UN Fourth Committee adopts a resolution reaffirming the responsibility of the United Nations towards the people of Western Sahara

New York (United Nations) 7 November 2020 (SPS)- The Seventy-fifth session of the Special Political and Decolonisation Committee (Fourth Committee) of the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the question of Western Sahara, yesterday, without a vote, under agenda item 61 concerning the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, reaffirming the UN responsibility towards the Saharawi people.

The Fourth Committee took note of the report of the Secretary-General submitted to the General Assembly on 29 September 2020 in which he underscored, among other things, that the Special Political and Decolonisation Committee (Fourth Committee) of the General Assembly and the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples address the question of Western Sahara as a Non-Self-Governing Territory and an issue of decolonisation.

In this regard, the UN Fourth Committee reaffirmed the inalienable right of all peoples to self-determination and independence in accordance with the principles set forth in the Charter of the United Nations and General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960 containing the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.

It also reaffirmed the responsibility of the United Nations towards the people of Western Sahara, and requested the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples to continue to consider the situation in Western Sahara and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its seventy-sixth session.

The Fourth Committee further invited the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its seventy-sixth session a report on the implementation of the present resolution.

The resolution of the Special Political and Decolonisation Committee (Fourth Committee) comes against the backdrop of the adoption by the Security Council of its resolution 2548 (2020) of 30 October 2020 on the renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).

The Security Council resolution, it should be recalled, lacked any practical measures to advance the stalled peace process and empower MINURSO to fully implement its mandate, namely the holding of the referendum on self-determination for the people of Western Sahara.

The resolution of the UN Fourth Committee therefore reaffirms the inalienable right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination and independence in accordance with the principles set forth in the Charter of the United Nations and General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV).

It also reinforces the firm position of the United Nations regarding the question of Western Sahara as a decolonisation issue on the agenda of both the Fourth Committee of the General Assembly and the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.

Many countries made statements during the session of the Fourth Committee in which they expressed their strong support for the right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination and independence and called for the immediate implementation of MINURSO’s mandate and the UN-OAU Settlement Plan through the holding of the referendum on self-determination in Western Sahara.

They also urged the United Nations and the Security Council in particular to intensify their efforts to end the Moroccan illegal occupation of parts of Western Sahara, thus bringing to an end the decolonisation of the last colony in Africa. (SPS)

090/500/60 (SPS)