.”
But, after the phone conversation between Morocco’s king and the UN chief, the word “mechanism” was deleted from the final UN report on the “Situation in the Western Sahara”. Accordingly paragraph 100 of the report reads as follows: “The end goal nevertheless remains the sustained, independent and impartial monitoring of human rights, covering both the Territory and the camps.”
During the conversation he held with Ban ki-moon, King Mohammed reiterated Morocco’s “constant commitment and constructive cooperation to reach a final political settlement to this regional dispute, within Moroccan sovereignty.”
The King further emphasized the “imperative need to preserve the negotiations parameters as they were defined by the Security Council, safeguard the current framework and modalities of the UN involvement and avoid biased approaches and risky options.”
“Any straying from this track will be fatal for the ongoing process and holds dangers for any UN involvement in the issue,” king added.
The UN Security Council is scheduled to vote on April 23rd on the renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Organization of a Referendum in the Western Sahara, known by its French acronym as MINURSO.
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