UN Security Council holds briefing on Sahara this April

UN Security Council holds briefing on Sahara this April

Members of the UN Security Council will convene this month for a briefing on the Sahara issue.

The Security Council’s monthly forecast for April indicates that both the Special Representative for the Sahara and head of MINURSO, Russian Alexander Ivanko, and the UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for the Sahara Staffan de Mistura will brief the Security Council.

This will be the first time for Staffan de Mistura to address the Security Council since his appointment last November as the UN Secretary General’s personal envoy for the Sahara, according to the monthly forecast.

Staffan de Mistura is expected to outline the conclusions of his first tour in the region, which took place last January and which led him to Morocco, Algeria, and Mauritania, as well as the outcome of his various meetings with international actors involved in the Sahara conflict, according to the United Nations Security Council.

“The key issue for Council members to consider is how to bring all parties to the negotiating table,” says a security council report, regarding the upcoming meeting.

Resolution 2602 of 29 October 2021 called on all parties to resume negotiations with a view to “achieving a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable political solution.”

While in Rabat last January, the veteran Italian diplomat held talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita and Morocco’s permanent representative in the UN, Omar Hilale.

During the meeting, the Moroccan delegation reiterated Morocco’s fundamentals in the Sahara dispute, recalling King Mohammed VI’s speeches on the 45th and 46th anniversaries of the Green March.

In his 45th speech, the King of Morocco renewed Morocco’s commitment to work together with the UN “within the framework of the relevant Security Council resolutions so as to achieve a final solution based on the Autonomy Initiative.”

The Moroccan King notably said, “Morocco will not waiver in its position. Nor will it be affected, in any way, by the useless provocations and desperate scenes of the other parties, which attest to a headlong rush, now that their outdated claims have failed.”

King Mohammed VI emphasized the same points during his speech for the 46th anniversary of the Green March, recalling Morocco’s adherence to a compromise-based and realism-driven political settlement under the aegis of the UN.

The Security Council meeting will take place on the backdrop of the various diplomatic gains scored by Morocco lately, including Spain’s backing of Morocco’s territorial integrity and its description of the autonomy initiative as the most serious, credible and realistic basis for finding a political solution to the Sahara dispute. This adds to similar positions by the US, Germany, France, and more recently Israel and shows that the autonomy proposal is gaining traction as the ultimate political solution of an artificial dispute and a relic of colonialism that has long lasted.

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