Concluding General Debate, Speakers Call for Modernization of Fourth Committee’s Approaches to Western Sahara, Israeli-Palestinian Issues
As the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) concluded its general debate today, several delegates called on the Committee to revise its outdated approaches to the questions of Palestine and Western Sahara, while others voiced varying assessments of the work of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
The representative of Israel, referring to the raft of agenda items taken up annually on issues related to the Palestinian people, said is time for the Committee to revise its practices and rhetoric on the Middle East and join the region’s growing positive momentum. The work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting Human Rights of Palestinian People and Other Arabs of Occupied Territories — which reports to the Fourth Committee each year — damages the prospect for peace in the Middle East and promotes one-sided propaganda, ignoring Israeli efforts to achieve peace. Turning to UNRWA, he warned that no United Nations agency should pursue a politically motivated agenda and urged the Committee to hold the Agency accountable.
The representative of the United States also expressed his delegation’s opposition to the annual submission of several Committee resolutions biased against Israel, stressing that such a one-sided approach undermines trust between the parties and fails to create the positive environment critical to achieving peace in the Middle East. Highlighting United States $318 million contribution to UNWRA in 2021, he pledged to continue working with the Agency to strengthen its accountability, transparency and adherence to the principles of neutrality and impartiality.
Striking a different tone, the observer for the League of Arab States said the various reports before the Committee confirm the pursuit of unilateral measures by Israel aimed at imposing a new reality on the ground, in violation of Security Council resolutions.
In a similar vein, Turkey’s representative pointed to the disastrous impact of Israeli actions on the economic and humanitarian situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, especially the Gaza Strip. She rejected allegations made against UNWRA’s educational programme, describing it as an “antidote to hatred and intolerance in the region” and calling on the global community to ensure predictable and lasting funding for the Agency.
Speaking in exercise of the right of reply, the observer for the State of Palestine dismissed Israel’s attempts to libel UNWRA as “shameful” and noted that Israel has become “addicted to believing it is above the law”. Turning to the comments made by the Israeli representative regarding the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices, he stated that the latter’s reports are neither biased nor anti‑Israel, while its findings are corroborated by numerous human rights organizations.
Among other topics addressed during the meeting was the longstanding question of Western Sahara. Addressing the Committee, the representative of Morocco described the body’s approach to the conflict as “anachronistic” and at odds with the Security Council’s recently adopted and forward-looking resolution 2602 (2021). Noting that Algeria’s responsibility in the conflict has been established at all levels, he accused that country of investing $375 million in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Rio de Oro (POLISARIO Front).
In response, the representative of Algeria said Morocco’s attempts to present Algeria as a protagonist in the situation are part of a “far-fetched and hollow narrative”, aimed at diverting attention from its own colonizing activities. A simple reading of relevant United Nations resolutions shows that the POLISARIO Front is a democratically elected representative of the Sahrawi people, she added.
Also speaking today were the representatives of Mozambique, Grenada, Gabon, Panama, Eritrea, China, Dominica, Comoros, Papua New Guinea, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Azerbaijan, Guyana and Madagascar.
An observer for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) also participated.
Also speaking in exercise of the right of reply were representatives of the United Kingdom, Iran, Japan, Armenia, Argentina, Lebanon, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Azerbaijan and Morocco.
The Fourth Committee will reconvene at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, 9 November, to take action on draft resolutions.
INÁCIO VIRGÍLIO CHICO DOMINGOS (Mozambique) expressed regret that Western Sahara remains the only territory in Africa that continues to fight for its independence and self-determination, notwithstanding the spirit of resolution 1541 (2004). In that context, he called for the for the unconditional application of all relevant United Nations and African Union resolutions and decisions on the Territory. Urging the international community to put an end the deterioration of the Palestinian people’s human rights, he appealed to Israel and Palestine to implement the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and General Assembly in order to bring peace and stability to the entire region in line with a two-State solution.
