Informal Meeting on Western Sahara – 11 – 13 March 2012, Greentree, Long Island

At the invitation of the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Western Sahara, Mr. Christopher Ross, delegations from the Kingdom of Morocco and the Frente Polisario participated in a new round of informal talks at Greentree, Long Island, from 11 to 13 March 2012. The discussions took place in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1979. Delegations from the neighboring states, Algeria and Mauritania, were also present at the opening and closing sessions, and during the discussion of the Confidence Building Measures. As was the case in the previous informal meetings, the discussions took place in an atmosphere of serious engagement, frankness, and mutual respect.
In order to find a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in the context of arrangements consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, the parties continued to deepen the discussion on their respective proposals. Each party continued to reject the proposal of the other as the sole basis for future negotiations, while reiterating their willingness to work together to reach a solution in conformity with the
pertinent resolutions of the United Nations.
The parties continued their discussion on the new ideas put forward by the Secretary- General in paragraph 120 of his report (S/2011/249) and endorsed by the Security Council. They also deepened their discussion on demining, natural resources and environment, without prejudice to the definitive status of the Territory. To this end, the parties have welcomed the progress accomplished on these topics, and confirmed their interest to continue working with the United Nations on these subjects and others in the framework of the ongoing negotiations.
Regarding the Confidence Building Measures, the parties and the neighboring states reviewed the results of the second evaluation meeting with the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees that took place in Geneva on 24 and 25 January 2012. The parties also confirmed their intention to participate in two seminars to be organized by the said Office that could take place in June and October 2012. One of these seminars will focus on the role of women and the other one on the meaning of the tent (Khaima) in the Hassaniyan culture.
The Personal Envoy will embark, with the assistance of the parties and the neighboring states, on a regional visit starting in mid May 2012, including an extensive visit to the Western Sahara Territory. The next informal meetings will take place in Europe in June and in a place to be determined in July 2012.