UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has hailed Morocco’s call for the setting up of a joint commission with Algeria to discuss outstanding “contentious” issues, including closed borders.
“The UN Secretary-General always supports a dialogue between Morocco and Algeria and welcomes the mechanism announced by the Moroccan Monarch on Tuesday,” Mr Guterres’ spokesman Stephane Durrajic told a news briefing on Wednesday to Thursday in New York.
King Mohammed VI called on Algeria to establish a joint committee to “study all issues presented in a frank and objective manner … without conditions or exceptions.”
“Rabat is ready for direct and frank dialogue with brotherly Algeria to overcome the situational and objective differences that hinder the development of relations between the two countries,” he stated in a speech marking the 45th anniversary of Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara.
“The UN Secretary General has always been in favor of an enhanced dialogue between Morocco and Algeria,” his spokesman said at his daily press briefing, in a reaction to the proposal by the Moroccan King to Algeria to create a joint political mechanism for dialogue and consultation.
He added that UN Secretary General Guterres also praised the positive responses to Mr Horst Kohler’s invitation to the initial round of negotiations between the two parties at issue namely the Polisario Front and Morocco on the Western Sahara conflict, to be held in Geneva on 5-6 December.
“The UN Secretary-General expresses the hope that this first round of negotiations will be the beginning of a process that will lead to a solution to this long-standing conflict,” Mr Dujarric concluded.
Meanwhile, it should be noted that a draft resolution submitted of late to the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, expressed serious concern about the continued Moroccan military occupation of Western Sahara and the denial of the exercise of the inalienable right to self-determination by the Saharawi people.
The draft resolution submitted on the basis of the report of the Secretary-General on the progress made in the implementation of the right of colonized peoples to self-determination hailed the progress achieved by peoples under colonial rule, external or foreign occupation in in exercising their right to self-determination and achieving the status and independence of a sovereign State.
The draft resolution reaffirmed that the Universal Declaration of the Right of All Peoples, including peoples under colonial, foreign and foreign domination, to self-determination is a prerequisite for the effective guarantee and observance of human rights and for the preservation and promotion of those rights.
The UN General Assembly declared in this connection its firm opposition to acts of foreign military intervention, aggression and occupation, as they have resulted in the suppression of the right of peoples to self-determination and other human rights in certain parts of the world.
The UN draft resolution called upon the States responsible for such acts to cease their military intervention in foreign countries and territories and not to occupy them and to halt all acts of repression, discrimination, exploitation and ill-treatment, in particular the brutal and inhumane methods reportedly used to carry out such acts against the peoples concerned.
The resolution called on the Human Rights Council to continue paying special attention to the violations of human rights, particularly the right to self-determination, resulting from foreign military intervention, aggression or occupation.
The resolution thus requested the UN Secretary-General to report on the matter to the UN General Assembly at its seventy-fourth session under the item entitled “Right of peoples to self-determination”.
For reference, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Antonio Guterres, presented his annual report on the right of peoples to self-determination and called to this effect upon Morocco to take positive action to clear the way for the achievement of the Saharawi people’s legitimate right to self-determination.