Pursuant to Resolution 1429 of July 30, 2002, Mr. Baker paid a visit in the Maghreb region from 14 to 17 January, 2003, during which he submitted to all parties a new proposal entitled: "Peace plan for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara".
This proposal is contained in the report of the Secretary-General S/2003/565 of May 23, 2003 together with the observations of the parties which are far from being convergent.
Algeria, while counting on obvious political calculations, declared itself favorable to the plan while making a detailed criticism in its written answer.
After having rejected it during months, Polisario, by opportunism, disavowed its argumentation of rejection and declared its acceptance in July 2003 of the plan in question.
In its observations about the plan, published in the report of the Secretary-general S/2003/565 on May 23, 2003, Morocco underlined that this new proposal proceeds, essentially, of the settlement Plan of which the failure and inapplicability were duly noted. In his plan, Mr. Baker reintroduces the organization of a referendum which would return to the initial options, and of which the implementation, committed more than 12 years, led to the failure of the process of settlement of the question of Sahara. More especially, this plan grants a minority of the population, substantial prerogatives, while disregarding the sociological, tribal and ethnic composition of the populations of the Sahara, as well as the need for a sincere and convinced adhesion of all the populations to the status which is granted to them.
The conception of Morocco of the political solution is to bring the parties, through dialogue and negotiation, to get along on a final, realistic agreement, on the basis of a transfer of competences to the local populations, taking into account the specificities of the Sahara, within the framework of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom. Such an approach makes it possible for the population to manage, itself, her own local affairs, thus exercising its right of self-determination in the respect of the extensions of sovereignty of the Kingdom.
In addition, the approach recommended by the new version of the Plan of the Personal Envoy involves serious risks of destabilization of the whole Maghreb.
By its resolution 1495 of July 31, 2003, the Council also conditioned its support for this plan, considered as an "optimum solution", by the agreement of the parties. It then invited them to initiate a process of dialogue in order to make the plan acceptable.
Morocco was thus brought to dispute the erroneous interpretation of the resolution 1495 as articulated in the report of the Secretary-general S/2003/1016 on October 16, 2003 and requested the Security Council to fully assume its responsibilities by assisting the parties in order to reach a beneficial solution for all the States of the Maghreb, far from any imposition.
Respectful of the international legality, Morocco continues to cooperate unconditionally with the United Nations for a political, realistic and final settlement, which preserves the territorial integrity and the national sovereignty of the Kingdom and opens the way for the economic development of the Maghreb.
In his report of S/2004/325 on April 23, 2004, containing the final response of the Kingdom of Morocco to the second Plan suggested by Mr. BAKER, the Secretary-general underlined that there is opposition within the Security Council to any nonconsensual solution.
Thus on April 29, 2004, Resolution 1541 definitively clarified the method recommended by the international community for the final settlement of the question of Sahara. It can only consist of a negotiated and mutually acceptable political solution by the parties. The text also presents this dispute in its true regional context while calling on the States of the region to cooperate for this purpose with the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy.
Alvaro De Soto continue its efforts to reach a political solution
By a letter dated June 11, 2004 addressed to the Security Council, the Secretary-general, Mr. Kofi Annan, announced the resignation of Mr. James Baker of his functions of Personal Envoy. By the same letter, the Secretary-general requested Mr. Alvaro de Soto who assumes already the functions of Special Representative of the Secretary-general in charge of MINURSO, to continue the work of political mediation with the parties and the neighboring States, in order to reach a "just, final and mutually acceptable political solution".
As a matter of fact, M De Soto has started a trip in the region by visiting Morocco. As such, His Majesty King Mohammed VI has received, on September the 6th 2004, the Special Representative of the Secretary general M. De Soto. His Majesty reiterated to him Morocco's entire disposal to fully cooperate with the United Nations and insured him of Morocco's support for the success of his new mission.
During this audience, the King also reminded Morocco's commitment to work in good faith with the United Nations and the different concerned parties in order to achieve, as soon as possible, a negotiated political solution within the framework of Moroccan sovereignty.