Today I wrote to Minister Simon Coveney on the matter of Western Sahara.
Dear Minister Coveney,
I am writing to you now to express my concerns about the ongoing situation in Western Sahara and to ask for specific actions at the United Nations Security Council meetings coming up.
I am aware that in line with Resolution 2548 (2020) that the Secretary General will be briefing the Security Council before April 30th in relation to MINURSO and the ongoing situation in Western Sahara. This is an opportunity now to take steps to improve the situation in occupied Western Sahara.
We should be providing an alternative to war by focusing on achieving self-determination for the Saharawi people, setting a date for a free and fair referendum to be carried out in Western Sahara with an option for independence on the ballot paper.
It would be a positive step toward achieving peace and supporting human rights to use this review to push for the following:
- Granting MINURSO the legal mandate to monitor and report on human rights in the territories controlled by both the Kingdom of Morocco and the Frente POLISARIO.
- Appointing a new and credible Personal Envoy of the Secretary General to Western Sahara.
- Sending a fact-finding mission to Western Sahara to investigate human rights abuses, including those of Saharawi prisoners in prisons in Morocco.
- Insisting on unfettered access to Western Sahara by the international media and humanitarian NGOs.
I hope that we can use our time on the Security Council to make progress for the Saharwi people.
Patrick Costello TD