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30 April 2010 - Security Council - The situation concerning Western Sahara- Extension of the mandate of MINURSO : Statement by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

(UN Translation)

The resolution we have just adopted highlights the importance which the international community attaches to the political process in Western Sahara. The status quo is not unacceptable in the long term. We call on all the parties to display greater political will to reach a solution that is fair, lasting and mutually acceptable.

In that regard, my delegation recalls the importance of the autonomy proposal put forward by the Kingdom of Morocco in 2007, which allowed negotiations to resume and which, in our opinion, constitutes the basis for credible, open and constructive negotiations that respect the principle of selfdetermination. The proposal therefore deserves to be carefully considered by the various parties.

This year, the Personal Envoy of the Secretary- General held two informal negotiating sessions and made two visits to the region. The dialogue has been patiently renewed. The process is slow but moving forward. We commend the skill with which Mr. Christopher Ross has shepherded progress and trust in his capacity to move ahead with our full support. However, he will be able to do nothing without the full commitment of the parties, which must participate seriously in the negotiations, display a sense of realism and a spirit of compromise, and abstain from all provocation. The settlement of this issue is necessary to the people of Western Sahara and to the security, stability and integration of the Maghreb region.

Resolution 1920 (2010) also sends a critical message about confidence-building measures, in particular family visits. Visits by air, which have been halted since March, must be re-established, and visits by land must be inaugurated as soon as possible. It is not acceptable that civilian populations be held hostage by political considerations. Everything must be done to alleviate their daily struggles, and we welcome the role played by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in that regard.

We also support all measures to be taken in the political and humanitarian spheres, with the agreement of the parties, to promote mutual trust.

In conclusion, my delegation would like to highlight one particular issue and recall how important it is that the Council be able to ensure better financial tracking for all peacekeeping operations, including MINURSO, in line with the initiative launched jointly with the United Kingdom. This means that the reports of the Secretary-General published prior to mandate renewals should contain financial estimates for the recommendations made in them.

We note also that the MINURSO budget has grown considerably since two years ago, while the mandate and format of the Mission have not changed substantially. We hope that the discussions that will take place in the Fifth Committee will make possible a convincing argument for the validity of the premises underpinning the 2010-2011 budget.



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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