Mr. HORSANDI (Israel) said is time for the Committee to revise its practices and rhetoric on the Middle East and join the region’s growing positive momentum. Welcoming the presence of peacekeeping missions in the Middle East, he emphasized that Hizbullah has increased its activities in United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon’s (UNIFIL) areas of operation and continues to use civilians as human shields. By entrenching its military presence in Lebanon, it prevents UNIFIL from fulfilling its mandate, he warned, adding that the group is provided financial and military support by Iran. He went on to emphasize that the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting Human Rights of Palestinian People and Other Arabs of Occupied Territories damages the prospect for peace in the Middle East by undermining the trust of all parties. Indeed, that body has been hijacked to promote one‑sided propaganda and misuses important United Nations resources, failing to mention Hamas attacks launched from populated areas in its reports. Its narrative also ignores Israeli efforts to achieve peace, he said, adding that Israel will vote against the Palestinian package of resolutions. Turning to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), he warned that no United Nations agency should pursue a politically motivated agenda. By not holding UNRWA accountable, the Fourth Committee fails to promote the United Nations core principles.
KEISHA ANIYA MCGUIRE (Grenada), associating herself with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), observed that most of the remaining Non‑Self‑Governing Territories are small islands in the Caribbean and Pacific regions. One of the many characteristics which small island Non‑Self‑Governing Territories share with other small island developing States is their vulnerability to natural disasters, and in particular, the effects of increasingly violent hurricanes and cyclones because of climate change. Furthermore, many Territories are heavily dependent on tourism, which serves as the main contributor to their gross domestic product (GDP). COVID‑19 also threatens their economic survival and impedes any efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Turning to Western Sahara, she commended the efforts of the Secretary‑General and his former Personal Envoy, Horst Kohler, including the roundtable meetings held in 2018 and 2019.
MICHEL XAVIER BIANG (Gabon), associating himself with the “Group of 77” developing countries and China and the Non‑Aligned Movement, said peacekeeping operations, special political missions and peacebuilding missions are essential. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID‑19 pandemic, peacekeeping operations have continued to uphold their commitments on the ground. It is crucial to include such missions in a broader comprehensive strategy founded on prevention and that tackles the root causes of conflict. Gabon stands committed to the decolonization process, he said, noting that the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism came to an end in 2020 and against the backdrop of ongoing efforts on that front. On the question of Western Sahara, his Government supports the ongoing political process, which will allow a realistic solution to be reached.
JEFFREY DELAURENTIS (United States), noting that his Government has prioritized its commitment to fight COVID‑19, detailed its significant funding to its overseas territories — the United States Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa. That support included life-saving medical equipment, protective gear, food security and paycheck protection, among other things. Turning to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said his country continues to oppose the annual submission of several Committee resolutions biased against Israel. That one-sided approach undermines trust between the parties and fails to create the positive environment critical to achieving peace. Emphasizing the United States $318 million contribution to UNWRA in 2021, he noted that the Agency still faces a huge budget shortfall and requires additional financial and material assistance. Reiterating his country’s view that UNWRA needs reforms, he pledged to continue working with the Agency to strengthen its accountability, transparency and adherence to the principles of neutrality and impartiality. On the issue of outer space, he welcomed the work of the Committee on the Peaceful Use of Outer Space, noting that his country co-sponsored the recent adoption of the Space 2030 Agenda.
ZORAYA DEL CARMEN CANO FRANCO (Panama), associating herself with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana, said the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples must be strictly adhered to as it was the result of common political will. Expressing support for the legitimate claim of Argentina regarding its sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands*, South Georgia Islands and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas, she called for the resumption of dialogue between the United Kingdom and Argentina and urged all parties to refrain from decisions that lead to unilateral changes while the islands are undergoing the process recommended in United Nations resolutions.
Ms. HAILE (Eritrea), associating herself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, said that while peacekeeping missions can be valuable tools when properly mandated and sourced, they are not substitutes for political solutions. Unfortunately, Security Council peacekeeping mandates are often not accompanied by genuine and serious engagement to find a political solution to a conflict. Indeed, many peacekeeping operations have been deployed for decades, pulling meagre resources away from other critical international development needs and eroding trust in the effectiveness of peacekeeping. Every conflict has different underlying causes and local conditions that fuel it, she observed, adding that Security Council mandates must therefore be formulated in line with local requirements.
