Speech

Supporting self-determination of the people of Western Sahara

Statement by Stephen Hickey, the United Kingdom’s Political Councillor to the UN, on the situation concerning the Western Sahara.

Stephen Hickey, UK Political Councillor to the UN, at the Security Council.

Thank you Mr President.

The United Kingdom was pleased to vote in favour of this resolution, which we believe sends a strong signal of the support of this Council in three key areas:

First, support for de-escalation.

Second, support for the continuing work of MINURSO.

And finally, supporting the overall goal of progress towards a lasting and mutually acceptable solution that provides for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.

With this goal in mind, we encourage the parties to engage now with a political process in a spirit of realism and compromise. The six-month window provided by the resolution is an opportunity and an indication of the importance the international community attaches to achieving progress. Another indication is the appointment of the new Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General, and the commitment he has already shown in his first months to finding a solution. The United Kingdom strongly supports the efforts of Personal Envoy Koehler, as well as the work of MINURSO and its new head, Mr Colin Stewart. We call on all concerned to engage positively over the coming months, in line with both the spirit and the letter of this resolution.

Thank you.

Published 27 April 2018