Continuous consideration by 4th Committee of situation in Western Sahara is testament to unfinished decolonization, says Representative of POLISARIO Front to UN (Full text statement)

New York (United Nations), October 13, 2018 (SPS) – In a statement before the UN Special Political and Decolonisation Committee (4th Committee), the Representative of the POLISARIO Front to the United Nations, Dr. Sidi M. Omar, has underlined that “the continuous consideration by this Committee of the situation in Western Sahara, at the request of the General Assembly, is a testament to the unfinished decolonisation of the Territory.”

He added that, “it is also a testament to our people’s right to self-determination and independence—a right that is inalienable and can never be overtaken by the current colonial realities created by Morocco in the Territory through its prolonged occupation and intensified settlement and repressive policies,, in a statement before the Special Political and Decolonisation Committee.” 

Bellow is the full text of the statement of the POLISARIO Front Representative to the United Nations,Dr Sidi M. Omar, before the Special Political and Decolonisation Committee (4th Committee), on 12 October 2018:

“Mr President,

Distinguished Representatives and Delegates of Member States,

Allow me to begin by congratulating you, Mr President, on assuming the Presidency of the Special Political and Decolonisation Committee, a committee whose objectives are dear to my own heart, and that of my people.

I also thank you for giving me the opportunity to address the Committee on behalf of the Frente POLISARIO, the legitimate representative of the people of the Non-Self-Governing Territory of Western Sahara, which has been on the agenda of this Committee since 1963.

Mr President

As you know, the decolonisation process of the Non-Self-Governing Territory of Western Sahara was violently interrupted due to Morocco’s military invasion and occupation of the Territory on 31 October 1975, an occupation that was deplored by the Security Council and the General Assembly in a clear and strong manner.

In its resolution 380 of 6 November 1975, the Security Council strongly deplored the holding of the Moroccan so-called “green march” which marked the beginning of the military invasion of our country. In operative paragraph 2 of resolution 380, the Security Council (I quote) “Calls upon Morocco immediately to withdraw from the Territory of Western Sahara all the participants in the march” (unquote).

The General Assembly, representing the common voice of the international community, has also deplored deeply the Moroccan occupation, which was carried out in violation of the objectives and 2 purposes of the UN Charter and fundamental principles of International law. In operative paragraph 5 of its resolution 34/37 of 21 November 1979, the General Assembly (I quote) “deeply deplores the aggravation of the situation resulting from the continued occupation of Western Sahara by Morocco and the extension of that occupation to the territory recently evacuated by Mauritania” (unquote). In operative paragraph 6 of the same resolution, the General Assembly further (I quote) “urges Morocco to join in the peace process and to terminate its occupation of the Territory of Western Sahara” (unquote).

Morocco, therefore, is the occupying power of Western Sahara, and this is a well-established fact, despite the futile efforts of the occupying power and its apologists to convince the Committee otherwise.

The deplorable Moroccan occupation and annexation of parts of our land continues to date, with dire consequences for our people, both in terms of well-documented gross human rights violations in the occupied Territories and with respect to the massive plunder of our natural resources, among other things.

Mr President,

Morocco’s occupation and illegal annexation of parts of the Non-Self-Governing Territory of Western Sahara remains the chief obstacle to the decolonisation of the Territory. Its flagrant attempts to appropriate sovereignty over a Non-Self-Governing Territory on the agenda of this Committee and without a due and valid decolonisation process is the root cause of the long-lasting conflict in Western Sahara.

Mr President,

The continuous consideration by this Committee of the situation in Western Sahara, at the request of the General Assembly, is a testament to the unfinished decolonisation of the Territory. It is also a testament to our people’s right to self-determination and independence—a right that is inalienable and can never be overtaken by the current colonial realities created by Morocco in the Territory through its prolonged occupation and intensified settlement and repressive policies.

The responsibility of the United Nations towards the people of Western Sahara, which is reaffirmed every year in the General Assembly resolutions on the matter, should be assumed without further delay.

The UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy, Mr Horst Köhler, is trying to breathe new life into the long stalled UN peace process in Western Sahara. We have officially accepted his invitation to an initial roundtable meeting planned to take place in Geneva in early December 2018, and we stand ready to engage in direct negotiations with Morocco in line with Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.

Each year, the Frente POLISARIO, on behalf of the Sahrawi people, comes to the Fourth Committee to relay the hopes and aspirations of our people. Every year, we and many people around the world come here to defend our people’s internationally recognised right to right to self-determination, only to see little advancement in our cause. But this year, we hope, that the tide is turning, and that the people of Western Sahara will be given the opportunity to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.

After all, this is the only valid way forward to bring about a peaceful and just end to the long-awaited decolonisation of the last colonial case in Africa, and with it the end of one of the ugliest and most brutal chapters of the history of our continent.

I thank Mr President.” (SPS)

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