GENG SHUANG (China), speaking on the issue of decolonization, said the legacy of colonialism is hindering development in the world’s remaining Non-Self-Governing Territories. In that context, he called upon the administering Powers to take effective measures to promote development, protect the environment and safeguard human rights, as well as to compensate for the negative consequences of colonialism. On the question of Palestine, he expressed support for a two-State solution, calling on Israel to facilitate the entry of humanitarian supplies and reconstruction materials and put an end to the expansion of settlements. Voicing his support for the Palestinians’ pursuit of an independent State, he lauded UNWRA’s work guaranteeing such basic services as education and medical care for over 5 million Palestine refugees and called upon the international community to scale up is political and financial support for the Agency. On peacekeeping, he noted that China has deployed personnel to 26 United Nations peacekeeping operations and advocated for the formulation of clear, feasible and focused mandates. With regard to atomic radiation, he voiced support to the work of the Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation and called for a comprehensive assessment of the disposal of the nuclear-contaminated water in Fukushima, Japan.
KELVER DWIGHT DARROUX (Dominica) said his Government is closely following a Commission of Inquiry on the British Virgin Islands that was announced in January and ordered by the then‑sitting Governor, adding that his delegation has concerns over the manner in which the Commission was established. On the question of Western Sahara, Dominica fully supports the United Nations exclusive political process and the efforts of the Secretary‑General and his Personal Envoy aimed at achieving a realistic, practicable, enduring political solution, based on compromise. He welcomed the current momentum in the political process thanks to the holding of two round tables in Geneva, in December 2018 and March 2019, noting the commitment of the four participants to remain engaged throughout its duration, in a spirit of realism and compromise, is essential to a successful outcome. The autonomy initiative proposed by Morocco in 2007 is a realistic solution which will end the regional dispute and bring prosperity to the entire Maghreb region, he said, adding that the recent 8 September elections enjoyed a high level of participation from the population of Western Sahara.
AHMED ABDALLAH (Comoros) observed that repeated incursions on the Al‑Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem have exacerbated tensions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Turning to the question of Western Sahara, he welcomed the appointment of the Secretary‑General’s new personal envoy and described Morocco’s proposed autonomy initiative as a serious and credible plan for the Territory. In that context, he highlighted the economic development taking place in the Western Sahara, saying the model empowers the population, bolsters human development and has made it possible to undertake the fight against the COVID‑19 pandemic throughout the Territory. He went on to point out that the recent elections in Western Sahara saw high voter turnout, while the involvement of Sahrawi representatives in meetings of the Special Committee on the Situation with Regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples shows the nature of the democratic process that is underway there.
AYŞE ŞEBNEM MANAV (Turkey), detailing Israel’s human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, pointed to the disastrous impact of such actions on the economic and humanitarian situation, especially in Gaza. Reiterating her country’s support for efforts to hold accountable perpetrators responsible for the crimes committed in Palestine, she went on to note that the final status of Jerusalem will be one of the key parts of a comprehensive solution to the conflict and called upon States to respect Security Council and General Assembly resolutions on the city’s status. Emphasizing that UNRWA’s services are essential for meeting the needs of Palestine refugees, she rejected allegations against the Agency’s educational programme, describing it as an “antidote to hatred and intolerance in the region”. In that context, she called on the global community to ensure predictable and lasting funding for UNRWA to enable the uninterrupted implementation of its mandate. Turning to the issue of peacekeeping operations, she underscored the importance of the key peacekeeping principles — consent of parties and impartiality — while noting that they should be included in missions’ mandates.
FRED SARUFA (Papua New Guinea) said his country fully supports the political process in Western Sahara under the aegis of the United Nations Secretary‑General and his former Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Horst Köhler, aimed at reaching a mutually acceptable, negotiated and durable political solution to the dispute on Western Sahara. He commended Morocco for supporting sustainable development through substantive infrastructure and socioeconomic investments in the Sahara, improving political participation, fostering human rights and addressing COVID‑19. Also noteworthy is the Laâyoune Declaration, adopted in February 2020 in Morocco at the Third Morocco‑Pacific Island States Forum, which reaffirmed the principles of sovereign equality, political independence and territorial integrity of States, and in that spirit recognized the Western Sahara region as an integral part of Morocco.
