Next round of UN-backed talks on Western Sahara slated for next week
|Publisher||UN News Service|
|Publication Date||14 July 2011|
|Cite as||UN News Service, Next round of UN-backed talks on Western Sahara slated for next week, 14 July 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4e4cc04a2.html [accessed 10 July 2014]|
The talks, scheduled for 19 to 21 July, are taking place at the invitation of the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara, Christopher Ross, and will also include representatives of the two neighbouring States, Algeria and Mauritania.
The UN has been involved in efforts to find a settlement in Western Sahara since 1976, when fighting broke out between Morocco and the Frente Polisario after the Spanish colonial administration of the territory ended.
Morocco has presented a plan for autonomy while the position of the Frente Polisario is that the territory's final status should be decided in a referendum on self-determination that includes independence as an option.
"During the upcoming talks, the parties will, as previously agreed, further deepen their discussion of their respective proposals on a settlement, including the issue of the electoral corps and mechanisms for self-determination," according to the announcement issued by the UN.
They will also further discuss the new ideas put forward by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a report issued earlier this year, and have the opportunity to review the status of confidence-building measures, continue their discussion on de-mining and engage in a preliminary examination of the topic of natural resources.
The last round of informal talks was held at the beginning of June, also in New York.