Correll, who served as Kofi Annan's under-secretary general for legal affairs underlined 6 October 2013 to the news agency TT that all business, including oil reconnaissance, would be illegal if one cannot prove that it is in accordance with the wishes of the people of the territory.
"That is a very clear message. But it has been misused by the EU and by others who have tried to interpret it in other ways", said Corell to TT.
He underlined that he has not read the details of the Total's current operations in Western Sahara, nor the investments of the Swedish government funds in the company.
He told TT that the Swedish fund managers "cannot use my statement to avoid acting upon businesses in relation to the natural resources of Western Sahara".
Corell and WSRW has repeatedly noted that the EU has misused the UN legal opinion to legitimise the union's fisheries activities in Western Sahara. "I believe that one has misinterpreted my legal opinion to the Security Council in a very astonishing way", he has stated in the past. See also a piece he wrote a piece looking into the EU's misuse of the opinion in 2008. The EU is now again considering entering into a new agreement that will apply to the waters of Western Sahara.
Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the five different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.