SO INXAY SOULIYONG (Lao People’s Democratic Republic) said international cooperation and assistance are critical for creating a world free from the threat of explosive remnants of war. Noting that four decades after the Indochina War unexploded ordnances continue to pose dangers to human life and hamper socioeconomic development in his country, he said his Government has launched a national Sustainable Development Goal 18 titled “Lives Safe from UXO”. Its first target is to reduce the number of casualties to the lowest extent possible, not only making people’s lives safer and improving their well-being, but also contributing to the long-term implementation of the 2030 Agenda. However, he added that progress in the area of mine action will not be possible without continued support from development partners and international development organizations.
KAMAL ALIZADA (Azerbaijan) said that throughout nearly 30 years of conflict, large portions of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, including cemeteries and other civilian areas, have been systematically mined by Armenia. As a result of the 44-day war in fall 2020, more than 300 cities, towns and villages of Azerbaijan were liberated from the occupation. However, Armenia has failed to provide comprehensive maps of hundreds of thousands of landmines planted in the formerly occupied territories, targeting civilians and aiming to delay the return of internally displaced persons, as well as impede post-conflict rehabilitation and humanitarian efforts. Since the cessation of hostilities, at least 160 Azerbaijanis have been killed or injured by landmines. He added that over the course of the occupation Armenia conducted extensive mining, plundered natural resources and destroyed infrastructure. His Government is now carrying out restoration and reconstruction projects in the liberated territories and is taking consistent steps to ensure the safe and dignified return of nearly 1 million displaced Azerbaijanis, as well as the reintegration of lands.
CAROLYN RODRIGUES-BIRKETT (Guyana), associating herself CARICOM, the Non-Aligned Movement and CELAC, said the right to self-determination is a fundamental tenet of international law and a core principle of the United Nations that must be respected and upheld for all. As a former colony, Guyana understands the desire to be master of one’s own destiny. She called upon the United Nations to urgently complete its work in ensuring that all remaining Non-Self-Governing Territories are able to fully exercise their fundamental rights and freedoms. She also urged the administering Powers to fully cooperate with the Organization in finalizing a constructive programme of work for the implementation of relevant resolutions on decolonization, including those related to specific Territories. On the question of Palestine, she noted UNRWA’s critical work in providing humanitarian and other forms of assistance to millions of Palestine refugees. Regarding the question of Western Sahara, she expressed concern over the deteriorating situation in the territory and urged all parties to respect and uphold the provisions of relevant Security Council resolutions.
VERO HENINTSOA ANDRIAMIARISOA (Madagascar), associating herself with the Non-Aligned Movement and the Group of Francophone Ambassadors, spoke on decolonization issues, reporting that her country pursues its own territorial integrity on the basis on dialogue and mutual respect. She went on to express support for a two-State solution in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and welcomed the appointment of the Secretary-General’s new Personal Envoy for the Western Sahara. Turning to peace operations and the impacts of COVID-19, she called for the enhancement of capacities, up-streamed training and adequate equipment for personnel. It is the shared responsibility of the Secretariat and Member States to improve the effectiveness and consistency of peacekeeping operations, she said. As for information matters, she stressed “without multilingualism there can be no multilateralism”. As such, parity between the six official languages in all United Nations communications is essential to ensure the participation of all delegations.
OMAR HILALE (Morocco), citing the Security Council’s recent adoption of resolution 2602 (2021) on the issue of Western Sahara, noted that a path to solve the dispute has been traced. However, the position of Algeria and some other delegations remains detached from the historical and legal reality. While the Council’s resolution is focused on the future, the Fourth Committee continues to take an anachronistic approach to the conflict. Outlining some historical background, he noted that Algeria’s responsibility has been established at all levels — political, diplomatic, military, legal and humanitarian. The Security Council recognized Algeria as a party to the conflict and encouraged it to participate in the round table discussions in Geneva. Drawing attention to the human rights violations taking place in the Tindouf camps, he accused Algeria of investing $375 million in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Rio de Oro (POLISARIO Front) and training children as terrorists. Concluding, he reiterated his country’s support to the United Arab Emirates’ claim over Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunb islands.
