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Western Sahara: Human Rights

Volume 495: debated on Friday 3 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to seek the inclusion of a human rights monitoring role for the United Nations MINURSO mission. (283037)

The Government believe that greater openness and transparency on human rights by all the parties would create a significantly better environment for political dialogue between the parties. We do not believe including a human rights monitoring role in the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) mandate at this time would build confidence between the parties or assist the UN-led negotiation efforts.

We support the call by the UN Secretary-General, in his latest report, for the parties to remain engaged in a continuous and constructive dialogue with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and to make progress on the human dimension of the conflict.