The first UN roundtable on the Western Sahara conflict took place December 5-6 in Geneva.
Rabat – The headquarters of the UN in New York convened the 15 members of the Security Council on Tuesday to hold a meeting on the Western Sahara conflict after a briefing from the Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General Horst Kohler.
Kohler informed the council of his plan to invite the four parties involved in the conflict to take part in a new roundtable in March.
Kohler will also meet all of the parties next month to set the exact date, ambassadors from the Security Council told the press at the end of the meeting.
“We are preparing for the next round and we are expecting a good meeting in March.”
French Ambassador to the UN Francois Delattre said that although Kohler did not talk about a specific date, the “context, in his own words, remains favorable for the resumption of talks.”
Delattre added that Kohler has a vision “and the confidence of all the delegations around the table, so we have a good environment.”
Speaking on the Security Council consultations, the French diplomat said that it was a good meeting, “of which I mostly remember the unanimous support for the efforts of the Personal Envoy.”
German Ambassador to the UN Christoph Heusgen said that Kohler remains “very committed” to resolving the conflict. He also showed determination to find a “realistic, practical and a sustainable solution.”
The German official echoed Delattre’s statement, emphasizing that Kohler has gained the confidence of all the members.
“Everyone said it was a conflict we could find a solution for.”
All parties of the conflict showed satisfaction with the Geneva roundtable held in December 2018 at the request of Kohler, until Polisario carried out a series of maneuvers that Morocco informed the Security Council and the UN of.
The Moroccan government said that such maneuvers east of the Moroccan defense wall might hamper the UN’s political process and the outcomes of the talks from the previous roundtable.
On Tuesday, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric spoke about the conflict in a press briefing.
Dujarric said that in the Western Sahara conflict, “We’re dealing with a longstanding issue that has gone through a number of Personal Envoys.”
He added that the conflict requires “realism,” the involvement of all parties, and a lot of work from the UN.
“When this Personal Envoy is ready to announce a new round, confirm a new round, he will do so. The Secretary‑General, I think, is being briefed as we speak by the Personal Envoy, but, again, I think no one is under any illusion, and this will take a lot of work from our side and from all the parties involved to move this forward,” he concluded.