Question of Western Sahara

Commission on Human Rights resolution 1996/6


The Commission on Human Rights,

Having considered the question of Western Sahara,

Reaffirming the inalienable right of all peoples to self-determination and independence, in accordance with the principles set forth in the Charter of the United Nations and in General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960, containing the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples,

Recalling its earlier resolutions, the latest of which is resolution 1995/7 of 17 February 1995,

Recalling also the agreement in principle given on 30 August 1988 by the Kingdom of Morocco and the Frente Popular para la Liberación de Saguia el-Hamra y de Río de Oro to the proposals of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the then Chairman of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity, in the framework of their joint mission of good offices,

Recalling further Security Council resolutions 621 (1988) of 20 September 1988, 658 (1990) of 27 June 1990, 690 (1991) of 29 April 1991, 725 (1991) of 31 December 1991, 809 (1993) of 2 March 1993 and 907 (1994) of 29 March 1994 relating to the question of Western Sahara,

Recalling with satisfaction the entry into force of the cease-fire in Western Sahara on 6 September 1991, in accordance with the proposal of the Secretary-General accepted by both parties,

Noting the adoption by the Security Council of resolutions 973 (1995) of 13 January 1995, 995 (1995) of 26 May 1995, 1002 (1995) of 30 June 1995, 1017 (1995) of 22 September 1995, 1033 (1995) of 22 December 1995 and 1042 (1996) of 31 January 1996,

Welcoming the mission of the Security Council, which visited Western Sahara and the countries of the region from 3 to 9 June 1995,

Welcoming also the appointment of Mr. Erik Jensen as Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara,

Concerned that the parties' continuing suspicion and lack of trust have contributed to delays in the implementation of the settlement plan (S/21360 and S/22464),

Welcoming in this context the visit to the region by the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, from 2 to 9 January 1996,

Noting that, for progress to be achieved, the two parties must have a vision of the post-referendum period,

Expressing the hope for a rapid resolution of the problems causing delays in the completion of the identification process, as well as the code of conduct, the release of political prisoners, the confinement of troops of the Frente Popular para la Liberación de Saguia el-Hamra y de Río de Oro and the arrangements for the reduction of the Moroccan troops in the territory,

Stressing the importance and usefulness of the resumption of direct talks between the two parties mentioned above in order to create a propitious atmosphere conducive to a speedy and effective implementation of the settlement plan,

Having examined the relevant chapter of the report of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (A/50/23 (Part V), chap. IX),

Having also examined the report of the Secretary-General (A/50/504),

1. Takes note with appreciation of the report of the Secretary-General;

2. Pays tribute to the Secretary-General and the personnel of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara for their action with a view to settling the question of Western Sahara by the implementation of the settlement plan;

3. Reiterates its support for further efforts of the Secretary-General for the organization and supervision by the United Nations, in cooperation with the Organization of African Unity, of a referendum for self-determination of the people of Western Sahara, in conformity with Security Council resolutions 658 (1990) and 690 (1991), by which the Council adopted the settlement plan for Western Sahara;

4. Reaffirms that the goal on which all were agreed consists of the holding of a free, fair and impartial referendum for the people of Western Sahara, organized and conducted by the United Nations in cooperation with the Organization of African Unity and without any military or administrative constraints, in conformity with the settlement plan;

5. Notes with concern the insufficient progress made towards the fulfilment of the settlement plan, including the identification process, the code of conduct, the release of political prisoners, the confinement of troops of the Frente Popular para la Liberación de Saguia el-Hamra y de Río de Oro and the arrangements for the reduction of the Moroccan troops in the territory;

6. Calls upon the Kingdom of Morocco and the Frente Popular para la Liberación de Saguia el-Hamra y de Río de Oro to work with the Secretary-General and the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara in a spirit of genuine cooperation to implement the settlement plan in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions;

7. Takes note of the decision of the Security Council to review the arrangements for the completion of the identification process on the basis of the report of the Secretary-General requested in paragraph 4 of its resolution 1017 (1995) and to consider at that time any further necessary measures which might need to be taken to ensure the prompt completion of that process and of all the other aspects relevant to the fulfilment of the settlement plan;

8. Expresses the hope that direct talks between the two parties will soon resume in order to create a propitious atmosphere conducive to speedy and effective implementation of the settlement plan;

9. Recalls that the General Assembly has requested the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples to continue to consider the situation in Western Sahara, bearing in mind the ongoing referendum process, and to report thereon to the Assembly at its fifty-first session;

10. Decides to follow the development of the situation in Western Sahara and to consider the question at its fifty-third session, as a matter of high priority, under the agenda item entitled "The right of peoples to self-determination and its application to peoples under colonial or alien domination or foreign occupation".

34th meeting 11 April 1996
[Adopted without a vote]


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