A new debate in Geneva on trust measures among the Sahrawi populations

In prospect of the shortly resuming in Manhasset of the informal negotiations on the future of the Sahara, under the UN aegis, the UN HCR has organized the second meeting for the evaluation of the trust measures.
The two-days meeting has regrouped, under the HCR aegis, on the 24th and 25th January, in Geneva, the delegations of Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Polisario. The aim was to deepen the thinking on trust measures among the Sahrawi populations in the Southern provinces of the Kingdom and their families in Tindouf camps in Algeria. The Chief of the Moroccan delegation, Nasser Bourita, Secretary General of the Foreign Affairs Ministry was accompanied by Omar Hilale, Ambassador, permanent representative of the Kingdom in Geneva and El Arbi Mrabet, Governor, in charge of the MIINURSO coordination bureau. Besides the High Delegate for the refugees, Antonio Gutteres, were also present at this meeting, Christopher Ross and Hani Abdelaziz, respectively personal envoy of the UN Secretary General for the Sahara and his special representative.

The objective of this meeting, as was explained by Bourita, was to take stock of the activities planned in the action plan concerning the trust measures, set up in 2004, namely the program of family visits, apolitical seminars and other measures aiming at releasing the net on the population living in TIndouf camps in Algeria and reducing their suffering.
During the discussions, the Moroccan delegation has insisted on the necessity to preserve the integrity and the humanitarian character of this program, far from any politicization or instrumentalization, knowing that through this programme, the HCR aims at improving the life conditions of the populations in Tindouf camps and to guarantee for them the necessary legal and humanitarian protection, and in prior to that, their identification, census and recording.
The 2nd evaluation was sanctioned by the adoption of a series of recommendations and the up-dating of the action plan in relation, namely, with the reinforcing of the programme of family visits by air. The participants have also adopted the agenda of the 2nd edition of this apolitical seminar, during this year. Nevertheless, nothing has been said on the planning of these family visits by surface transport, which is part of the programme on trust measures led by HCR.


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