In the lead-up to the UN Security Council vote on the renewal of the MINURSO mandate at the end of October, we ask our supporters to work with us.
The UN Security Council is reviewing MINURSO, its mission in Western Sahara.
It must do better.
For several years, the UNSC has ignored its responsibilities to the Saharawi people.
The failure of the UN to appoint a new Personal Envoy of the Secretary General to Western Sahara following the resignation of Horst Köhler in May 2019 paralyzed the peace process.
The absence of a credible political process has allowed for the situation in the occupied territory to deteriorate. Western Sahara now hosts violent conflict; severe limitations on Saharawi people’s freedom of information, freedom of assembly, and freedom of movement and attacks on Saharawi women.
The Saharawi people’s right to self-determination remains unrealised despite the presence of MINURSO, which was explicitly established to organise a referendum on self-determination. Morocco continues to test the patience of the Saharawi people by obstructing the peace process.
Despite the rise of human rights violations by the Moroccan government, MINURSO still has no mandate to monitor and report on human rights in Western Sahara.
Morocco continues to violate the ceasefire and Military Agreement No. 1 through its illegal breach in Guerguerat.
The UN—if it aims to abide by its founding principles—must pursue a robust peace process to achieve a just and lasting solution rooted in full respect for the Saharawi people’s right to self-determination.
You Can Make a Difference!
Please write to your MP asking them to write to James Cleverly MP, Minister of State, FCDO.
You can also write, e-mail or call members of the UNSC to express your views on the need for international public support for the Saharawi people. You can prioritise the UK Ambassador as well as the Kenyan ambassador, as Kenya holds the Security Council Presidency in October 2021, asking him to circulate to the other members. Contact details are below and in the attached document.
Use your own words in these communications if possible to maximize your impact.
For guidance, you can consider the following key points of emphasis; make some of the points – don’t try to make them all.
The UN Security Council should:
Get the political process moving again, by
* appointing a new Personal Envoy of the Secretary General to Western Sahara to replace Horst Köhler. * establishing a timetable for more frequent reviews of MINURSO’s progress and new confidence-building measures.
Uphold international law, by
* granting MINURSO the legal mandate to monitor and report on human rights in the territories controlled by both the Kingdom of Morocco and the Frente POLISARIO. * demanding an end to the illegal extraction of natural resources from Western Sahara, which disregards the interests and wishes of the indigenous Saharawi. * maintaining a focus on self-determination, which is the legal right of the Saharawi people, and setting a date for a free and fair referendum to be carried out in Western Sahara with an option for independence.
Incorporate climate change considerations into MINURSO’s mandate, by
* Monitoring the impacts of increased desertification and flooding on the livelihoods of Saharawi refugees. * Considering how Moroccan dominance of Saharawi natural resources impacts GHG emissions.
Combat the COVID-19 pandemic, by
* advocating for the release of Saharawi civilian prisoners in Moroccan prisons, which are notorious for overcrowding and unhygienic conditions.
WESTERN SAHARA CAMPAIGN UK
The Western Sahara Campaign works in solidarity with the Saharawi people to generate political support in order to advance their right to self-determination and to promote their human rights.
Our role is to lobby the UK Government and the EU. You can help us to ensure the UK does not ignore the voice of the Saharawi people.
Follow the news about EU's illegal fisheries in Western Sahara