Angola to the UN C-24: Resolution of Western Sahara conflict requires respect of existing borders and of Saharawi people's sovereignty over their territory

New York (United Nations) 15 June 2022 (SPS)- Angola’s Permanent Representative to the UN,  H.E. Maria de Jesus Ferreira, considered in her statement before the UN substantive Session of the Special Committee on Decolonization (C-24) 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, held on Monday 13 June, that the peaceful resolution of the Western Sahara conflict requires the respect of AU’s Constitutive AcT principles, including respect of existing borders and of the sovereignty of the Saharawi people over their territory.

“The peaceful resolution of the Western Sahara conflict also requires the implementation of the principles of the UN Charter and the principles set out in the Constitutive Act of the African Union, including respect for existing borders and decolonization through a genuine process of self-determination under the auspices of the UN and the AU,” she said.

She further added that the UN efforts must “guarantee the sovereignty of the Saharawi people and their inalienable right to self-determination and independence, including the referendum agreed upon by the international community.”

Following is the full text of the statement, of which SPS received a copy:

“Statement by Excellency Maria de Jesus Ferreira, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Angola to the United Nations SUBSTANTIVE SESSION OF THE C-24

June 13, 2022

Madam Chair

At the outset, let me express our appreciation for Chair of the Committee Excellency Ambassador Keisha McGuire, for your leadership and the other members of the Bureau.

Let me also express our gratitude to the Government of Saint Lucia for the hospitality and all support provided to the Angolan delegation during the Regional Seminar on 11-13 May in Castries. Indeed, the seminar provided for all of us excellent opportunity and helped the Committee to evaluate case by case the situation of Non-Self-Governing Territories.

Madam Chair

The situation in Western Sahara remains a concern. Forty-six years have passed, and the last African colony has not yet exercised its right to self-determination and independence due to the way as the political process of Western Sahara has been conducted. If this situation remains without consensus, we can face the deterioration of the humanitarian situation already aggravated by COVID-19.

Angola considers that independence, sovereignty, and unity of states are legitimate rights of all peoples. Any violation of these principles will not only harm the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination and independence as well as the appearance of new conflicts in the North-African region and in Africa in general, in addition to preventing the opportunity for development, integration, and stability in the Territory.

The constructive dialogue between the Saharan Republic and Morocco is pertinent at this moment to reaching a realistic, legitimate, and mutually acceptable solution taking into account the interests of the Territory’s inhabitants.

The peaceful resolution of the Western Sahara conflict also requires the implementation of the principles of the UN Charter and the principles set out in the Constitutive Act of the African Union, including respect for existing borders and decolonization through a genuine process of self-determination under the auspices of the UN and the AU.

In this regard we call upon the Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Western Sahara, H.E. Staffan de Mistura to further negotiation with the parties (Frente Polisario and Morocco) to advance the peace process initiated by H.E Horst Kohler to guarantee the sovereignty of the Saharawi people and their inalienable right to self-determination and independence, including the referendum agreed upon by the international community.

We also encourage the Security Council to assume its responsibility to protect the civilian population against violence and crimes against human rights in accordance with rules of International Humanitarian Law.

Angola supports the continued effort of the United Nations to accelerate the complete decolonization process including the Special Committee’s work and all activities to implement the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Peoples as well as the Plan of Action for the International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism.

Madam Chair

To conclude Angola reiterates our support for the Committee's efforts to implement the inalienable right of the people of Western Sahara to self-determination and independence, following the principles of the United Nations Charter and the objectives of General Assembly Resolution 1514 of December 14, 1960.

In this context we encourage the Unite Nations to put in practice the UNOAU Settlement Plan accepted by both parties (Frente Polisario and Morocco) in 1988 and approved by the Security Council in 1990 and 1991 to achieve a peaceful and lasting solution in Western Sahara.

We also encourage the Committee to continue its coordination with Member States and the Non-Self-Governing Territories to achieve meaningful results on questions of the decolonization agenda.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION!” (SPS)

090/500/60 (SPS)