Western Sahara: Ireland Supports UN-Led Process and the Right to Self-Determination in Western Sahara

Dublin (Ireland) — The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland, Simon Coveney, reaffirmed his country's support to the right of the people of Western Sahara to self-determination and to UN-led process of decolonisation in this last colony in Africa,.

In his written answer last 14 July 2020 to a question by Irish member of Parliament, Deputy Patrick Costello, who asked "if Ireland will use its membership of the United Nations Security Council to push for resolution in respect of Western Sahara", Irish Minister affirmed that Ireland "position on the situation in Western Sahara remains one of support to the UN-led process and the Secretary-General's efforts to reach a definitive political settlement on this issue. We support the right to self-determination of the people of Western Sahara, but we do not have a view on the outcome of that decision - be it independence, integration, autonomy, or some other solution - so long as it is decided in a genuine exercise of self-determination."

He further indicated that this stand "will remain our position when we take up our seat on the Security Council, and we will be ready to support all efforts to advance the UN-led process and reach a lasting settlement."

With regards to the stalled efforts of the UN, the Irish Minister expressed Ireland's desire "to see the appointment, as soon as possible, of a new UN Special Envoy, to take forward that process and build on the momentum which had been developing under the previous Special Envoy, Horst Köhler, before his departure last year."

Ireland, he adds "continues to support the important work of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), where two members of Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed. On 30 October 2019, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2494, which extended the mandate of the Mission by 12 months. In extending the mandate of the Mission, the Security Council reaffirmed its commitment to assist the parties to achieve a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable political solution, based on compromise."

Simon Coveney finally recalled that "Ireland's approach on the Security Council will be informed by our record as a country that has a consistent, principled and independent foreign policy. Ireland is now working on preparations for taking up our Security Council seat in January, including by reviewing all items on the Council's agenda, which includes the situation in Western Sahara." (SPS)

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