In previous years the UN Security Council has voted not to monitor human rights violations in Western Sahara. This is unacceptable. It is time to put pressure on the Security Council and demand they fulfill their duty to the people of Western Sahara. They will be voting in April 2015 so we need to act NOW to exert some collective pressure. (Take a look here for briefings on issues of Human Rights and Resources if you need some background information). [For the update as of the week commencing 13/04/2015, click here].
The debate about natural resources is also hotting up. In December, Kosmos Energy started drilling illegally for oil off the waters of Western Sahara. A Sahrawi-led campaign against Kosmos is mounting and we want to get this heard at the Security Council.
Western Sahara is now one of the most contentious issues on next month’s Security Council agenda – let’s keep it that way! Take action: Please write to the President of the Security Council (France holds the Presidency in March) asking that your letter is circulated to all members. A hard copy letter is best, but if you do not have time please send emails to all members of the Security Council (details at the end). Please do this before the end of March 2015.
Key points: (please adapt if you can, it makes it much stronger) Point out that:
- The human rights situation in Western Sahara is unsustainable. The UN Security Council is failing in its legal and moral duty to protect the rights of the people of Western Sahara.
- Since last year’s failure of the Security Council to implement human rights monitoring there have been ongoing violations of human rights. Demonstrations following last year’s decision of the Security Council, resulted in violent repression by the Moroccan authorities and allegations of torture of protesters.
- Ongoing abuses include denial of essential medical treatment; violent physical and sexual assault; serious restrictions on freedom of expression and numerous allegations of torture.
- The illegal exploitation and export of natural resources in occupied Western Sahara has grave consequences for peace in the territory. Kosmos Energy has announced that it has “encountered hydrocarbons” offshore occupied Western Sahara. EU member country fishing vessels have also returned to fish the waters of Western Sahara. These activities are illegal and in disregard of the UN’s own legal opinion.
- Members of the UN Security Council have a duty to protect the rights of the people of Western Sahara. They must:
- Provide independent, impartial, comprehensive, and sustained monitoring of human rights, both in Western Sahara and in the refugee camps.
- Take a role in monitoring and controlling the resources of the territory until self-determination is achieved.
His Excellency Mr François Delattre
Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
1 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
245 East 47th Street, 44th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Fax: +1 (212) 421-6889 Tel: +1 (212) 702-4900
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
Full details of all Security Council members are in the document below and at this link. Please contact them if you can. However, if you are short of time please copy your email to all the following missions: