Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

EU Explanation of Vote – United Nations 4th Committee: Western Sahara

New York, 10/10/2017 - 00:00, UNIQUE ID: 171205_6
Statements on behalf of the EU

Explanation of Vote delivered by Estonia on behalf of the European Union at the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly Fourth Committee ahead of the vote on Western Sahara.

Monsieur le President,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

The Candidate Countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA country Liechtenstein, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, align themselves with this statement.

We look forward to the consensual adoption of the resolution on the situation concerning Western Sahara.

We welcome the commitment of the Secretary-General to relaunch the negotiating process with a new dynamic and a new spirit leading to the resumption of a political process with the aim 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. We continue to encourage the parties to work towards such a solution, within the framework of the United Nations.

We are grateful for the work of Ambassador Christopher Ross as the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General. We welcome the appointment of Horst Köhler as the new Personal Envoy for Western Sahara and we stand ready to support his efforts in the consultations with the parties and neighbouring states. We strongly encourage the parties and neighbouring states to work with him to move the political process forward.

We welcome the adoption of UNSCR 2351, which expresses full support to the Secretary-General and his proposal to relaunch the political process. We support the meaningful participation of women in a political process.

We encourage the parties to continue to show political will and work in an atmosphere propitious for dialogue, in order to enter into a more intensive phase of negotiations, in good faith and without preconditions, taking note of efforts and developments since 2006, thus ensuring implementation of Security Council resolutions 1754, 1783, 1813, 1871, 1920, 1979 2044, 2099, 2152, 2218, 2285 and 2351 as well as the success of negotiations. It is important that the parties demonstrate further political will towards a solution.

We welcome the agreement found between Morocco and the UN regarding the return of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) to full functionality and encourage the parties to continue to fully cooperate with MINURSO.

We note with deep concern insufficient funding for those living in Tindouf refugee camps and urge the international community to provide new and additional voluntary contributions. We support the Security Council request that UNHCR maintain its consideration of a refugee registration in the Tindouf refugee camps.

We encourage the parties to further collaborate with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the implementation of confidence building measures (CBM). We welcome the progress made in the past in the issue of the CBM, as we are convinced that progress on these issues could help to improve the atmosphere for the political process.

We remain concerned about the implications of the Western Sahara conflict for security and cooperation in the region.

I thank you.


* The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

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