As the conflict over the future of Western Sahara and the human suffering it has occasioned near their fortieth year, the situation in north-west Africa is becoming increasingly alarming. This conflict must be brought to an end if the people of the region are to meet their shared challenges and achieve their full potential.
The definitive status of this territory is the object of a negotiating process being conducted under my auspices in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions. I note with regret that the April 2007 proposals of the Kingdom of Morocco and the Polisario Front have not opened the way to the genuine negotiations for which the Council and I have repeatedly called.
At my direction, my Personal Envoy, Mr. Christopher Ross, has intensified his efforts to facilitate the entry of the parties into negotiations without preconditions and in good faith to achieve a mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara. They have yet to do so.
I urge all concerned within the region and within the broader international community to take advantage of my Personal Envoy’s intensified efforts to facilitate the launching of true negotiations in the coming months.