Review of Western Sahara policy
Today, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs received the review of Western Sahara policy conducted by Ambassador Fredrik Florén. The review provides a number of recommendations, including that support should be given to the UN process for which the Secretary-General has announced new initiatives; the review also notes that the criteria required by international law for recognising the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic/Western Sahara are not met.
"The matter of Western Sahara is a decolonisation issue at the UN and is on the Security Council agenda," says Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström. "The Government supports the UN's efforts aimed at finding a fair, mutually acceptable, negotiated solution where the right of the Western Saharan people to self-determination is satisfied. We welcome that the UN Secretary-General is now taking new initiatives to find a solution to the conflict and fully support efforts by Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Western Sahara, Christopher Ross," she continues.
"The Government will now intensify support to the UN process to find a fair, mutually accepted solution to the conflict," adds Ms Wallström.
In support of this process, several initiatives are being considered to increase Swedish involvement in the Western Sahara issue in the future, such as:
- strengthened UN efforts to facilitate a negotiated solution;
- continued commitment to compliance with international law;
- increased humanitarian aid;
- commitment to high-level contacts with the parties; and
- commitment to promote dialogue between the parties.
"There will be full focus on supporting the UN process that may now gain new initiatives," says Ms Wallström. "Recognition would not benefit this process. Furthermore, the situation in Western Sahara differs from that of states which Sweden has recognised in the past. Therefore, the Government does not intend to recognise Western Sahara and concurs with previous governments' assessments in the matter."