MARIA METCALF, of the International Committee of the Red Cross, noting that today’s conflicts are often fought in coalitions with partners and proxies, said these activities — which often include arms transfers, advising, force generation, training and equipping among others — can deepen risks and complicate tasks for peacekeeping missions. Against that backdrop, partnerships offer opportunities to leverage influence for better respect of international humanitarian law. Noting that missions are in a privileged position to influence parties to the conflict, she recommended several measures for States, including overseeing entities supported by peacekeeping missions and structuring their relationships in a way that better protects civilians. Such steps will help clarify roles and responsibilities, as well as improve accountability and compliance with international humanitarian law, she said.
MAGED ABDELFATTAH ABDELAZIZ, observer for the League of Arab States, associating himself with the Arab Group, and said the question of Palestine is the most important and oldest issue before the Committee. Its reports confirm the pursuit of unilateral measures by Israel to impose a new reality on the ground, in violation of Security Council resolutions. In that context, he called upon the Secretary‑General to hold a high-level meeting to relaunch the peace process in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Furthermore, considering the vital importance of the support UNRWA’s provides, it is essential that donors honour their financial commitments to the Agency and refuse to cede to fallacious accusations which are a vain attempt to liquidate the Palestinian cause. Turning to the question of information, he underscored the importance of media that can combat misinformation and fake news. There is also a need for a global information strategy that prioritizes the freedom the Palestinian people and promotes the periodic reports of UNRWA and other bodies.
Right of Reply
The observer for the State of Palestine, speaking in exercise of the right of reply, stated that the today’s debate demonstrated that the overwhelming majority of States believe UNWRA plays a vital role in providing assistance critical for the well‑being, human development and protection of Palestine refugees and contributes to regional stability. He further dismissed Israel’s attempts to libel the Agency as “shameful” and called upon States to provide political and financial support to it. Turning to the comments made by the Israeli representative regarding the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices, he stated that the Committee’s reports are neither biased not anti-Israel, while its findings are corroborated by numerous human rights organizations. Israel has become “addicted to believing it is above the law”, he said, describing the plight of the Palestinian people and emphasizing that Israel cannot “rewrite history” nor “deny reality”, which has been reflected in more than 800 General Assembly resolutions.
The representative of the United Kingdom, responding to the statements delivered by delegates of Panama and China, recalled a 2013 referendum held in the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), in which 99.8 per cent of voters opted to remain a territory of the United Kingdom. Describing the vote as a clear sign that the Falklanders do not want a dialogue on sovereignty, she pointed out that there was no indigenous or settled population on the Territory prior to 1833.
The representative of Iran, responding to the statement made by the Israeli delegation, accused Israel of playing the victim card while committing apartheid policies and war crimes documented by the United Nation. Turning to the 11‑day hostilities which claimed many lives, he stated that Israel committed crimes not only against Palestinians, but against all freedom-loving countries of the world. In response to the representative of Morocco, he reiterated Iran’s claim over the islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb, describing statements made by the Moroccan representative on that matter as a flagrant interference in his country’s domestic affairs. Iran pursues a policy of friendship and good neighbourliness, he said, expressing the country’s readiness to engage in bilateral talks with the United Arab Emirates.
The representative of Japan responded to the statement made by the delegate of China, reporting that Tokyo has been sharing relevant information on its handling of the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi incident — including through briefings with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which acknowledges that Japan’s actions are in line with good practices. His Government remains willing to discuss details on the matter, based on scientific evidence, in the appropriate fora.
The representative of Armenia said Azerbaijan’s manipulations and distortions have nothing to do with the agenda of the Fourth Committee. For three decades Nagorno-Karabakh has been affected by massive mine contamination because of Azerbaijani aggression, significantly impeding the region’s social and economic development. Yet, Armenia continues to obstruct demining activities.
The representative of Algeria said the decolonization of Western Sahara must be achieved through the exercise of self-determination of the people there. Morocco’s far-fetched and hollow narrative to present Algeria as the protagonist of the situation is meant to divert attention from its own colonizing activities, he stressed. A simple reding of relevant United Nations resolutions shows that POLISARIO Front is a democratically elected representative of the Sahrawi people. A key part of the mandate of United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) is the holding of a free and fair referendum, she pointed out, adding that the claims of repression of the refugees in Tindouf camps amount to simple cynicism.
