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The Fourth Committee : UN member states discuss the situation in Western Sahara

On the Fourth Committee dedicated to Special Political and Decolonization, the Western Sahara conflict continues to divide the member states of the United Nations. On Monday, a number of countries have shown support to Morocco while giving recommendations on the Western Sahara conflict. On the other hand, several states, on Friday, have chosen to back the Polisario Front. Details.

The UN Fourth Committee and the recommendations formulated by state members for Western Sahara./Ph. DR
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The Western Sahara conflict continues to gain the attention of the delegations that took part of the Fourth Committee on Special Political and Decolonization, which started on the 2nd of October. After the two meetings held on Thursday and Friday, representatives from several UN member states on Monday discussed the subject, as indicated in a report on the Fourth Committee, published today on the official website of the United Nations.

«The situation of Western Sahara has also continued to draw the attention of many delegations which saluted the efforts made by the current Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres, and welcomed the appointment of his Personal Envoy, Horst Kohler», said the report. The latter also indicated that «many delegations also highlighted the regional challenges facing the conflict».

Most of the recommendations made by the representatives of states at the meeting held on Monday were in favor of the Kingdom and its autonomy plan, contrary to the report issued on Friday 6th of October. For example, the report point out that «several African and Gulf States have also expressed their support for the Moroccan autonomy plan proposed by the Kingdom of Morocco».

These states are mainly Jordan, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Bahrain, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Saudi Arabia, Sultanate of Oman and Kuwait.

Encouraging fruitful and just negotiations

Meanwhile other countries have encouraged the two sides into holding negotiations that are fruitful. Panama, through its representative, insisted that «on Western Sahara, she (Laura Elena Flores Herrera) urged renewed negotiations, in cooperation with the new Personal Envoy, for a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution».

The representatives who supported the Polisario were namely Timor-Leste and Bolivia. The representatives of East Timor, a sovereign state in Maritime Southeast Asia, also spoke today indicating that «the situation in Western Sahara bore many resemblances to the situation in Timor‑Leste before independence», adding that he is «expressing strong solidarity with the Territory’s people in that regard alongside deep concern over Morocco’s exploitation of its resources». 

The conflict in Western Sahara was also at the center of Friday's meeting. During which, despite the intervention of several countries, representatives and organizations in favor of the kingdom, Morocco was strongly criticized by Mozambique, Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Kenya. «Mozambique and Uganda, and South Africa have called for the organization of the referendum of self-determination promised to the Saharawi people. Nigeria has called for a deadline for the vote. Deploring the 'abject' situation of the Saharawi population ... Zimbabwe recalled that the organization of this referendum is the responsibility of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO),» said the report on the meeting held on the 6th of October.  

For the record, the Fourth Committee will presume its work this Tuesday and other interventions will be added to the ones formulated by various representatives of the UN member states.

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