Derechos | Equipo Nizkor
Written statement submitted by the Society for Threatened Peoples
Economic and Social Council
26 February 2004
COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Item 5 of the provisional agenda
THE RIGHT OF PEOPLES TO SELF-DETERMINATION AND ITS APPLICATION TO PEOPLES UNDER COLONIAL OR ALIEN DOMINATION OR FOREIGN OCCUPATION
Written statement |*| submitted by the Society for Threatened Peoples, a non-governmental organization in special consultative status
The Secretary-General has received the following written statement which is circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.
[30 January 2004]
The Right to Self-determination of the Saharawi People and the UN Peace Plan
The year 2004 will be decisive for peace and conflict resolution in Western Sahara. Society for Threatened Peoples welcomes the U.N. Security Council resolution 1495 of 31 July 2003, in which the Security Council called upon Morocco and the Frente POLISARIO to work with the United Nations and with each other towards acceptance and implementation of the peace plan submitted to them in early 2003. The plan has been welcomed by Algeria and the Frente POLISARIO, but not yet by Morocco, which says it opposes any plan that offers the option of independence for Western Sahara. The Personal Envoy of the U.N. Secretary-General still waits on Morocco's final response to the operative paragraphs of resolution 1495. Morocco has called for negotiations with Algeria to resolve the impasse. But Algeria has publicly ruled out talks, insisting instead that Morocco simply accepts James Baker's plan.
Several times in the last years, the U.N. Security Council has expressed its determination to "secure a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution which will provide for the self-determination of the people" of the northwest African territory. The peace plan proposed by the United Nations would offer the opportunity to the Saharawi people to exercise their right to self-determination. With great concern the Society for Threatened Peoples has observed the continuing standstill of efforts to reinstate the U.N. peace plan for Western Sahara. We share the concerns of the U.N.'s Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, who has expressed his profound disappointment at the lack of satisfactory progress made in implementing the U.N. peace plan. We are deploring the lack of commitment of Morocco to overcome the blockade and to implement the peace plan. Since the first peace plan of the United Nations for Western Sahara has been submitted in 1991, Morocco has made numerous attempts to impede all efforts to organize a referendum on self-determination. Deliberately the Moroccan authorities have encouraged the influx of Moroccan settlers to undermine the Saharawi people's right to self-determination. We are convinced that the full implementation of the U.N. peace plan offers the only guarantee of a lasting, just and peaceful solution to the conflict in Western Sahara. The Commission should appeal to the international community to firmly support the U.N. in its efforts to find a peaceful and lasting solution to ensure the right to self-determination of the Saharawi people. The Commission should urge Morocco to finally endorse the U.N. peace plan.
* This written statement is issued, unedited, in the language(s) received from the submitting non-governmental organization(s). [Back]
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