The representative of Argentina, responding to the representative of the United Kingdom, said the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia Islands and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas are an integral part of Argentina’s territory and are illegally occupied by the United Kingdom. There is an obligation to resume negotiations, he said, underscoring that such talks do not hinge on the opinion of the citizens in question but rather what is stated in the Charter of the United Nations as well as in relevant resolutions of the General Assembly.
The representative of Lebanon, speaking in response to comments made by the representative of Israel, said the latter is trying to divert attention by portraying itself as the victim while it is that country which has invaded Lebanon three times. It is the continued Israeli occupation of parts of Lebanese territory that is causing tension on the border and fuelling conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis, he added.
The representative of Israel said Palestine ignores the potential for a new Middle East. It is a shame that its delegation chooses not to condemn the real perpetrators of violence and ignores violations of human rights by Hamas and other terrorist organizations. Iran’s goal of destabilizing the region could not be clearer, he stressed, noting that its regime seeks to derail the Middle East and any prospect of genuine dialogue in the Assembly hall.
The representative of the United Arab Emirates stressed that Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunb islands are an integral part of the territory of her country and there is no basis for their occupation by Iran. The United Arab Emirates stands ready to engage positively with Iran to settle the dispute through direct negotiations or the International Court of Justice, she said.
The representative of Azerbaijan said the comments from the delegation of Armenia are meant to mislead the international community. In fact, the activities carried out by that country created over 5 million refugees. Eventually Azerbaijan exercised its right to defend itself, acting on its sovereign soil, he said. The “so-called” Nagorno-Karabakh has ceased to exist, he said, calling on Armenia to provide accurate mine maps of liberated territories.
The representative of Morocco said Algeria should understand it is isolated from the international community and its lies have been unmasked. Indeed, that country only speaks on the issue of the Western Sahara, demonstrating its obsession with the Territory. Algeria purports to be a simple observer while it harbours the armed POLISARIO group on its territory, he said, adding that the idea of a referendum has been dead since 2001 and no resolution has referred to it for more than 20 years. He went on to say that Algeria is opposed to a census of the Tindouf camps because the world would then see that it continues to inflate the number of the population therein.
The representative of Iran, taking the floor a second time, said Israel has brought about anger throughout the region and is the top spoiler of international peace and security. Its propaganda against Iran has always been a smokescreen to divert public opinion from its own land-grabbing schemes and other crimes. The General Assembly has a responsibility to condemn Israel’s aggression and ethnic cleansing and hold it accountable for its war crimes and crimes against humanity. In response to comments made by the representative of the United Arab Emirates, he said the three islands in question have been an integral part of Iran for thousands of years. By raising an irrelevant claim, that delegation only seeks to advance its country’s political aims in the Persian Gulf region.
The observer for the State of Palestine, taking the floor a second time, said the Israeli representative is stating fallacies before the Committee. Israel rejects calls for negotiations, and it is incumbent on the international community to hold it to account for its crimes and bring to an end the longest colonial occupation in modern history.
The representative of Armenia, taking the floor a second time, said he will not comment on all the pieces of propaganda that Azerbaijan raises at the United Nations, noting that he had heard the same prepared text in other Main Committees of the General Assembly.
The representative of Algeria, taking the floor a second time, said the Western Sahara is on the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories whose right to self-determination is yet to be exercised. The European Court of Justice established that so-called “local representatives” do not represent the interests of the people of Western Sahara. Morocco has no right to preach to others given its lack of respect for international legality, he stressed.
The representative of Azerbaijan, taking the floor again, called on Armenia to comply with its international obligations.
The representative of Morocco, also taking the floor for a second time, said Algeria has carried out an expansionist agenda in the Western Sahara for over 50 years, financing the POLISARIO Front — a group that contributes to terrorism. As for Algerian references to the European Union Court of Justice judgement, he pointed to the European Union Parliament’s condemnation of the illegal arrest and detention of journalists and members of civil society by Algeria. In addition, he referred to the European Union anti-fraud office, which has confirmed the systematic embezzlement of humanitarian aid by the POLISARIO Front.
* A dispute exists between the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).