UN Fourth Committee Advocates Political Solution to Sahara Issue

The UN Fourth Committee adopted without a vote a resolution reiterating support for the UN-led political process to settle the Sahara issue after Morocco protested at keeping the artificial dispute on the agenda of the Committee.

Moroccan permanent representative said it is an anomaly to list the Sahara issue on the decolonization agenda of the Fourth committee as the issue is tackled by the UN Security Council.

The Fourth Committee, as was expected, voiced support for the political process based on the Security Council resolutions adopted since 2007, with a view to reaching a “fair, lasting and mutually acceptable” solution to the regional dispute over the Sahara.

The UN committee also called on all parties to cooperate fully with the Secretary General and his Personal Envoy, and with each other, in order to reach a “political solution that is mutually acceptable”.

The UN Envoy for the Sahara Horst Köhler invited Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Separatist Polisario front to a round table on the regional conflict in Geneva early December. The round table is meant to bridge the differences in the prospect of a resumption of negotiations.

Morocco was the first invitee to accept Köhler’s invitation to take part in the round table, being eager to settle once and for all this conflict that is hampering Maghreb integration.

Algeria, a party to the conflict, has not responded to the invitation publicly, but Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesperson for the UN Secretary General, said last Monday (Oct. 15) at his daily briefing that Algeria and Mauritania, an obser country, had accepted the invitation.

Dujarric also said that the UN Chief urged the parties and the neighbors to respond positively to the invitation of his Personal Envoy, Horst Köhler, to come to the negotiating table in good faith and without preconditions.

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