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30 April 2009 - Security Council - Western Sahara: Extending the mandate of MINURSO - Explanation of vote by Mr. Jean-Maurice Ripert, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

(translated from French)

As the Council has had occasion to state on numerous occasions, there is no solution other than a negotiated, mutually acceptable political solution to the issue of the Western Sahara, whose resolution remains necessary — as all are convinced — not only for the Sahara but for the entire Maghreb region.

For that reason, France welcomes the fact that the Security Council today reiterated its unanimous support for the negotiating process launched in Manhasset in 2007 and for resolution 1813 (2008), a resolution that was also adopted unanimously and which serves as the road map for the process.

My delegation hopes that on that basis the parties concerned will return to the negotiating table as soon as possible and resolutely enter into a substantive discussion — as the Council calls upon them to do — under United Nations auspices, showing realism, a spirit of compromise and political will to finally achieve a just, lasting and mutually acceptable solution.

While the negotiations must resume, France wishes also to recall the importance of the autonomy proposal put forward by Morocco in 2007, which, in our view, provides a basis for negotiation that is credible, transparent and constructive and that respects the principle of self-determination and is thus worthy of close attention by all parties.

I wish to reiterate our support for the efforts of the Secretary-General and of Mr. Christopher Ross, his new Personal Envoy, to whom we wish every success. We support Mr. Ross’s proposal to hold informal meetings to better prepare the next session of discussions.

My delegation also wishes to express its support for measures to be taken in the humanitarian and political arenas, with the agreement of the parties, to promote mutual trust and confidence.

In conclusion, my delegation welcomes the fact that the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) has been renewed by consensus.

We take this opportunity to recall how important it is for the Secretariat and the Council to be in a position, in line with the initiative launched jointly with the United Kingdom, to ensure better political and military follow-up for all peacekeeping operations, including MINURSO. To that end, as we always strive to do for various peacekeeping operations, out of a concern for effectiveness, we underscore the importance of the Secretariat keeping the operation’s planning documents up to date.

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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU