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15 October 2015, New York – Statement by the European Union and its Member States by Mr. Carl Hallergard, Minister Counsellor, Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, Fourth Committee, Agenda item 63: Question of Western Sahara

– As delivered – Mr. Chair, I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States. The Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA countries Iceland and Liechtenstein, members of the European Economic Area, as well as the Republic of Moldova and Armenia, align themselves with this statement. We look forward to the consensual adoption of the resolution on the situation concerning Western Sahara. We reaffirm our full support for the Secretary-General’s efforts to achieve a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in the context of arrangements consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations. We continue to encourage the parties to work towards such a solution, within the framework of the United Nations. We commend the work of Ambassador Christopher Ross as the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General and support his efforts in the consultations with the parties and neighbouring states. We strongly encourage the parties and neighbouring states to continue to work with him to move the political process forward. We welcome the adoption of UNSCR 2218. We also welcome the commitment of the parties to continue to show political will and work in an atmosphere propitious for dialogue, in order to enter into a more intensive phase of negotiations, in good faith and without preconditions, taking note of efforts and developments since 2006, thus ensuring implementation of Security Council resolutions 1754, 1783, 1813, 1871, 1920, 1979 2044, 2099 and 2152 as well as the success of negotiations. It is important that the parties demonstrate further political will towards a solution. We express our full support for the methodology of shuttle diplomacy, proposed by the personal Envoy and accepted by the parties We encourage the parties to continue to cooperate with the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). We encourage the parties to further collaborate with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the implementation of confidence building measures (CBM). We support the Security Council request that UNHCR maintain its consideration of a refugee registration in the Tindouf refugee camps. We welcome the progress made in the past in the issue of the CBM, mainly the expansion of the number of beneficiaries from the family visits by air, the five cultural seminars held in Portugal and the holding of five assessment meetings in Geneva on the implementation of the Plan of Action on CBM. We are convinced that progress on these issues could help to improve the atmosphere for the political process. We encourage the parties to support the implementation of UNHCR’s Confidence-Building Measures Programme, namely the resumption of family reunification visits. . We remain concerned about the implications of the Western Sahara conflict for security and cooperation in the region. I thank you. * The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

* The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

  • Ref: EUUN15-154EN
  • EU source: European Union
  • UN forum: Fourth Committee - Special Political and Decolonization Committee
  • Date: 15/10/2015

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