UN SG Appoints Staffan de Mistura as his Personal Envoy for Moroccan Sahara
UN SG Appoints Staffan de Mistura as his Personal Envoy for Moroccan Sahara

The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, appointed the Italian-Swedish Staffan de Mistura as his new Personal Envoy for the Moroccan Sahara, announced Wednesday the UN spokesman.

This appointment comes after the endorsement of the Security Council, which was officially referred by Antonio Guterres.

For its part, Morocco had expressed its support for this appointment after it was consulted by the UN Secretary General several weeks ago, which the other parties also did.

De Mistura, who succeeds former German President Horst Köhler, has a mandate to facilitate the exclusively UN process aimed at achieving a realistic, pragmatic, lasting and compromise political solution to the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara. This solution must be in line with the resolutions of the Security Council since 2018, as reaffirmed by the UN Secretary General in his recent report to the Security Council on the Moroccan Sahara.

In the letter of appointment addressed to the Security Council, the UN Secretary General said that de Mistura will work with Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the “polisario” on the basis of resolution 2548 of October 30, 2021 and other resolutions of the Council, as well as taking fully into account the progress made so far, in order to achieve the political solution of the question of the Moroccan Sahara.

These Security Council resolutions, mentioned in the Secretary-General’s report, namely 2440, 2468, 2494 and 2548, reaffirmed that the political, realistic, pragmatic and compromise solution is the only way out of the Moroccan Sahara issue. Like all those that preceded them, for more than two decades, they have definitively buried the referendum and no longer refer to it. At the same time, the pre-eminence of the Autonomy Initiative, within the framework of the Kingdom’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, has been reaffirmed in the 17 resolutions adopted by the Security Council since its presentation in 2007.

In addition, these resolutions established the roundtable meetings, with the participation of Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the “polisario”, as the only framework for conducting the exclusively UN political process. They mention Algeria five times, as many times as Morocco, confirming Algeria’s role as the main party in the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara, and calling on it to show realism and compromise in order to reach a political solution to this dispute.

In this regard, de Mistura should begin his facilitation in the coming weeks. In accordance with his letter of appointment and with Security Council Resolution 2548, he will start this facilitation where his predecessor left off, namely the roundtable meetings process, with its four participants and according to the same modalities.