Seminar in Caribbean: UN urged to speed up Western Sahara decolonization process

Kingstown (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), May 20, 2017 (SPS) -Participants in the regional seminar of the Caribbean on decolonization held by the United Nations' 24 Committee called for the UN to speed up the decolonization process of Western Sahara and the organization of a self-determination referendum. 

The three-day seminar, held in Kingstown and devoted to the future of the 17 non-autonomous territories on the UN agenda, stressed the need to revive the UN special Committee for decolonization, alias Committee of 24, so that is can reach its goals.

Committee expert Judith Bourne stated that without "drastic and deep re-assessment and reconstruction of the Committee's work, the third International Decade of colonization elimination would simply become a fourth or fifth decade until efforts are undermined by negligence and inactivity."

"The decolonization process is lagging behind," said participants. Since the proclamation of independence of Timor Oriental in 2002, the 17 non-autonomous wait since a long time for their right to self-determination.

"The UN committee's credibility depends on its capacity to implement the third Decade of colonialism elimination," said participants.

Speaking during the works, Algeria's representative stated that the international community had to continue to support the UN Committee to help it fulfill its mandate.

As regards Western Sahara, Algeria's representative said that biased solutions were not going to guarantee a peaceful future for the region.

Expressing support to the efforts made by the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary General to relaunch negotiations, Algeria's representative recalled various decisions of international tribunals, which reaffirmed that Western Sahara was not part of the Moroccan territory.

The 24 Committee should not joint its efforts to those of the African Union to reach a sustainable solution guaranteeing the Sahrawi people's right to self-determination, he stated.

Describing Rabat's colonial policy, the representative of Algeria recalled that Morocco had proposed the partition of Western Sahara, which is an irreversible proof that its territorial claim was unfounded. (SPS)

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