In the framework of the 77th UN General Assembly, the President of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, gave a half-hour speech in which, in addition to discussing his government's policies, the issue of Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony of which Spain continues to be the administering power, took centre stage.
Thus, the Spanish President asked the Assembly to reach "a mutually acceptable political solution within the framework of the United Nations Charter and the resolutions of the Security Council", arguing that Spain "cannot drag up conflicts from the past", a denial that thus puts an end to the Polisario Front's proposal for a referendum.
In this context, and despite having modified Spain's position on the resolution of the conflict, after pointing out that the Moroccan proposal is "a realistic and fair solution to the problem", Sánchez clarified that Spain continues to support "the fundamental work of the UN special envoy", Staffan de Mistura, who will have been in his post for a year since his appointment.
Sánchez also emphasised that Spain "will continue to support the Sahrawi population in the camps as it has always done, being the main international donor of humanitarian aid", in reference to the refugees in the Tindouf camps in Algeria.
Likewise, the Spanish President has not explained the reasons for his change of position six months after he stated in a letter to the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, that the plan proposed by the Alaouite kingdom was "the most solid, realistic and credible basis" for resolving the conflict, which has been going on since 1975 after the Green March.
In addition to Western Sahara, Pedro Sánchez referred to the situation of Gibraltar, stressing that Spain and the United Kingdom had sealed an agreement on the Rock before the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union.
He reiterated his confidence after indicating that he hopes that the United Kingdom and the European Union will reach an agreement on this basis that is "respectful" of the UN doctrine regarding Spain's position on the Rock.
He also devoted part of his speech to highlighting "the fundamental role" that Latin American countries are playing in "the defence of democracy", but indicated that the region still needs international aid to put an end to the problems of organised crime, drug trafficking and mafias.
In this way, the President guaranteed that he would continue to work to strengthen relations between the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean, taking advantage of the fact that Spain will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2023.