Vietnam calls for respecting Western Sahara peace process

19:08 15/10/2020
A Vietnamese diplomat to the United Nations has called on parties concerned to respect agreements and speed up peace efforts by the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).

A panoramic view of a UNSC meeting. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

A panoramic view of a UNSC meeting. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Addressing a UN Security Council meeting on October 14, ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, head of Vietnam’s mission to the UN, shared difficulties Western Sahara people are faced with, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and said given the current situation priority should be given to maintaining humanitarian campaigns.

The ambassador emphasized that the stakeholders need to have peaceful dialogues on the basis of international law and relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council in order to find a fair and satisfactory solution to the situation in the region, in the interest of local people.

At the meeting, UN rapporteurs noted the situation in West Sahara is generally stable, but there remains a violation of the ceasefire and the Military Agreement No.1 between the parties. They urged all parties concerned to collaborate with the UN Special Envoy to soon resume peaceful dialogues and support permanent peaceful measures acceptable to the parties, on the basis of relevant Security Council resolutions.

Located in North Africa, Western Sahara covers ​​226,000 square kilometers with a population of 550,000. Morocco currently controls 80% of the territory of Western Sahara while the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) controls the remainder. Moroccans make up two thirds of the population while indigenous Sahrawis only represent the remaining one third.

The Western Sahara issue was first introduced to the United Nations Security Council in 1975. Sixteen years later the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 690 on a plan to hold a referendum so that the people of Western Sahara could decide whether they would live independently or merge into Morocco.

The United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara was established in 1991.