Western Sahara – Letter to the President of the United Nations Security Council Dr. Christoph Heusgen

Open letter
H.E. Mr Christoph Heusgen
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations
871 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
20 April 2019

Your Excellency
As representatives of human rights organisations, civil society, and solidarity groups from
around the world, we are writing to you to request that you and all members of the Security
Council take the steps necessary to end the decades-long conflict in Western Sahara. The
current situation is untenable and continues to allow gross violations of human rights.

The Security Council must make clear that the only solution which is just, lasting and
mutually acceptable, is one that enables the Saharawi people to freely, fairly and
democratically determine their future, without preconditions imposed by outside forces.

The UN-led process will only deliver the Saharawi people’s right to self-determination if the
Security Council is determined to solve this crisis once and for all, and finds the political will
necessary to lay a credible path to self-determination. This right is enshrined in the UN
Charter and is the foundation on which MINURSO’s mission was built. The failure of the
Security Council to move the political process forward and pressure Morocco to act in good
faith has enabled a political impasse in Western Sahara that tarnishes the reputation and
credibility of the United Nations and its peacekeeping missions. We urge all members of the
Council to deliver on this promise.

We, the undersigned, call on you to act with due urgency to support the right of the people
of Western Sahara to choose their own political future.

We urge you to:
– grant MINURSO the legal mandate to monitor and report on human rights in
territories controlled by the Kingdom of Morocco and the Frente POLISARIO
– consider how MINURSO could support the upholding of international law with regard
to the illegal exploitation of Western Sahara’s resources by Morocco.
– set a date for the long-delayed referendum on self-determination, which must include
the option of independence for the people of Western Sahara, as required by
international law
Please circulate this letter to all members of the Security Council.

• Aktionsgemeinschaft Solidarische Welt e.V., Germany, Christophe Mailliet,
• Asociación Amigos del Pueblo Saharaui Basel, Switzerland, Pepe López,
Board Member
• Association pour un référendum libre et régulier au Sahara Occidental
(ARSO), Marie-Claire et Emmanuel Martinoli, Switzerland, Responsables
Western Sahara Action Forum is an international coalition of over 40 organisations dedicated to the
protection of human rights and the implementation of international law in Western Sahara.
• Bremer entwicklungspolitisches Netzwerk e.V., Germany, Christopher Duis,
• European Association of Lawyers for Democracy & World Human Rights
(ELDH), Thomas Schmidt, Secretary General
• Frauensolidarität, Austria, Mag. Ulrike Lunacek, Chair
• Freiheit für die Westsahara e.V., Germany, Tanja Brodtmann, Chair
• Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker, Germany, Ulrich Delius, Director
• Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker, Switzerland, Christoph Wiedmer, Co-
• medico international, Germany, Christian Weis, CEO
• Österreichisch Saharauische Gesellschaft, Austria, Karin Scheele, Chair
• Saharaui Unterstützungsverein Wien, Austria, Dr. Eva Unterweger, Chair
Samariterbund Österreich Rettung und soziale Dienste gem. GmbH, Austria,
Mag. Andreas Balog, General Counsel
• terre des hommes Deutschland, Germany, Albert Recknagel, Board
• terre des hommes Schweiz, Switzerland, Franziska Lauper, Director
• Vereinigung Demokratischer Juristinnen und Juristen e.V., VDJ (Germany),
Ursula Mende (Rechtsanwältin), CEO
Zentrum für Europäische und Orientalische Kultur e.V., Germany, Dr. Wolf-
Dieter Seiwert, Board Member