|Extract of SG
spokesperson Noon Briefings 18.06.07
U.N.-LED TALKS ON WESTERN SAHARA GET UNDERWAY
- Talks carried out under UN auspices on Western
Sahara began today outside of New York, with representatives of the
parties and the neighbouring countries in attendance.
- The talks are being facilitated by the
Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Mr. Peter van
- Attending today’s opening session on behalf of the
Secretary-General was the Under-Secretary-General for Political
Affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe.
- In his opening remarks, Pascoe said that today
marked the beginning of a new phase in the search for a solution on
Western Sahara. He urged the parties to proceed in good faith and
to establish an atmosphere of mutual trust, and expressed the firm
commitment of the United Nations to assist in the negotiations.
He stressed that the stalemate is becoming intolerable and that the
dispute over Western Sahara must be brought to a conclusion through a
mutually agreed solution that will provide for the self-determination
of the people of Western Sahara.
- "The Secretary General, the Security Council, and
indeed the entire international community are deeply interested in
events unfolding here today. The time has come for a
solution. We wish you the best of luck, and reiterate our
commitment to assist this process in every way possible," Pascoe said.
- In accordance with Security Council resolution 1754,
the Secretary-General will report to the Security Council by 30 June
2007 with regard to the status and progress of negotiations.
- Asked about press coverage at the meeting, the
Spokeswoman said that the meeting is closed to media.
- Asked why Pascoe, rather than van Walsum, had spoken
at the outset, Montas noted that van Walsum was leading the