World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Tensions run high as UN begins Western Sahara negotiations

Australia Western Sahara Association

Press Release: For immediate release 17.04.11

Tensions run high as UN Security Council begins Western Sahara negotiations

High tension is expected during Monday’s negotiations on the renewal of the UN peacekeeping mission in Western Sahara over the controversial issue of human rights in the disputed territory, and the Australia Western Sahara Association (AWSA) has joined with international Western Sahara support groups to demand that the UN mission in Western Sahara be given a mandate to monitor human rights when the whole Security Council meets next Monday.

The mission in Western Sahara (MINURSO) is the only contemporary UN mission without a mandate to monitor human rights. Despite strong support from other Council members, for the last two years France has threatened to veto the resolution if it contained any reference to human rights monitoring, and there are allegations that Morocco had lobbied to have an earlier version of the text watered down to remove any reference to human rights monitoring.

This year’s advocates for human rights are thought to include the UK, South Africa and Nigeria. Over the last 18 months human rights violations have grown increasingly severe. Questions have been raised as to how the Security Council can include human rights in recent resolutions such as 1970 on Libya but leave MINURSO without this mandate.

Francesco Bastagli former UN Assistant Secretary-General and Special Representative for Western Sahara said:
Past experience shows occasional assessments by special rapporteurs do not suffice to address the grave and deteriorating human rights situation of the Saharawi. The UN must not fail to establish a robust, continuous and dedicated capacity to monitor, protect and advocate the human rights of the Saharawi people

AWSA totally supports the position of the international Western Sahara support network that the Security Council cannot selectively protect human rights, choosing to focus on the rights of civilians in Libya and Cote d’Ivoire yet denying them to the Saharawi said Cate Lewis, AWSA vice president. The Security Council must implement human rights monitoring by mandating the UN mission to do so to ensure the extensive rights abuses are reported and acted upon.

Notes:
• Human rights abuses in Western Sahara are reported widely by International human rights organisations who have repeatedly called for human rights to be monitored by UN mission (MINURSO).

• On Thursday 14 April three high profile Western Saharan prisoners of conscience were finally released along with 92 others after spending more than 18 months in prison without sentencing.

• MINURSO is the only UN mission established since 1978 without a human rights mandate.

• For the last two years France has been the only country to oppose human rights monitoring, threatening to veto the resolution http://bitly/fEFjZ9
• See report from Inner City Press that Morocco was allowed to influence a leaked version of the report. http://www.innercitypress.com/unws5morocco041311.html
http://in.reuters.com/article/2011/04/15/idINIndia-56370120110415

• This is the first full meeting of the whole Security Council on the mandate of MINURSO this year. The final resolution is due to be passed on the 27th April.

• Western Sahara has been occupied by Morocco for 36 years in violation of international law and numerous Security Council Resolutions. http://www.wsahara.org.uk

• Secretary General’s report on Western Sahara is attached.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On How Obama’s Supreme Court Choice Says Everything (Bad) About His Presidency

Nothing has epitomised the presidency of Barack Obama quite like his Supreme Court nominees. Time and again, Republican presidents will blithely nominate right wing ideological extremists (Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas) who only sometimes misfire and turn out to be liberals in disguise (David Souter). Yet Obama has consistently skipped over the judicially qualified liberals and gone for a succession of centrists... More>>

ALSO:

Turkey: UN Secretary-General On The Terrorist Bombing In Ankara

The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack in Ankara earlier today. According to the latest reports, the explosion in the Kizilay district killed and wounded dozens of people. More>>

ALSO:

Five Years On: Fukushima And New Zealand

Science Media Centre: It was the worst nuclear event since Chernobyl. In the wake of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, a crippled Japanese nuclear powerplant went into meltdown, and the world watched as emergency workers scrambled to shut down and contain the reactors. More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF: 1 In 3 Syrian Children Has Grown Up Knowing Only Crisis

An estimated 3.7 million Syrian children – 1 in 3 of all Syrian children - have been born since the conflict began five years ago, their lives shaped by violence, fear and displacement, according to a UNICEF report. This figure includes more than 151,000 children born as refugees since 2011. More>>

ALSO:

Franklin Lamb: Syria’s Truce Bodes Well For Salvaging Our Cultural Heritage

The tentative cessation of hostilities in Syria, which came into effect on 2/28/2016, brokered by Washington and Moscow, is only in its second week... It is well documented that there have been daily incidents of artillery shelling, airstrikes and clashes. Yet, for the nearly 12 million displaced civilians, half of Syria’s population, it’s a much welcomed respite. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Rubio’s Last Stand (And Sleater-Kinney)

Well, it certainly was entertaining to watch Rubio succeed in getting under Donald Trump’s skin the other day, in the last debate before tomorrow’s Super Tuesday multi-state sweepstakes... The real killer for Rubio was that the most recent poll from Florida which shows him losing his home state to Trump by a huge margin in the primary due on March 15. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news