Security Council: Explanation of vote on MINURSO

Statement by Karel J.G. van Oosterom,
Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations in New York

New York, 31 October 2018

Thank you very much, Mr. President.

Mr. President, we voted in favor of this resolution. And we thank the US for the facilitation of this resolution as penholder.

Mr. President, the fact that this resolution could not count on the unanimous support of the Council should not distract us from what we believe is truly important, namely: the relaunching of the political process. This is something I believe all of us on this Council strongly support, also listening to our colleagues so far. Because relaunching of the political process is in the interest of the people, in the interest of the parties involved and in the interest of the wider region.

Our common ambition therefore must be to arrive at a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution which will provide for the self determination of the people of Western Sahara in the context of arrangements consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter. In this regard, we reiterate our full support and appreciation for the efforts of the Personal Envoy, the former President of Germany; Horst Köhler.

Mr. President, significant steps have been taken since the last renewal of the mandate of MINURSO in April. In this regard we welcome the Personal Envoy’s initiative to host a roundtable in Geneva in December.

We commend Morocco, the Polisario, Algeria and Mauritania for their positive and prompt response.

We stress the importance of continued constructive engagement with the Personal Envoy, with the aim of resuming direct negotiations in good faith and without preconditions. We must now capitalize on the existing momentum to relaunch the political process, for which the continued engagement of this Council is indispensable.

We also recognize the importance of the work of MINURSO in maintaining stability on the ground and in creating the conditions for political progress to take place.

We express our full support for SRSG Colin Stewart and for the women and men in MINURSO serving under very challenging conditions.

Thank you very much, Mr. President.

©UN Photo/Loey Felipe