Notes on the Security Council resolution 1754 (2007)

1- The Security Council has just adopted a new resolution on the question of Western Sahara (resolution 1754 of 30 April 2007) that the Frente POLISARIO has welcomed in view of the fact that it has solemnly enshrined the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination…
and called upon the two parties to the conflict, the Kingdom of Morocco and the Frente POLISARIO, to enter in direct negotiations without preconditions, under the auspices of the United Nations, “with a view to achieving a mutually acceptable political solution that will provide for the self-determination of the people of Sahara Occidental.”

2- Having at its disposal two proposals presented by the Frente POLISARIO and the Kingdom of Morocco on 10 and 11 April 2007 respectively, the Security Council wisely decided—as it could not have done otherwise—not endorse any of the proposals, whilst contenting itself with taking note of them.

Having the same proposals at his disposal, the Secretary-General has equally limited himself, in his report to the Security Council, to pointing out that they had been submitted, whilst refraining from commenting on their content.

It is to be noted that the Security Council, during the negotiations preceding the adoption of the resolution, rejected an attempt aiming to describe the Moroccan project as a credible and serious initiative, preferring to note the efforts made by Morocco, thus suggesting simply that, since Morocco was the responsible for the impasse, it was normal to note an evolution in its position. It is clear that between mentioning the efforts made by Morocco and endorsing the latter’s project as a credible and serious initiative there is a fundamental difference that Morocco is the only one that has been unable to discern.
In fact, the guideline that the Security Council followed, during the elaboration of the resolution, was to treat the two proposals on an equal footing, and to take a strictly neutral stance as to their content, preferring to let the parties, if they wish to do so, to discuss them when the time comes. 

Furthermore, the Security Council had the merit, whilst naming the authors of the two proposals, of formally identifying the two parties to the conflict, the Kingdom of Morocco and the Frente POLISARIO, and thus to deprive Morocco of the possibility to continue to spread confusion as to the identity of the parties to the conflict that are called upon to negotiate. 

3- It is obvious, moreover, that the wording “the developments of the last months” refers to both the Moroccan proposal and the proposal presented by the Frente POLISARIO of which the Council took note explicitly in the preambular part of the resolution, in addition to other factors that could be deemed relevant. 

The Security Council was less inclined to impose, even implicitly, either of the two proposals as a basis for the future negotiations, as it had refrained from imposing on Morocco the Baker Plan that the Council had unanimously endorsed in its resolution 1495 (2003) as an optimum political solution to the conflict.
4- The Security Council clearly defined, in accordance with paragraph 47 of the report of the UN Secretary-General, the role and the contribution of the States of the region. In the same way, it delimited the contours of the assistance that other States could provide to the negotiation process.

5- The Security Council was careful to specify that the negotiations between the two parties will take place under the auspices of the United Nations that will lead and conduct them form the beginning to the end, as well as the Secretary-General in line with the mandate entrusted to him. 

The contribution that UN Member States could provide will obviously involve the logistical and material aspects as well as the political and moral support for the negotiations.

6- The Frente POLISARIO reiterates its readiness to take part in good faith in the direct negotiations, under the auspices of the United Nations, with the Kingdom of Morocco, for which the Security Council has called with a view to achieving a mutually acceptable political solution that will provide for the self-determination of the Saharawi people. The way in which Morocco has misguidedly approached resolution 1754 to the extent of distorting it in a futile attempt to deviate it from its objective is a clear proof of Morocco’s bad faith and the continuation of its delaying manoeuvres.