on Western Sahara, Ban's Final Report Has No Rights Monitor in
April 15 -- Nine days after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
was supposed to issue his annual report on Western Sahara, and after
lobbying by Morocco and France, Ban on Friday put out a
text which did not include the human rights monitoring mechanism that
even the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has urged.
finalreport, being put online here and here, has Ban
Morocco's “expressed commitment” to allow Special Procedures and
presumably Special Rapporteurs from the UN Human Rights Council. See
Paragraph 121 in this
file, and compare to this.
why having a human rights monitoring mechanism, which other UN
Peacekeeping missions in Africa have, is not being done in the case
of Western Sahara, particularly at a time when France and other
Permanent Five members of the Security Council are citing human
rights and the protection of civilians as the basis for military
action in Libya and Cote d'Ivoire.
of a non-permanent member of the Security Council told Inner City
Press that Morocco's push was that it would “stop the political
track” if a human rights monitoring mechanism were imposed. But if
such threats are successful here, they will be tried even more
elsewhere, in places like the Democratic Republic of the Congo or
it, he wondered,
that France is more unequivocally the attack dog for Morocco than any
P-5 member is for Sudan? The consultations were postponed until
Monday. Watch this site.
* * *
Delay As UN Says Report “Has Rights Language" - But No
13 -- Though the UN's Western Sahara report and
resolution are only once a year, this April the UN is in
it blames the leak to and publication by Inner City Press of the UN's
draft report on Western Sahara.
report was due
April 6, but after publication of the leak -- and the UN refusing to
take Inner City Press' questions on the topic -- it was delayed. Then
meeting of the Troop Contributing Countries of the UN Mission
MINURSO, set for April 12, was postponed.
Press is told, the consultations scheduled for Friday, April 15 have
also been postponed. Morocco and Algeria are trading arguments. In
the “Group of Friends” on the resolution, France is fighting off
not only a proposal for a human rights monitoring mechanism, but also
to distribute the draft Security Council resolution on a timely basis
to the Council members, including South Africa, which are not in the
Group of Friends.
UN noon briefing on April 13 -- the day after the UN claimed it
hadn't misled about Ban Ki-moon's panel meeting with Sri Lanka
officials -- Ban's acting deputy spokesman was asked (by BBC) about
the leaked, published and delayed report:
you tell us what’s happened to the report on Western Sahara? I
heard that it might be published today. And also can you tell us
why it is being delayed for a week? Because according to our
schedule, it was supposed to be published last Wednesday.
Haq: It took some time to finalize the report. Sometimes
over the drafting process there is editing and approval and
I believe — although I’d need to check — but I believe it is
being finalized now. So hopefully it will become a document shortly.
I’ll just check when it will be a document.
you just respond to allegations from the Polisario that Morocco
managed to get a copy earlier on and has been lobbying with French
support to change some of the language, particularly on human rights,
on a human rights mechanism for MINURSO [United Nations Mission for
the Referendum in Western Sahara]?
Well, first of all, once the report is out, you
can see for yourself the language about human rights. There is
language on human rights in the report, and I would simply refer you
to the language used in the report. As for changes and whether a
copy had been leaked, I am aware that there was a draft version,
which I believe Martin [Nesirky] had mentioned. It was simply a
draft with no official status which had been leaked, and you can
probably see it on the website
of one of your colleagues.
the question, really — sorry, maybe I wasn’t clear — is
that the allegation is that’s the reason for the delay in
publication; that the Secretariat has come under a lot of pressure to
change some of the language in the report.
No, no; with any number of reports on any
number of topics, different countries will seek to talk to the
Secretariat and influence the language of a report one way or
another. But ultimately, the Secretariat makes its own evaluations
and writes its own language. And you will be able to see for
yourself what language is, but there is human rights language in the
rights “language” -- but is it
for a monitoring mechanism, or
merely what Morocco and France want, a welcoming of Morocco allowing
in special rapporteurs? Watch this site.