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European Parliament resolution on Western Sahara in support of the Referendum on Self-determination

Minutes of 14/01/1999 - Provisional Edition

Human rights B4-0045, 0061, 0073, 0080 and 0100/99

Resolution on Western Sahara.

The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions and its recommendation to the Council of 10 March 1998 on the situation in Western Sahara |1|,

- having regard to the report by the Secretary-General of the United Nations of 11 December 1998 (S/1998/160) and the observations and recommendations contained therein,

- having regard to UN Security Council Resolutions 1204(1998) of 30 October 1998 and 1215 (1998) of 17 December 1998,

A. noting that substantial progress has been made over recent months in the referendum process for Western Sahara and that all parties involved in this process have publicly declared their willingness to further accelerate this process,

B. concerned that, as time passes, the prospects of a referendum being held are becoming increasingly remote,

C. noting that all necessary measures for the repatriation of Saharan refugees eligible to vote have to be taken as soon as possible, and that the UNHCR has presented to all parties involved a protocol to this end,

D. emphasising the need for the European Union to give its fullest possible support to the UN Secretary-General in his efforts to bring about the referendum process in Western Sahara as soon as possible,

E. whereas the European Union should further encourage the mediating role of the United Nations, in particular of its Secretary-General, and should continue its humanitarian support in the area,

1. Welcomes the progress achieved by the UN Secretary-General on the referendum process in Western Sahara and calls on the parties to maintain and strengthen the political will they showed during the negotiations;

2. Urges the Government of Morocco to accept within the deadlines fixed by the United Nations the proposals made by the UN Secretary-General in order to move forward with the implementation of the settlement plan;

3. Calls on the Government of Morocco and the Polisario Front to cooperate fully with the United Nations in the holding without further delay of a free, fair and impartial referendum for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara;

4. Calls upon the parties and the interested States to sign as soon as possible the proposed refugee repatriation protocol with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; urges the Government of Morocco to formalise the presence of the UNHCR in the Territory, and requests both parties to take concrete action to enable the UNHCR to carry out the necessary preparatory work;

5. Calls on the Commission and the Council to give their fullest support to the further preparatory work for the referendum process in Western Sahara;

6. Calls on the Commission to step up its humanitarian aid for the Sahrawi people in accordance with the demands of the NGOs, notably in the fields of food and health;

7. Asks that a delegation of observers be sent to monitor the referendum in Western Sahara;

8. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the UN Secretary-General, the OAU and the Government of Morocco and the Polisario Front.


1. OJ C 104, 6.4.1998, p. 29. [Back]

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