A / AC.109 / 2016/17 OFFICIAL
DOCUMENT OF THE CHAIR OF THE SPECIAL COMMISSION ON DECOLONIZATION
Friday, June 17, 2016-06-22
“The members of the Special Commission on Decolonization C-24 express their full support for the presidency and its faculty to direct its affairs in accordance with Rules 106 and 107 of the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly that attribute to the Presidency the control of the procedure of all sessions.
In view of the unfortunate incident that occurred in the morning session of the Commission on June 14, 2016, when a Member State that is not a member of the Commission failed to respect the procedure of the formal session of the Commission during the discussion of the issue of Western Sahara, the Bureau convened an extraordinary session of the Commission behind closed doors that was held in the afternoon of the same day.
In that extraordinary session, the Members acknowledged that operative paragraph 7 of General Assembly resolution 34/37 of November 21, 1979 affirms that the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el Hamra and Río de Oro (Frente POLISARIO) he was the representative of the people of Western Sahara. Similarly, they admitted that operative paragraph 10 of General Assembly resolution 35/19 of November 11, 1980 ratifies the Polisario Front as the representative of the people of Western Sahara.
Thus, the Commission was aware that a subsidiary body of the General Assembly should not challenge a resolution decided by the highest level of the United Nations.
The Commission heard that there have been divergent approaches by certain Commission Members regarding the representation of Western Sahara at the meeting. In the extraordinary closed-door session, it was stated that the practice of the Commission during the sessions or their meetings was to hear statements on specific matters of the Non-Self-Governing Territories from other member states and entities of the system of Nations. United States that participate as observers and for the people of the Non-Self-Governing Territories, either as representatives or as petitioners.
The main difference between the representatives and the petitioners is that in this regard the representatives of the Non-Self-Governing Territories do not need to obtain permission from the Commission to address them and, through them, the United Nations as a whole. Representatives only need the consent of the Commission to speak.
The Commission observed, on the one hand, that there have been different past practices and ways of mentioning the representation of Western Sahara in various previous sessions and Seminars of the Commission. On the one hand, the Commission is aware that in the absence of an official decision of the Commission and / or an established practice or a mandate from the General Assembly, the presidencies of the Commission are not obliged to guide the steps of the Commission in the path of his predecessors.
There has been a proposal from various members of the Commission to address the issue of the representation of Western Sahara in the Fourth Committee.
For the rest, it was recognized that there has been a practice established in the Special Commission on the situation regarding the implementation of the Declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples (C-24) to hear the representative of the Front Polisario in their sessions.
Therefore, on the basis of the aforementioned General Assembly resolutions and the General Assembly Rules of Procedure, the Special Commission agrees to hear the representative of the Polisario Front as the representative of Western Sahara, one of the non-autonomous territories in the United Nations list ”.
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