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

 

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

As Health Needs Rise In Somalia, Funding Hits New Low

As health needs rise in Somalia, funding hits new low, cutting off 1.5 million from care – UN More>>

Need To End Violence Against Children In Conflict

‘We should be outraged’ more not being done to end violence against children in conflict – UNICEF chief More>>

On Mandela Day, UN Joins Call To Promote Community Service

Nelson Mandela, then Deputy President of the African National Congress of South Africa, raises his fist in the air while addressing the Special Committee Against Apartheid in the General Assembly Hall. UN Photo/P. Sudhakaran More>>

Some $3.2 Billion Needed For Ebola Recovery Efforts

Some $3.2 billion needed for Ebola recovery efforts in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – UN More>>

World Day: UN Spotlights Plight Of Vulnerable Populalations

Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting near the Syrian city of Kobani wait in a holding area before boarding buses in Turkey (September 2014). Photo: UNHCR /I. Prickett More>>

Afghanisatan: Direct Talks Between Government And Taliban

The United Nations Security Council has welcomed the recently held direct talks between Afghan Government and Taliban representatives as a step towards “peace and reconciliation” in the region. More>>

Eradicating World Hunger By 2030

Agriculture workers collect carrots on a farm in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Photo: World Bank/Maria Fleischmann More>>

Bangladesh: Flood Leads To UN Agency Providing Food Relief

Anwar Hossain unloads cartons of High Energy Biscuits from a pickup truck and transfers them to a distribution center in Kawar Khop union, Ramu upazila, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: WFP/Kamrul Mithon More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news