New York (UN) — Summary of the Statement of the Frente POLISARIO on the Question of Western Sahara before the UN Special Political and Decolonisation Committee (Fourth Committee)
Dr Sidi Mohamed Omar
Representative of the Frente POLISARIO at the United Nations
New York, 10 October 2019
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to address the Special Political and Decolonisation 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 as a decolonisation issue in line with UN resolutions.
Distinguished Representatives and Delegates of Member States
Unlike the fate of all African former colonies, the decolonisation of Western Sahara was violently interrupted in 1975 because of Morocco's illegal occupation of the Territory, which continues to date. Both the Security Council and the General Assembly in its resolutions 34/37 of 1979 and 35/19 of 1980, among other relevant resolutions, have deeply deplored Morocco's continued occupation of Western Sahara. As they do every year before this Committee, the occupying power, Morocco, and its apologists will again resort to misinformation and fabrication to present their misleading accounts about the issue of Western Sahara. However, denying the truth does not change the facts.
The Fourth Committee's continuous consideration of the question of Western Sahara, at the request of the General Assembly, is a testament that the decolonisation of the Territory remains to be completed on the basis of the exercise by the people of Western Sahara of their inalienable right to self-determination and independence in line with General Assembly Resolution 1514 (1960) and other relevant resolutions. Therefore, our inalienable right to freely determine our future can never be supplanted by the colonial realities created by the Moroccan occupying power in the Territory through its prolonged occupation and intensified settlement and repressive policies.
Distinguished Representatives and Delegates of Member States,
The legal and political nature of the issue of Western Sahara as a decolonisation case is unquestionably clear. Therefore, the main question before this Committee is very simple. Do we allow the rule of "might makes right" to prevail in the case of Western Sahara, and hence allow the Moroccan illegal occupation of the Territory to continue unchallenged, or do we defend unreservedly the principles of international legality and General Assembly resolutions' related to this issue?
Member States' presence here today makes it clear that "might makes right" is not an option. Had this rule prevailed, many members of this very Committee and the United Nations itself would remain under the yoke of colonialism and foreign occupation. The people of Western Sahara deserve the same freedom to determine our future. This Committee's only option, therefore, is to uphold the principles of international law by putting in place all necessary measures to allow the people of Western Sahara the chance to exercise freely and democratically their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.
This is the only way forward to bring about a peaceful and durable solution to the long-awaited decolonisation of the last colony in Africa, and thus the end of one of the most despicable and brutal chapters of the history of our continent.
I thank you for your attention."