Autonomy plan

Exclusive: Resolution on Western Sahara Positive for Morocco

Morocco World News

New York - The members of the Security Council concluded on Thursday morning their negotiations on the draft resolution regarding the Western Sahara.

The United States has pushed for the adoption by the Security Council of a resolution that is very pro Morocco, sources acquainted with the matter from inside the United Nations told Morocco World News on Thursday.

The 15-member body held another closed-door meeting on Thursday morning to discuss the final language of the resolution.

The final version of the resolution was submitted “in blue” – meaning ready for adoption - to the secretariat of the Security Council. But according to our sources in New York, new developments may warrant revision of the text and a vote has not been scheduled. It is unclear whether the 15-member will adopt the resolution tomorrow or this weekend.

The latest version of the resolution, which was obtained by Morocco World News, is positive for the Moroccan position and puts clear pressure on the Polisario.

The resolution reflects the concern expressed by the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres concerning the situation in the region. In his first annual report on the Situation Regarding the Western Sahara, the UN chief called on the Security Council to urge the Polisario to withdraw from the Gueguerat region.

The resolution calls unequivocally on the Polisario to respect the provisions of the 1991 ceasefire agreement and withdraw from the Gueguerat region without conditions.

Paragraph 3 of the resolution expresses the Security Council’s “deep concern with the continued presence of elements of the Polisario Front in the buffer strip in Guerguerat and strongly urges the Polisario Front to fully and unconditionally withdraw from the buffer strip in Guerguerat immediately.”

The Polisario will be given 30 days to abide by the provisions of the resolution. In the event it refuses to withdraw from the Gueguerat region, the Security Council will decide on ways to compel it to do so.

The Security Council “requests the Secretary-General to brief the Council within 30 days on whether elements of the Polisario have withdrawn from the buffer strip in Guerguerat and expresses its intention, if there is no full and unconditional withdrawal, to consider how best to facilitate achievement of this goal,”  says the resolution in its paragraph 4.

On the other hand, the resolution calls on the parties to show commitment towards achieving a mutually acceptable political solution. In this regard, unlike last year’s resolution, the new text insist three times that the any political solution should in the “context of arrangements consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations.”

The addition of this sentence in three paragraphs echoes the recommendation made in the report of the Secretary General in which he called on the parties to work towards achieving a mutually political solution and on defining the meaning and scope of the concept of self-determination.

The recommendation of the UN chief and the text of the resolution are in line with the position of Morocco, which has for long insisted that  independence is not only way of achieving self-determination and that autonomy is also among the arrangements of the United Nations that provide achieving self-determination.

The Security Council expressed "its full support for the commitment of the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy towards a solution to the question of Western Sahara in this context to relaunch the negotiating process with a new dynamic and a new spirit leading to the resumption of a political process with the aim of reaching a 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,"

To achieve this goal, it calls on "the parties to resume negotiations under the auspices of the Secretary-General without preconditions and in good faith, taking into account the efforts made since 2006 and subsequent developments, with a view to achieving 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, and noting the role and responsibilities of the parties in this respect."

The resolution calls on the Secretary General "to update the Security Council within six months of the appointment of the new Personal Envoy on ways in which the Personal Envoy, working with the parties, is progressing towards a 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, and present a clear path forward."

US and France lend their support to Morocco

But while the United States, penholder of the resolution, and France wanted to push for the resolution along the lines expressed in the first draft, other members called for the adoption of a more nuanced and more balanced resolution.

The main bones of contention were the need that Polisario withdraw from the Guerguerat region and respect the ceasefire agreement, and the approach that the Security Council will adopt to help the parties reach a mutually acceptable political solution.

“The differences relate to how the Council addresses the situation of Guerguerat, and also how it addresses the parties’ proposals. It appears that the Council is leaning for the Moroccan proposal submitted to the Council in 2007,” the same source said.

“The text was leaning or very favorable to Morocco as prepared by the US, especially in these two areas. Therefore, there was some disagreement from other members that do not agree with this approach,” the same source added.

Comments

Editorial

Opinions

  • The Moroccan Gold Eldorado
    20

    The Moroccan Gold Eldorado, a Myth or a Reality?

