Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hans Van Baalen's Liberal International report on Western Sahara

The Sahrawis turned me into a lobster!

From April 3rd to 7th 2006, members of the Liberal International toured Western Sahara and Tindouf to come up with a report for the International's European parties. Led by Hans van Baalen, a Dutch MP and shadow minister (spooky!), the commission concluded that autonomy for Western Sahara is a great idea. This is interesting because it seems like a majority of liberal parties in Europe don't like the occupation.

While Morocco saw the report, it's not clear if SADR ever did (they didn't get back to me). Anyone up for possibly secret reports? I have a copy, so leave a comment or send me an email if you want it. I'm trying to upload it on document sites but having a terrible time of it--once Scribd and its clones start liking the PDF, it'll be up here. Until then, a taste:
The LI Delegation believes that autonomy for the Western Sahara, as offered by the monarch, should be seen as a positive step and should be seen on its own merits. Autonomy could be both an interim solution and also an end state.

3 comments:

  1. It is on the web as an .pdf just look here

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  2. The position of the LI as found on the web:

    1996 The Liberal International 47th Congress, Noordwijk, The Netherlands:
    "reiterates the Liberal
    International's support for a fair and honest referendum as the only way out of the conflict and to
    avoid a new period of war in the Western Sahara
    "

    1997 Liberal International 48rd Congress, Oxford, UK
    no mention of Western Sahara.


    1999 Liberal International 49th Congress, Brussels, Belgium:
    "Demands that the
    Government of Morocco cooperates fully with the United
    Nations to realize a free, fair and impartial referendum for the
    self-determination of the people of the Western Sahara without further
    delay
    ."


    2000 Liberal International 50th Congress, Ottawa, Canada:
    "Liberal
    International reiterates its support for a free and fair referendum in
    the Western Sahara and calls on all parties involved to make such a referendum
    possible within the framework of the United Nations and abide by its outcome
    ."


    2002 Liberal International 51st Congress, Budapest, Hungary:
    "Liberal International reiterates its support for a free and fair referendum
    in the Western Sahara and calls on all parties involved to make such a referendum
    for self-determination possible within the framework of the United Nations and
    abide by its outcome.
    "


    2003 Liberal International 52st Congress, Dakar, Senegal
    "Liberal International wants the conflict on Western Sahara to be solved in accordance
    with the UN Security Council plan on a referendum among the Western Saharan People, and
    strongly urges the parties involved to make a referendum possible
    ."

    2005 Liberal International 53rd Congress, Sofia, Bulgaria
    no mention of Western Sahara.

    2006 Liberal International 54st Congress, Marakech, Morocco
    We should concentrate on the immediate future of the Western Sahara and not
    lose ourselves in making blue prints for the long term. This means that we must
    concentrate on the initiatives for regional autonomy, as promoted by King Mohamed VI.
    (Press statement by van Baalen)
    "The LI Delegation believes that autonomy for the Western Sahara, as offered
    by the Monarch, should be seen as a positive step and judged on its own
    merits. Autonomy could be both an interim solution and also an end state
    ." (Report van Baalen - not published by LI.)


    In 2008 the 55th Congress of Liberal International will be hosted by the Alliance Party,
    in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on 15-17 May.

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