UN / WESTERN SAHARA

30-Oct-2023 00:04:24
The Security Council adopted draft resolution renewing the mandate of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) for another year, until 31 October 2024. The Russian Federation and Mozambique abstained. UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / WESTERN SAHARA
TRT: 04:24
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGES: ENGLISH / RUSSIAN / FRENCH / NATS

DATELINE: 30 OCTOBER 2023, NEW YORK CITY / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior, UN Headquarters

30 OCTOBER 2023, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. Various shots, Security Council vote
4. UPSOUND (English) Sérgio França Danese, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Brazil:
“Will those in favour of the draft resolution contained in document S/2023/802 please raise their hand. Those against? Abstentions?”
5. Med shot, United States Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield at the dais
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, United States:
“Today this Council sent a clear message that we must intensify efforts to advance an enduring and dignified resolution for Western Sahara without further delay. Although this resolution received widespread support, we regret that this Council was not unanimous in renewing this mandate, as unity greatly enhances UN efforts to achieve peace.”
7. Med shot, Russian Federation Ambassador Dmitriy Polyanskiy at the Security Council dais
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Dmitriy Polyanskiy, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Russian Federation:
“The Russian Federation abstained on the draft resolution of the Security Council prepared by the USA extending the mandate of the UN mission for the referendum in Western Sahara because not a single one of our principles and properly substantiated comments, including those of a compromise nature, which we have expressed to the American authors for several years now, were taken into account. None of them were taken into account. For that reason, the resolution presented today does not reflect the real situation on the ground that has taken shape in the Western Sahara settlement process and will hardly do anything to support the efforts of the personal envoy of the Secretary General Stephen de Mistura to resume direct negotiating process between Morocco and the Polisario Front in order to achieve a mutually acceptable solution.”
9. Wide shot, Council
10. Wide shot, Morocco’s Ambassador Omar Hilale at the stakeout podium
11. SOUNDBITE (French) Omar Hilale, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Kingdom of Morocco:
“The new Security Council resolution recognizes the wisdom and foresight of the Security Council as a guarantor of peace and security in the world to end this Cold War residual problem. In doing so, the Security Council was based not only on international law but also on realism, pragmatism, and compromise. This resolution also reinforces the vision and strategic choice of His Majesty the King in favour of negotiation, the peaceful resolution of differences, conciliatory efforts, and by Article 6 of the United Nations Charter and Security Council’s relevant resolutions.”
12. Wide shot, Frente Polisario representative Sidi Omar at the stakeout podium
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Sidi Omar, Representative, Frente Polisario:
“The Security Council has missed another opportunity to adopt concrete measures to empower the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara, MINURSO, to fully implement its mandate as established in Security Council resolution 690 of 1991. The Security Council has also failed to address decisively the long standing restrictions imposed by the occupying state and Morocco on MINURSO, which undermine the credibility as well as the international character and impartiality of the Mission. The Frente Polisario cannot but express once again, our rejection of the continued silence by the Security Council and particularly some influential members about the serious consequences of the breaching by the occupying state of Morocco of the 1991 ceasefire on 13th of November 2020.”
14. Wide shot, Omar walks away
STORYLINE
The Security Council today (30 Oct) adopted draft resolution renewing the mandate of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) for another year, until 31 October 2024. The Russian Federation and Mozambique abstained.

Speaking after the vote, United States’ Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the Council had “sent a clear message that we must intensify efforts to advance an enduring and dignified resolution for Western Sahara without further delay.”

Thomas-Greenfield expressed regret that although this resolution had received widespread support, the Council “was not unanimous in renewing this mandate, as unity greatly enhances UN efforts to achieve peace.”

The resolution was drafted by the United States.

Russian Ambassador Dmitriy Polyanskiy said his country had abstained “because not a single one of our principles and properly substantiated comments, including those of a compromise nature, which we have expressed to the American authors for several years now, were taken into account.”

Polyanskiy said the resolution presented “does not reflect the real situation on the ground that has taken shape in the Western Sahara settlement process and will hardly do anything to support the efforts of the personal envoy of the Secretary General Stephen de Mistura to resume direct negotiating process between Morocco and the Polisario Front in order to achieve a mutually acceptable solution.”

Speaking outside the Council, Morocco’s Ambassador Omar Hilale said the resolution “recognizes the wisdom and foresight of the Security Council as a guarantor of peace and security in the world to end this Cold War residual problem.”

In doing so, he added, the Council’s decision “was based not only on international law but also on realism, pragmatism, and compromise.”

For his part, Frente Polisario representative Sidi Omar said, “the Security Council has missed another opportunity to adopt concrete measures to empower the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara, MINURSO, to fully implement its mandate as established in Security Council resolution 690 of 1991.”

Omar said the Council “has also failed to address decisively the long standing restrictions imposed by the occupying state and Morocco on MINURSO, which undermine the credibility as well as the international character and impartiality of the Mission.”

According to the Secretary-General’s report, during the informal bilateral consultations Morocco reiterated its position that its autonomy proposal was the only viable outcome of a political process. (The plan, which Morocco submitted to the UN in 2007, calls for integrating the territory into Morocco, with the Sahrawi people managing their internal affairs while being represented externally by Morocco.) On the other hand, the Polisario Front reaffirmed that self-determination remains the only basis of any political process.
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