Algerian National Committee of solidarity with the Saharawi People (CNASPS)


 International Seminar of solidarity with the Saharawi people on

"Peace and Self-determination in Western Sahara"

Algiers 29-30 June 2002




An international seminar of solidarity with the Saharawi people was held in Algiers on 29-30 June 2002. Organised by the Algerian National Committee of Solidarity with the Saharawi people (CNASPS), this seminar, in which many participants took part from various countries, took as its theme, "Peace and Self-determination in Western Sahara".

It brought together parliamentarians, political personalities, university lecturers, NGO directors,  representatives of committees of support for the Saharawi people from various countries including twelve European countries: Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, Great Britain, Holland,  Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Slovenia, Hungary, and the participation of a Saharawi delegation led by the President of the Saharawi National Assembly and a large Algerian delegation comprising representatives of civil society, the Algerian parliament and Algerians living in France.

After having examined the origins of the question of Western Sahara and its most recent developments, the participants wished to recall :

The participants also discussed the legal aspects of the settlement of the question of Western Sahara. They reached the following conclusions :

Concerning the exploitation of the natural resources of Western Sahara, the participants recalled the principles of international law on the subject as well as the rules developed by the United Nations, recommending the safeguarding of natural resources of a non-self-governing territory.

They referred in particular to the opinion of the United Nations Legal Adviser given on 29 January 2002, confirming the illegality of any exploitation of the wealth of Western Sahara without the consent of the Saharawi people. It would involve a violation of international law as shown in resolutions 48/49 of 10 December 1992 and of 49/40 of 09 December 1994.

In this context, they call on the UN Secretary General to adhere to these documents, to the legal opinion of the UN and to refrain from calling Morocco the administering power, a term which is denied it by UN resolutions and by the UN legal adviser.

The participants emphasised that this legal opinion is very explicit on the fact that the Madrid Accords of 1975 did not transfer sovereignty to its signatories, that the status of Western Sahara as a non-self-governing territory is not affected and that any exploration or exploitation of its natural resources in the territory without the consent of the Saharawi people is contrary to the principles of international law applicable to mineral resources of non-self-governing territories.

In workshops the participants developed different aspects of the Saharawi question on how to take action in favour of the inalienable rights of the Saharawi people.

In closing their work, noting that unfortunately Morocco proving unresponsive to appeals from the International Community is still pursuing its policy of occupation and repression in the territories which it occupies, the participants of the International Seminar in Algiers, determined to pursue and strengthen their support and solidarity for the just struggle of the Saharawi people:

The participants in the International Seminar in Algiers decided to write to the following to remind them of their responsibilities:

to ask them to act in favour of:

Meanwhile the participants of the International Seminar in Algiers welcome the accession to independence of East Timor and expressed their great concern about the serious events happening in Palestine. They vigorously  denounce  the military operations and massacres of the Israeli government which is leading to a war of extermination of the Palestinian people. The participants of the International Seminar also denounce the passivity, not to say complicity of certain states and call on the conscience of the world to see a fair and lasting solution implemented, allowing the Palestinian people to live in peace and to establish in their land a free and independent state with El Qods as its capital.   

Finally, the participants would like to thank the members of the Algerian National Committee of Solidarity with the Saharawi People for their hospitality and good organisation of the International Seminar in Algiers which has been crowned with success.

Algiers, 30 June 2002.

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