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Cablegate: Western Sahara: Security Council Renews Minurso

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OO RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0946/01 3051758
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 011758Z NOV 07
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2946
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS IMMEDIATE 1421
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID IMMEDIATE 6265
RUEHNK/AMEMBASSY NOUAKCHOTT IMMEDIATE 0094
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT IMMEDIATE 1047
RUEHCL/AMCONSUL CASABLANCA IMMEDIATE 0495

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000946

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV UNSC WI AG MO
SUBJECT: WESTERN SAHARA: SECURITY COUNCIL RENEWS MINURSO
MANDATE FOR SIX MONTHS

REF: STATE 150711

1. The Security Council October 31 adopted a resolution
extending the MINURSO (United Nations Mission for the
Referendum in Western Sahara) mandate for a further six
months to April 30, 2008. The resolution takes note of the
two rounds of negotiations held under the auspices of the
Secretary-General during the mandate period and calls upon

SIPDIS
the parties "to continue to show political will and work in
an atmosphere propitious for dialogue in order to engage in
substantive negotiations." The resolution asks the
Secretary-General to report on the status and progress of the

SIPDIS
negotiations by 31 January 2008. UNSCR 1783 (2007), based on
a draft developed and co-sponsored by Friends of Western
Sahara (U.S., UK, France, Russia and Spain), was adopted by a
15-0 vote.

2. Only South Africa delivered an explanation of vote (EOV).
Speaking prior to the vote, South African PermRep Dumisani
Kumalo expressed his disappointment in the continued absence
of any reference to human rights violations in the draft
resolution despite references to human rights problems in the
Secretary-General's last three reports on the situation in

SIPDIS
Western Sahara. He said that the Council's silence on the
issue of human rights in Western Sahara was especially
regrettable in light of its very vocal stance on human rights
violations in other parts of the world. Such a "double
standard," he said, affected the credibility of the Council.
Kumalo also complained about the "relentless attempts" by
some Council members to tilt negotiations in favor of the
Moroccan proposal by describing the Moroccan proposal as "a
serious and credible effort to move the process forward
towards resolution." He said that such language was nothing
more than a unilateral attempt to prevent the Saharan people
from exercising their right of self-determination. In fact,
he said, there were two plans, one from Morocco and one from
the Polisario Front and both were on the table.
Nevertheless, he said, South Africa would vote for the
resolution in the hope that support for MINURSO and for the
negotiations would lead some day to self-determination and
human rights for the people of Western Sahara.

3. Comment: The fifth preambular paragraph repeats verbatim
the text of the fifth preambular paragraph of Resolution
1754. This textual repetition reflects a fundamental
division among the Friends of Western Sahara and within the
wider group of Council experts regarding the best way to
advance the negotiating process. In the negotiations leading
to the adoption of the text, France and the U.S. argued that
this was best done by strengthening the Council's support for
the Moroccan efforts and plan, while Russia, the UK and Spain
(later joined by experts from the other 11 Council
delegations) insisted to varying degrees that the needs of
the negotiating process required the Council to give the
Moroccan plan and the Polisario proposals equal weight. In
the absence of consensus, the Friends fell back on the
previously agreed language of Resolution 1754. End Comment.

4. Text of UNSCR 1783 (2007) follows:

Begin Text:
The Security Council,

Recalling all its previous resolutions on Western Sahara,

Reaffirming its strong support for the efforts of the
Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy,

SIPDIS

Reaffirming its commitment to assist the parties to achieve a
just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution,
which will provide for the self-determination of the people
of Western Sahara in the context of arrangements consistent
with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United
Nations, and noting the role and responsibilities of the
parties in this respect,

Reiterating its call upon the parties and States of the
region to continue to cooperate fully with the United Nations
and with each other to end the current impasse and to achieve
progress towards a political solution,

Taking note of the Moroccan proposal presented on 11 April
2007 to the Secretary-General and welcoming serious and
credible Moroccan efforts to move the process forward towards
resolution; also taking note of the Polisario Front proposal
presented on 10 April 2007 to the Secretary-General,

Taking note of the two rounds of negotiations held under the
auspices of the Secretary-General; welcoming the progress
made by the parties to enter into direct negotiations,

Taking note that the parties have agreed to continue the
process of negotiations through United Nations sponsored
talks,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 19
October 2007 (S/2007/619),

1. Reaffirms the need for full respect of the military
arrangements reached with MINURSO with regard to the
ceasefire;

2. Calls upon the parties to continue to show political will
and work in an atmosphere propitious for dialogue in order to
engage in substantive negotiations, thus ensuring
implementation of resolution 1754 and the success of
negotiations;

3. Calls upon the parties to continue negotiations under the
auspices of the Secretary-General without preconditions and
in good faith, taking into account the efforts made since
2006 and developments of the past months, with a view to
achieving a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political
solution, which will provide for the self-determination of
the people of Western Sahara in the context of arrangements
consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of
the United Nations, and noting the role and responsibilities
of the parties in this respect;

4. Invites Member States to lend appropriate assistance to
these talks;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to provide a report by 31
January 2008 on the status and progress of these negotiations
under his auspices, and expresses its intention to meet to
receive and discuss this report;

6. Requests the Secretary-General to provide a report on the
situation in Western Sahara well before the end of the
mandate period;

7. Calls on Member States to consider voluntary contributions
to fund Confidence Building Measures that allow for increased
contact between separated family members, especially family
unification visits, as well as for other confidence building
measures that may be agreed between the parties;

8. Decides to extend the mandate of the United Nations
Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) until
30 April 2008;

9. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to take the
necessary measures to ensure full compliance in MINURSO with
the United Nations zero-tolerance policy on sexual
exploitation and abuse and to keep the Council informed, and
urges troop-contributing countries to take appropriate
preventive action including predeployment awareness training,
and other action to ensure full accountability in cases of
such conduct involving personnel;

10. Decides to remain seized of the matter.
End Text


Khalilzad

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