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

 


Accepting Status Quo on Western Sahara Is a Miscalculation

Accepting Status Quo on Western Sahara 'Serious Miscalculation,' Warns UN Envoy

New York, Nov 28 2012 - The conflict over the final status of the territory of Western Sahara has gone on for far too long and must be resolved, the United Nations envoy dealing with the issue stressed today, adding that any acceptance of the status quo a "serious miscalculation."

Christopher Ross, the Secretary-General's Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, told reporters at UN Headquarters that the situation remains "very worrisome" and should remain on the radar of the international community.

"While some may believe that the status quo is stable and that it is risky to take chances for peace, I believe that this is a serious miscalculation, particularly now that the region is threatened by extremist, terrorist and criminal elements operating in the Sahel," he said, following his closed-door briefing to the Security Council.

"In these new circumstances, this conflict could, if left to fester, feed growing frustration and spark renewed violence and hostilities that would be tragic for the peoples of the region," he added.

"This conflict must be resolved and I believe that it can be resolved if there is a will to engage in real dialogue and compromise."

The UN has been involved in mediation efforts to find a settlement in Western Sahara since 1976, when fighting broke out between Morocco and the movement known as Frente Polisario, after the Spanish colonial administration of the territory ended. A UN peacekeeping force, known as the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) has also been in place since 1991.

Mr. Ross shared with the Council the findings and recommendations that emerged from his visit to North Africa from 25 October to 11 November, during which he visited Morocco and the Polisario leadership, as well as neighbouring countries Algeria and Mauritania. He met with political leaders, civil society representatives and senior government authorities at each stop.

He also visited Western Sahara for the first time and met with a broad range of Sahrawis there and elsewhere, as well as held consultations in Madrid and Paris.

With regard to next steps, Mr. Ross said that he did not believe that convening another round of informal talks immediately would advance the search for a solution.

"We have had nine such rounds since August 2009 without results on the core issue of the future status of Western Sahara," he noted, adding that he intends to focus on additional consultations with key international stakeholders and then to engage in a period of "shuttle diplomacy" with the parties and neighbouring States in the context of one or more visits to the region, including to Western Sahara.

"It is my hope that these activities will lay the groundwork for effective resumption of face-to-face meetings between the parties," he said. "The parties and the neighbouring States, as well as members of the Security Council have welcomed this approach and have stated their readiness to continue to work with me in the coming months.

"I must stress that the principal responsibility for making progress rests with the parties themselves," he added. "That said, the UN will spare no effort to assist them."

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gaza: Pledges For Aid, Reconstruction Must Be Honoured

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Security Council President for the month of October, María Cristina Perceval of Argentina, is at ... More>>

Ebola: UN Prepares For Arrival Of Trial Vaccines

In early October 2014, with the help of the US Navy, a new mobile laboratory opened at Island Clinic, one of the WHO-supported Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: WHO/R. Sørenson More>>

Palestine: Human Rights Defender Abdallah Abu Rahmah Found Guilty

Human Rights Defender Abdallah Abu Rahma was found guilty by an Israeli military court of “disturbing a soldier”. More>>

NCRI: Iran: 13 Executions In One Day

The henchmen of the clerical regime hanged 13 prisoners on Sunday October 19, 2014 in Ghezel-Hessar Karaj Prison, Tabriz Central Prison and Rasht Central Prison. More>>


MSF: Ebola Crisis Update - 16th October 2014

16 October 2014 Cases Deaths Guinea 1,472 843 Liberia 4,249 2,458 Nigeria 20 8 Sierra Leone 3,252 1,183 Senegal 1 0 Total 8,994 4,492 WHO Figures - Data are based on official information reported by Ministries of Health. These numbers are subject to change ... More>>

ALSO:

Detroit: City-Backed Water Shut-Offs Contrary To Human Rights

20 October 2014 – The city of Detroit must restore access to water for its citizens who remain unable to pay their bills, two United Nations experts urged today, adding that a failure to do so would be a violation of the most basic human rights of those ... More>>

ALSO:

DR Congo: Head Of UN Mission Condemns Deadly Rebel Attacks

A MONUSCO APC is greeted by FARDC soldiers on their way back from the front line in the Beni region of the DRC where the UN is backing the FARDC in an operation against ADF militia. Photo: MONUSCO/Sylvain Liechti More>>

UNESCO Chief Denounces Killing Of Cambodian Journalist

17 October 2014 – The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today denounced the killing of a Cambodian reporter shot while investigating illegal logging in the eastern part of the country. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news