Western Sahara- Security Council, 8890th Meeting

Preview Language:   Six Official
29-Oct-2021 00:22:39
Security Council extends mandate of United Nations Mission in Western Sahara, adopting resolution 2602 (2021) by 13 votes in favour, 2 abstentions.

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The Security Council today decided to extend the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) until 31 October 2022, emphasizing the need for a realistic, practical, enduring and mutually acceptable political solution based on compromise for the region.

Adopting resolution 2602 (2021) (to be issued as document S/RES/2602) in a vote of 13 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions (Russian Federation, Tunisia), the 15-member organ called on parties to resume negotiations without preconditions and in good faith, considering efforts made since 2006 and subsequent developments, with a view to achieving a just and lasting political solution providing for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.

Further to the text, introduced by the United States, the Council called on parties to comply fully with military agreements reached with MINURSO regarding ceasefire, implement their commitments to the former Personal Envoy and refrain from action that could undermine United Nations-facilitated negotiations or further destabilize the situation in Western Sahara.

Speaking after the vote, Richard M. Mills, Jr., (United States) called on parties to work on de-escalating tensions, urging them to engage in good faith with Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-General’s new Personal Envoy, in turning the corner to a just and mutually acceptable solution. His country will continue to consult privately on achieving a solution based on compromise, he said, encouraging other relevant parties to engage in constructive dialogue.

Similarly, Martin Kimani (Kenya), Council President for October, speaking in his national capacity, noted the resolution gives full support to Mr. de Mistura in reinvigorating the process for self-determination in Western Sahara. Adding that the resolution’s language could have been stronger on the referendum’s goal, he called on the Council to return to the original wording for the process.

Nicolas de Rivière (France) stressed that MINURSO plays an essential role in Western Sahara’s stability, also pledging his country’s support for the new Envoy. Zhang Jun (China) encouraged the new Envoy to push forward with the political process, adding that his country will continue to hold an objective and fair position on the issue.

Juan Ramón de la Fuente Ramírez (Mexico) expressed regret over a lack of discussion on proposals for more frequent information, given the deterioration of the situation on the ground, the breach of the ceasefire and worsening human rights conditions. Likewise, Dinh Quy Dang (Viet Nam) said he voted in favour of the resolution but felt it could have been more balanced in better reflecting the situation on the ground.

Dimitri A. Polyanskiy (Russian Federation) said he abstained on the vote, as his delegation’s proposals were not taken on board during discussions. This text will fail to assist the new Envoy in resuming negotiations towards self-determination, he said, lamenting that the resolution’s wording replaces internationally agreed parameters with general words on realistic approaches and compromises.

The meeting began at 10:34 a.m. and ended at 10:56 a.m.

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