By Cheng YE
BONN – Yesterday, the United Nation Security Council’s (UNSC) first committee session on the Western Sahara conflict officially began with very promising opening speeches – primarily dominated by opposing parties: the Moroccan Kingdom and the Sahrawi Republic. Alongside controversial and highly tense debates, several topics of crucial importance were put on the agenda despite their high level of complexity. The majority of UNSC members did not shy away from clearly positioning themselves in this particular case in a manner that has not changed for almost a decade; you could even say they were maintaining the status quo.
However, among the total of 19 UNSC members, only 12 delegations attended to discuss the issues of Western Sahara, resulting in an attendance rate of 63 per cent, despite mandatory participation. Fortunately enough, at least one delegate joined the afternoon session afterwards though this did not bring any refreshing elements to the overall debate. Throughout the jungle of topics that were raised, such as MINURSO, human rights violation, ICJ advisory, resource allocation, Geneva Roundtable, the role of Algeria – who are accused of supporting the Polisario front – none of them seemingly led to a common understanding within the conflicting factions. Given the highly vivid debate culture, it is certain that the best is yet to come; not least because of the possible joint document that was announced by the main conflicting parties. Is it possible that we will see a resolution to solve a nearly five decade-long misunderstanding?