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press release, conference, The Western Sahara Conflict

category cork | rights, freedoms and repression | press release author Tuesday March 03, 2009 16:18author by KarenMcDonnell - ethical development actionauthor email edacork at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors

Globla Resources, Human Rights, and the Environment: The Western Sahara Conflict

Ethical Development Action will be hosting a conference that will be looking at the conditions the saharawi are forced to live in, both in the Algerian refugee camps and in the Occupied Territories of the Western Sahara. Conference will take place on friday the 3rd April.

For more information please email us at or check out the website

Global Resources, Human Rights and the Environment: The Western Sahara Conflict

Friday 3rd April 2009

Gresham Metropole Hotel Cork, Ireland

The 2009 Ethical Development Action (EDA) Conference

In this time of global turmoil, fuelled by climate change, food insecurity, political and religious tensions and potentially the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the UN are predicting that incidents of global conflict could increase to unprecedented levels.

This year, EDAís annual conference, to opened by Minister for foreign Affairs Micheal Martin, will draw our attention to the decadeís old conflict between the indigenous people of Western Sahara (The Saharawi), the last remaining colony in Africa, and the occupier of two-thirds of their country, Morocco.

All too often the global community has failed to prevent and resolve conflict situations, leaving millions of people in the grip of famine, homelessness and dependency. The price of the ongoing conflict between Western Sahara, and Morocco, like all conflicts, is paid through the high human, environmental and economic costs to the local and global communities. Upon agreeing to attend the conference Minister Martin said ďI believe that it is extremely valuable to raise awareness and increase understanding of these important issuesĒ.

The Saharawi have spent the last thirty-three years living in refugee camps in the Algerian Sahara, in a physical and political environment incapable of sustaining human dignity. They are continually confronted with the ongoing issues that surround this conflict:the denial of basic human rights, access to adequate water, to food and shelter; to rewarding employment, and at the core, the right to self determination, a right determined for them thirty years ago by the International Court of Justice.

EDAís conference will investigate and challenge aspects of this conflict. Speakers will include Saharawi from the refugee camps, representatives of the POLISARIO, the government of Western Sahara, and key international speakers will focus on issues such as food security, gender, the environment, human rights, international law and conflict resolution.

These speakers will include:
Minister for Foreign Affairs, MicheŠl Martin TD;
two representatives from Western Sahara;
a member of POLISARIO;
Simon Coveney TD;
Michael D Higgins TD (TBC);
Dr Tara Shine, environmental advisor to Irish Aid;
Professor Willem Van Cotthem, UNICEF dryland agricultural advisor;
Professor Joshua Castellino (Law Faculty, Middlesex University);
Adam Komorowski (Mines Advisory Group, UK);
Mark Mc Loughlin (journalist/documentary film maker);
Sorcha Keogan (conflict resolution specialist)

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