The United Nations Security Council which held Wednesday its semi-annual consultation meeting on the Sahara has underlined the imperative necessity and the urgency to appoint a new personal envoy of the UN Secretary General for the Sahara, a position that remained vacant since May 2019, when German Horst Köhler stepped down.
An official from the Political Affairs Department of the UN Secretariat briefed the council meeting which was held behind closed doors about the political process, blocked by the opposition of Algeria and the Polisario to the appointment of a Personal Envoy.
Actually, Algeria and the Polisario recently rejected the Secretary General’s proposals to appoint the former Romanian Prime Minister, Petre Roman, and later on the former Portuguese foreign minister, Luis Amado. In contrast, Morocco promptly accepted the nominations submitted by Antonio Guterres.
The Council members also called for the resumption, as soon as possible, of the roundtable process, wherein Algeria is a main party as enshrined in Security Council resolutions. They also insisted on the need for a favorable and suitable climate to allow the resumption of this process, where it left off with the former UN envoy Horst Köhler.
On the Other hand, Security Council members unanimously stressed the primacy of the UN process as the sole framework for finding a political, realistic and lasting solution to the Sahara conflict, based on the resolutions adopted by the Security Council since 2007.
They likewise reiterated their support for the Moroccan autonomy initiative, as a serious and credible basis capable of putting an end to this regional dispute, as enshrined in the resolutions of the Security Council since 2007, which deem autonomy as a realistic, serious and credible solution.
Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for the Sahara and head of thye MINURSO, Colin Stewart, briefed the council on the situation on the ground, marked by violations of the ceasefire by the Polisario and the front’s obstructions to the freedom of movement of MINURSO, thus hampering the ability of the UN mission to implement its mandate to supervise the ceasefire.
In this connection, the Security Council members insisted on the imperative for the Polisario to fully cooperate with MINURSO, noting that the Front is dangerously obstructing the MINURSO’s ceasefire supervision, by blocking its patrols and preventing the supply of military observers.
Meanwhile, the Council members praised Morocco’s cooperation with MINURSO, in particular the vaccination of the mission members as part of the national vaccination campaign against Covid-19. In this regard, they highlighted the success of the Moroccan vaccination campaign.