The new Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Western Sahara, Horst Köhler, who took up his functions on September 8 in New York, is planning to travel to the region, and the Secretary-General welcomed the plan.
Köhler looks forward to travelling to the region and engaging with the parties in a spirit of trust and compromise, a UN spokesman said in a statement.
“The Secretary-General welcomed the intention of his Personal Envoy to travel to the region. He stressed the importance of the visit to help re-launch the political process in a new spirit and dynamic, in accordance with Security Council resolution 2351,” the spokesman said.
Since he took office and until September 16, Köhler held meetings and consultations with the Secretary-General and senior United Nations officials, as well as with representatives of the parties and neighbors, Member States and the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, the spokesman said in the statement.
The new Personal Envoy for the Sahara has succeeded American Christopher Ross whose eight-year mediation left the status quo unchanged. His term was marred by partial reports, a worn out negotiation process devoid of prospects for progress and biased and unbalanced guidance to the UN, in addition to his connivance with Algeria and a willingness to change the parameters of negotiations.
Analysts are expecting Köhler, who boasts more than 35 years of experience in government and international organizations, to lead UN mediation in the regional dispute over the Sahara with pragmatism, unlike his predecessor.