Statement by the International Committee for Dialogue and Peace on South Africa’s Invitation to Staffan de Mistura

In the face of the unusual and untimely attempt by the South African government to gain international visibility by unsuccessfully trying to become an “actor” in the Western Sahara dispute, the International Committee for Dialogue and Peace deems it necessary to remind that it is a fundamental rule of all nations to fully and impeccably respect the course of controversies, disputes, or disputes that are subject to treatment within the framework of the United Nations, as is the case with the Western Sahara dispute in the UN’s Fourth Special Committee.
The United Nations has clearly defined the international actors involved in the resolution of this dispute, namely: Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, and Spain. Neither the African Union nor South Africa are actors in this conflict, nor are they part of the observing countries, nor the group constituted by the United States and other permanent members of the Security Council, plus Spain, who usually draft resolutions to renew the mandates of MINURSO.
In this context, the attitude of the South African government in inviting the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General, Staffan de Mistura, to address the issue of the aforementioned dispute is impertinent, inappropriate, and destabilizing, constituting a gesture that breaks the impartiality of states, given that South Africa’s position in support of the separatist claims of the Polisario Front and the alleged Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) is widely known.
In this context, the press statements by the South African Minister of Foreign Affairs, mentioning that the Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Staffan de Mistura, shared with her “some approaches related to the Sahara issue,” invoking the “confidential” nature of the proposals, are worrisome. According to the minister, these proposals must be thoroughly studied by her government.
Mr. Staffan de Mistura will not succeed in unlocking the political process related to the Sahara by involuntarily involving third states that are not part of the dispute and have no real interest in it, except to openly support the positions of the Polisario Front and Algeria on the matter.
These actions simply demonstrate diplomatic incompetence and a lack of real solutions to resolve this conflict after two years of management. Faced with this erroneous approach by the Personal Delegate of the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres, the International Committee for Dialogue and Peace can only express its deep concern and rejection of South Africa’s unilateral involvement in the Sahara issue, and call on Mr. Staffan de Mistura to urgently reconsider his position on this matter.