C-24: Papua New Guinea Highlights Broad International Support for Autonomy Plan

Papua New Guinea has commended, during the C-24 seminar for the Caribbean, held in Caracas (May 14-16), the increasing international support for the autonomy initiative presented by Morocco to definitively settle the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara. “It is good to see the increasing international support for this credible compromise proposal, and we are encouraged by such support which will contribute to helping all relevant stakeholders in this dispute to achieve an amicable, lasting and peaceful solution,” said Papua New Guinea’s Chargé d’affaires to the UN, Fred Sarufa. He also expressed his country’s strong support for the ongoing political process led under the aegis of the UN Secretary-General, with the facilitation of his Personal Envoy, Staffan de Mistura, aimed at achieving a political, mutually acceptable, negotiated and sustainable solution” to this artificial conflict. The speaker, who called for maintaining this “momentum”, underlined that his country encourages efforts aimed at resuming the “important” process of round tables with the participation of Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the “polisario” in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2703. The diplomat also highlighted Morocco’s full respect of the ceasefire and its commendable cooperation with MINURSO, urging other parties to do the same. The speaker also welcomed the Kingdom’s continued efforts to promote sustainable development in the southern provinces through investments in infrastructure and socio-economic projects, noting that this dynamic greatly improves the living conditions of local populations. Mr. Sarufa commended the participation of democratically elected representatives of the populations of the southern provinces at the two round tables held in Geneva, the C-24 regional seminar, as well as the annual sessions of the same committee. He stressed that the opening by several countries of consulates general in the cities of Dakhla and Laayoune is a recognition of the efforts made by Morocco. Papua New Guinea’s representative to the UN also welcomed the “positive” efforts undertaken by Morocco with a view to strengthening human rights in the region. The speaker expressed his country’s continued concern over violations of the fundamental rights of populations held against their will in the Tindouf camps, particularly women and children, underscoring the need to quickly put an end to this situation. He also called for allowing the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to carry out the registration and census of the populations of the Tindouf camps, in south-west Algeria.