    Rabat - Recently, a conspiracy theory video about a large gold discovery in Morocco is making rounds online. The video claims that a substantial gold reserve was discovered and is being extracted by a Canadian mining company called Maya Gold and Silver. We Moroccans are very proud human beings, we love our country and cherish...

  • Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani
    20

    Qatar: How the Tables Are Turning in The Gulf

    Rabat - Amidst harsh sanctions and a long list of demands from its neighbors, Qatar’s ability to thrive under pressure may prove to be problematic for Saudi Arabia. As Saudi Arabia and its coalition attempt to wait out Qatar, the recent spat in the Gulf continues to become more and more global, and severely against...

  • FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2015 file photo, a plume of steam billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H. If the nation doesn’t do more, the U.S. probably won’t quite meet the dramatic heat-trapping gas reduction goal it promised in last year’s Paris agreement to battle climate change, according to a new study. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)
    20

    Climate Change : If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Fix It

    Chefchaouen - Climate change is happening at home and around the world. Chefchaouen is doing its part by embracing clean energy climate solutions and engaging its citizens in climate action. When it comes to fighting climate change, cities and local leaders are best positioned to lead that charge. Local leaders from coastal to landlocked communities are...

  • 20

    India Orders Internal Probe into Mistaken Use of Morocco-Spain Border Picture

    Hyderabad - The Indian Ministry of Interior on Wednesday ordered an internal investigation to find out how a picture of Morocco-Spain border was used in its annual report to show floodlights along the India-Pakistan border. What is most embarrassing is that the annual report of previous years was tabled during the Budget Session of Indian...

  • Amid Growing Tension, Thousands of Moroccans Stage Pro-Rif March in Rabat
    20

    Neglect in Harsh Soil: The Deep Roots of the Rif Crisis

    Rabat - The ongoing protests in northern Morocco started almost eight months ago, but they have their origin in nearly a century of violent repression by the state. The Rif has, in spite of itself, got involved into a peaceful revolt since the death of the fishmonger Mohcine Fikri at the end of October 2016, a...

  • Tamim Bin Hamad al Thani emir of Qatar
    20

    The Qatar Crisis: What Does It Mean?

    Rabat - The recent diplomatic fallout between Qatar and the rest of the Middle East could have serious economic and geopolitical consequences across the globe. Earlier this week, Qatar’s diplomatic crisis took an extreme turn as several Arab states severed diplomatic ties with the Gulf nation.  The original list of countries in the coalition against...

  • Moroccans spend Laylat al-Qadr, the 26th day of Ramadan, at the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca.
    20

    Ramadan: Not just Abstinence from Daily Intakes 

    By Abdellatif Oudra Rabat - The observance of Ramadan, one of the five pillars of Islam, compels Muslims to fast from sunrise to sunset. But it is not just about abstaining from food or drink.  Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is observed in commemoration of the revelation of Qur’an to the prophet Mohammad,...

  • Morocco Threatens to Terminate Agriculture Agreement with Europe
    20

    Morocco and the EU: Managing the Future

    Rabat - Morocco enjoys proximity to Europe and is at an advantage of being favoured by the European Union as a close partner on political, economic, and cultural levels. Historical archives and political legacies tie Morocco directly with at least three influential European countries: France, Spain, and England. Demography, kinship, and immigration compel other EU...

  • The Educational and Cultural Implications of the Arab Spring
    20

    The Educational and Cultural Implications of the Arab 'Spring'

    Rabat - In the last ten years or so, the Arab world has seen unprecedented collapses in the realms of politics and economy, among others. World NGOs regularly release area-specific rankings, in which Arab nations commonly rank at the bottom of lists in education, human rights, and income for instance while they top those of...

  • Thousands Hold Peaceful Demonstration in Memory of Mouhcine Fikri
    20

    Al Hoceima and the Pedagogical Exercise

    Ottawa - What makes a democracy different from non-democracy? This is the classical and historical question asked by philosophers over the centuries and deeply questioned in the discipline of political science. Democracy cannot prevent inequality as the case in the United States where inequality is the highest globally. Democracy cannot stop corruption like in Brazil...