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Respect for human_rights_and_relevant_legal_aspects_in_western_sahara-asklof-19may2010

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International Law and the Exploitation of
Natural Resources in Western Sahara
• Advisory opinion of 16 October 1975,
the International Court of Justice
• Legal opinion of the UN Legal Counsel,
dated 12 February 2002, addressed to
the President of the Security Council
• Clarifications of the legal opinion
Questions answered by the
International Court of Justice
• Was Western Sahara at the time of
colonization a territory belonging to no
one?
• What were the legal ties between this
territory and the Kingdom of Morocco
and the Mauretanian entity?
The UN legal opinion
• Article 73 of the UN Charter:
The administrating power recognizes
”……that the interests of the inhabitants of
these territories are paramount…”
”…accept as a sacred trust the obligation
to promote to the utmost … the well-being
of the inhabitants of these territories…”
• A distinction is made between
economic activities that are
detrimental to the peoples of these
Territories and those directed to
benefit them.
Conclusion
• The mineral activities in a Non-Self
Governing-Territory are illegal if
conducted in disregard of the needs
and interests of the people of that
Territory.
Other resources
• What conclusions can be drawn from
the legal opinion in relation to other
resources in Western Sahara than
mineral resources?

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Respect for human_rights_and_relevant_legal_aspects_in_western_sahara-asklof-19may2010

  • 1. International Law and the Exploitation of Natural Resources in Western Sahara • Advisory opinion of 16 October 1975, the International Court of Justice • Legal opinion of the UN Legal Counsel, dated 12 February 2002, addressed to the President of the Security Council • Clarifications of the legal opinion
  • 2. Questions answered by the International Court of Justice • Was Western Sahara at the time of colonization a territory belonging to no one? • What were the legal ties between this territory and the Kingdom of Morocco and the Mauretanian entity?
  • 3. The UN legal opinion • Article 73 of the UN Charter: The administrating power recognizes ”……that the interests of the inhabitants of these territories are paramount…” ”…accept as a sacred trust the obligation to promote to the utmost … the well-being of the inhabitants of these territories…”
  • 4. • A distinction is made between economic activities that are detrimental to the peoples of these Territories and those directed to benefit them.
  • 5. Conclusion • The mineral activities in a Non-Self Governing-Territory are illegal if conducted in disregard of the needs and interests of the people of that Territory.
  • 6. Other resources • What conclusions can be drawn from the legal opinion in relation to other resources in Western Sahara than mineral resources?