Corell: EU must revise fisheries agreement, oil drilling irresponsible
Former UN Legal Counsel Hans Corell urges in an article yesterday the EU to revise its Fisheries Partnership Agreement due to the Moroccan King's recent statement on Western Sahara. He also states that the oil exploration is in violation of the legal opinion he wrote for the UN Security Council.
In an article, The Responsibility of the UN Security Council in the Case of Western Sahara, appearing in International Judicial Monitor, 23 February 2015, former UN legal counsel Hans Corell slams the EU's and the international oil companies' approach to natural resource exploitation in Western Sahara.
Both the EU and the oil companies themselves use the UN Legal Opinion that Corell wrote to legitimise its operations.
Corell has particularly taken notice of the spectacular statement of the Moroccan King last year, in which the Moroccan government rejects dealing with the Western Sahara in the light of decolonisation and self-determination.
"Against this background, the [UN Security] Council should examine the legality of the EU-Morocco fisheries agreement. The appropriate way to receive an authoritative answer to this question is for the Council to request the International Court of Justice to give an advisory opinion on the question in accordance with article 96 of the UN Charter. In case the Council is unable to unite behind such action, the General Assembly could take the initiative."
Corell also slams the oil search going on in the territory:
"The latest development with respect to natural resources is a contract between Morocco and two companies, Kosmos and Glencore, relating to oil exploration and exploitation in the Cap Boujdour area off the coast of Western Sahara. I can see from the web that the two companies maintain that this contract is in conformity with my 2002 legal opinion. Regrettably, it is not. Already signing an agreement in which Morocco refers to Western Sahara as “the southern provinces of the Kingdom of Morocco” is at variance with Corporate Social Responsibility and the principles Protect, Respect and Remedy"; Corell notes.
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.
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