The African Ministerial Conference on the regional dispute over the Sahara, has backed the AU’s decision to support the United Nation framework for pursuing a mutually acceptable and pragmatic resolution of the Sahara dispute.
The conference, which was held on Monday in Marrakech, Morocco, welcomed “the unanimous adoption of Decision 693 (XXXI), on the report of the Chairperson of the AU Commission on the Sahara issue, which reaffirms the exclusivity of the United Nations as the framework for seeking a mutually acceptable, realistic, pragmatic and lasting political solution to the Sahara issue.”
AU’s Decision 693, which was adopted at the 31st AU Summit in July 2018 in Nouakchott, Mauritania, puts the Western Sahara dispute back into its appropriate framework of using the UN political process for resolution. It also stipulates the support to be offered by the AU to ensure the success of the UN process in achieving a pragmatic and mutually acceptable solution.
Attended by Ministers from 40 countries from the five sub-regions of the continent, the Conference supported the specific mandate conferred by Decision 693 on the AU Troika, with the exclusion of any African Union organ at any level, in order to keep abreast of developments in the political process conducted within the framework of the United Nations on the Sahara issue.
“The Troika’s support for the United Nations political process must be protected from any interference, intervention, or non-consensual actions likely to compete with the efforts of the Secretary General of the United Nations and his Personal Envoy, compromise the cohesion of the Union, or develop a parallel process likely to foster division among its Member States,” the conference said in a communiqué.
In addition, the communiqué highlighted the positive impact of Decision 693 on the functioning of the AU, the cohesion of its members, and the implementation of its agenda and priorities, including a calm and peaceful conduct of the African Union partnership processes;
The conference noted among other things that, “recognizing the imperative of consolidating unity, gathering and converging our efforts to achieve the Africa we want; reaffirm our commitment to a constructive and effective implementation of the mandate of the AU Troika to protect, support and preserve the integrity of the ongoing political process within the exclusive framework of the United Nations, under the supervision of the Security Council and under the auspices of the Secretary General, with a view to achieving “a political, realistic, pragmatic and lasting solution to the Sahara issue based on compromise.”
Also aware of the urgent need for our Continent to address priority issues, including sustainable human development, African integration, and the prosperity of our citizens, in line with the agenda 2063, the conference considered that any initiative aimed at undermining the content of Decision 635 may undermine the credibility of the partnership processes and their contribution to the achievement of the development objectives of our Continent.”
Furthermore, the conference lauded the constructive initiative of the Kingdom of Morocco to convene the Conference, which demonstrates its support for the implementation of decision 693.