Please join the letter writing campaign to the UN Security Council regarding MINURSO's renewal that has been launched by John Gurr, Coordinator of the Western Sahara Campaign-UK, and the Western Sahara Action Forum. John writes: "Our aim is to get hundreds of signatures from all the Saharawi and solidarity organisations across the world so we can stand united as one movement."
We are circulating the letter below requesting signatures from Americans and encourage our friends abroad to also send letters similar to the one below which calls for human rights monitoring, the end of the illegal exploitation of Western Sahara's resources and to set a date for the long promised referendum.
Action item for American citizens, please consider signing on to the letter by responding here by 3 pm Wednesday, April 17th with your name, title/affiliation(how you want to be identified.)
John has requested letters be delivered on April 18th so we will send the letter overnight delivery to New York this Wednesday.
Action item for citizens, NGOs in other nations: please consider sending your own letter modeled on the one below in solidarity! And copy John Gurr here when you send it as he is posting these letters on their website.
For a Free Western Sahara,
Seoul Peace Prize Laureate
Chair, US Western Sahara Foundation
President, Defense Forum Foundation
TEXT OF LETTER FOLLOWS BELOW
H.E. Mr Christoph Heusgen
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations
871 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
18 April 2019
As representatives of human rights organisations, civil society, and solidarity groups from the US,we are writing to you to request that you and all members of the Security Council take the steps necessary to end the decades-long conflict in Western Sahara. The current situation in untenable. A new failure of the Security Council to move the parties closer to a political solution will severely jeopardise the peace and stability of the region.
The optimism occasioned by the UN-led peace talks in December, has dissipated. There have been no signs that the Kingdom of Morocco is committed to providing a credible path for the people of Western Sahara to exercise their right of self-determination.
The Security Council must make clear that the only solution which is just, lasting and mutually acceptable, is one that enables the Saharawi people to freely, fairly and democratically determine their future, without preconditions imposed by outside forces.
The UN-led process will only deliver the Saharawi people’s right to self-determination if the Security Council is determined to solve this crisis once and for all, and finds the political will necessary to lay a credible path to self-determination. This right is enshrined in the UN Charter and is the foundation on which MINURSO’s mission was built. The failure of the Security Council to move the political process forward and pressure Morocco to act in good faith has enabled a political impasse in Western Sahara that tarnishes the reputation and credibility of the United Nations and its peacekeeping missions. We urge all members of the Council to deliver on this promise.
We, the undersigned, call on you to act with due urgency to support the right of the people of Western Sahara to choose their own political future. We urge you to:
- grant MINURSO the legal mandate to monitor and report on human rights in territories controlled by the Kingdom of Morocco and the Frente POLISARIO
- consider how MINURSO could support the upholding of international law with regard to the illegal exploitation of Western Sahara’s resources by Morocco.
- set a date for the long-delayed referendum on self-determination, which must include the option of independence for the people of Western Sahara, as required by international law
Please circulate this letter to all members of the Security Council.