To the President of the UN Security CounciL

United Nations Headquarters, New York

Paris, 22 july 2002


Dear President,

A few days before the UN Security Council start considering the dispute over Western Sahara, the 'Association des Amis de la RASD' - Friends of the SADR, France - would like to bring their viewpoint to your and the honorable members of the Council's attention.

We have noted with much interest the wise position taken by the Council last April to prolong the mandate of MINURSO, thereby avoiding the traps of a decision against the law.

As a matter-of-fact, since 1991 the Security Council has striven to implement a solution to the Western Sahara conflict consistent with their Charter and the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Organization.

The proposed framework-agreement annexed to the Secretary-General's report on 20 June 2001 can only embark the Council on a course that is radically antinomic to the right to self-determination of a people of a non self-governing territory.

The only solution that the Security Council can legally impose to both parties is international law, in this case the organization of a referendum of self-determination.

The member states agreed in 1948 to see their sovereignty limited by UNO's right of inspection because of the universality of the Charter at the basis of its powers. What would the Security Council's legitimacy be if they should impose a Moroccan-controlled autonomy that would subsequently be given official recognition by a referendum confirming the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Morocco over the territory ?

Since 1966 the General Assembly has examined the situation in the non self-governing territory of Western Sahara as part of the Fourth Decolonisation Commission, and has reminded its attachment to the Settlement Plan agreed to by both Morocco and the Polisario Front.

Can it be conceived that such duality should persist within the United Nations?

The strict application of international law which we are devoted to as a bulwark to arbitrariness and the risks of a new war must not give way to short-term outcomes that would only be deceptive pragmatism.

Therefore we request the Security Council to assess the gravity such a precedent might have if the United Nations Organization renounced the promises they made more than ten years ago, together with the OUA, in front of the International Community.

We appeal to the member States of the Security Council to affirm their firm commitment to the only fair and equitable solution, that of the Saharawi people's right to self-determination as initiated by the Settlement Plan in 1991 and later completed by the Houston Accords in 1997.

Yours sincerely,

General Secretary

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