Summary of the security council members interventions

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Attached a brief summary of the interventions of the security council members in the meeting on Western Sahara on the 27th April 2018

12 votes in favor
3 abstentions: China, Ethiopia, Russia

United States (vote yes):

We as UNSC have allowed Western Sahara to lapse into a frozen conflict –

Our goal is to send 2 messages: 1) no more business as usual on Western Sahara. 2) full support to Kohler to his efforts. US wants to see progress at last….expect that the parties will return to the table over the next 6 months. Moroccan autonomy plan is ‘serious, realistic and credible’ represents 1 possible approach to resolve the conflict. It would be unfortunate for anyone to pick apart the resolution language for political point scoring.

Quoted John Bolton from his 2008 book: “MINURSO seemed well on its way to acquiring a near perpetual existence…”

Ethiopia (abstain):

Suggestions to add balance/neutrality to the resolution were not taken on board. We were flexible and were ready to engage in renegotiation, but were not given the chance. No option but to abstain. Ethiopia still supports Koehler, the political process, etc. We hope 5th round of direct negotiations will be launched as quickly as possible. Reiterate that UNSC should not make any pronouncements that undermine the process: the Council should not be seen to side with either one of the parties.

Russia (abstain):

Not in a position to support the resolution because the process was neither transparent nor consultative. Comments from Russia and other Council members were not taken on board. We decided not to block the resolution because we accept value of the mission.

New language “Practicable, etc” open things up to equivocal interpretations. The resolution passed today could have negative efforts on Koehler’s efforts.

Rejection of the language around generic peacekeeping methods that was inserted into this resolution.

Do not support human rights elements in the resolution.

Text contains provisions which damage the unbiased approach which we do not agree with. Ultimate formula must be acceptable for Moroccans and POLISARIO and must provide for self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.

France (vote yes):

Commended adoption, thanked US. Resolution prevents escalation, encourages constructive dynamics. Renewal for 6 months is geared to mobilizing council but should be an exception. Annual framework maintains stability. Important that members of the Council come together.

Sweden (vote yes):

Sweden voted in favor of the resolution due to support for Koehler process. Underlined the need for a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution that provides for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara. Business as usual is no longer an option.

Women and youth must be fully included in the political process and have a meaningful role to play.

New elements in this resolution that we find lack sufficient balance and don’t fully reflect realities on the ground. On procedure, we seek unity … the acceptance of suggestions that were relatively minor might have achieved that on this resolution.

Despite shortcomings in the text, this is a step in the right direction. Parties need to renew commitment with a spirit of compromise. All possible solutions must be on the table. This includes the holding of a free and fair referendum.

China (abstain):

Expressed appreciation to MINURSO and noted priority of regional stability. Council should remain united and speak with one voice. Council should have been given more time to achieve consensus …China expresses regret that draft was unable to accommodate concerns of other Council members – that was the reason for its abstention. Expressed support for Koehler and encouraged both parties to return to negotiations.

United Kingdom (vote yes):

Support the resolution for 3 main reasons.

• Support for de-escalation;
• Support for continuing work of MINURSO;
• Support overall goal of a lasting and mutually acceptable solution that provides for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara;

Expressed strong support for efforts of Koehler and Stewart. Parties to proceed in a spirit of realism and compromise. The 6 month renewal window is an indication of the importance of the issue.

Kuwait (vote yes):

Resolution is a reflection of the desire of the UNSG to relaunch political negotiations between the parties. Kuwait renews full support for a just and mutually acceptable political solution that ensures right to self-determination within parameters of UN Charter and relevant resolutions.

Equitorial Guinea (vote yes):

Commends efforts of Koehler and Stewart and welcomed the renewal of the mandate. Congratulated those who have made sacrifices in this conflict which has lasted for decades on the African continent. Voted in favor in recognition that efforts underway can lead to a resolution of the conflict.

Kazakhstan (vote yes):

Not alternative to process of compromise, mutually acceptable solutions, etc. Support for Koehler, etc. If the resolution had been adopted by consensus it would have sent a stronger message. Important for Council to maintain unity…

Bolivia (vote yes):

Emphasized the need to relaunch the political process. Offered full support to Koehler, Stewart, etc. Importance of parties proceeding with a new dynamic and spirit leading to a mutually acceptable political solution allowing for the self-determination of people of Western Sahara. Expressed concern that no suggestions were taken into account with a view to making the text more balanced so that all Council members could support it. Complained that the 6 month issue was not discussed with Bolivia. Lamented that the arbitrary nature of penholder system was a negative force for Council working methods. .

Cote D’Ivoire (vote yes):

Welcome adoption. Welcome serious and credible efforts made by Morocco via the autonomy initiative. Welcome invitation of neighboring states to make a more fruitful contribution.

Netherlands (vote yes):

Lack of unanimous support should not distract from what is truly important: relaunching of the political process. Common ambition must be just, lasting, mutually acceptable political solution providing for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.

Poland (vote yes):

Welcomed the resolution, offered support for Koehler, etc.

Peru (vote yes):

Offered support for the political process that would provide a fair, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution which would lead to self-determination of the people of Western Sahara. Expressed concern for Saharawi refugees and importance of improving the human rights situation and humanitarian situation.