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Summary: 14 October 2014, New York – Statement by the European Union and its Member States at the United Nations General Assembly Fourth Committee on Agenda item 59: Question on 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*, Iceland+, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia, 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 2152.

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 issue of the CBM, mainly the expansion of the number of beneficiaries from the family visits by air 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 welcome the parties’ readiness to support the extension of UNHCR’s Confidence-Building Measures Programme by allowing people to travel overland for family visits and look forward to the early implementation of these measures. We welcome the last successful seminars and the forthcoming ones, all being held in Portugal, as well as the agreement to continue to deal with issues related to CBM.

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.

+ Iceland continues to be a member of the EFTA and of the European Economic Area.

  • Ref: EUUN14-139EN
  • EU source: European Union
  • UN forum: Fourth Committee - Special Political and Decolonization Committee
  • Date: 14/10/2014

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