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Ex UN legal chief concerned by misuse of Legal Opinion
Former UN Legal Counsel Hans Corell states to Swedish media that the legal opinion made for the Security Council in 2002 has been misused by both the EU and investors in the oil sector.
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Last week, the Swedish government pension fund announced that it had divested from companies importing phosphates from Western Sahara. However, the same fund has invested in Total, the French company with offshore licences in the same territory.

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".

As Hans Corell served as Legal Counsel of the United Nations, he wrote an assessment of the legality of Total's operations for the Security Council. The report said that such oil operation would be in violation of international law if the people of the territory was not consenting.

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.

WSRW recently wrote a report about Total's operations in Western Sahara. The Swedish government pension fund has invested around 100 million Euros in Total.


15.10 - 2019 / 15.10 - 2019THIS PAGE IS NO LONGER UPDATED
23.10 - 2015 / 23.10 - 2015Morocco continues to discard by-catches in occupied Western Sahara
29.06 - 2015 / 29.06 - 2015Moroccan government accused of fraud with EU anti-driftnet money
02.12 - 2014 / 02.12 - 2014Maria Damanaki opposed continued EU fishing in Western Sahara
18.09 - 2014 / 18.09 - 2014EU-Morocco fish deal: who's shown an interest so far?
18.09 - 2014 / 18.09 - 2014Dutch first to fish under unethical EU-Morocco fish deal
09.08 - 2014 / 09.08 - 2014UN former legal chief slams EU legal view as "preposterous"
21.07 - 2014 / 21.07 - 2014Illegal EU fish agreement with Morocco now ratified by King
14.03 - 2014 / 14.03 - 20149 detained, threats of jail if demonstrating against EU fisheries
11.02 - 2014 / 11.02 - 2014Here are the EU states that will benefit from the dirty fisheries
11.02 - 2014 / 11.02 - 2014Morocco adopts contentious EU-Morocco fish deal
10.12 - 2013 / 10.12 - 2013Occupied Sahara: EU undermining Human Rights on Human Rights Day
08.12 - 2013 / 08.12 - 2013More vids of demonstration and victims of EU/Moroccan plans in Sahara
08.12 - 2013 / 08.12 - 2013Western Sahara president asks UN intervention to stop EU and Morocco
08.12 - 2013 / 08.12 - 2013Many injured in protest against EU/Spain fish plans in Western Sahara
05.12 - 2013 / 05.12 - 2013EU fish plans illegal, 21 jurists and lawyers state
05.12 - 2013 / 05.12 - 2013267 organisations ask European Parliament to reject fish accord
04.12 - 2013 / 04.12 - 2013President of African Parliament calls on EU to respect Sahara rights
02.12 - 2013 / 02.12 - 2013Greenpeace: EU parliament must vote no to Western Sahara fisheries
18.11 - 2013 / 18.11 - 2013European Liberal Youth calls for no EU fishing in occupied Sahara


The EU considers to pay Morocco to fish in occupied Western Sahara. An EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement from 2013 would be both politically controversial and in violation of international law. The international Fish Elsewhere! campaign demands the EU to avoid such unethical operations, and go fishing somewhere else. No fishing in Western Sahara should take place until the conflict is solved.
عريضة لوقف النهب


يحضر الاتحاد الاوربي لإبرام اتفاق غير اخلاقي جديد للصيد البحري مع المغرب في سنة 2013.

مرة اخرى، يعتزم الاتحاد الاوربي الصيد في المياه الاقليمية للصحراء الغربية المحتلة في خرق سافر للقانون الدولي. وقع هذه العريضة للتنديد بذلك.

"EU fisheries in Western Sahara must be stopped"

Western Sahara human rights activist Aminatou Haidar hopes for increased attention to the EU plundering of occupied Western Sahara.


10.04 - 2012
Guardian: EU taking its over-fishing habits to west African waters?
15.12 - 2011
EU Observer: Morocco expels EU fishing boats
15.12 - 2011
BBC News: Morocco's fish fight: High stakes over Western Sahara
15.12 - 2011
European Voice: MEPs reject EU-Morocco fisheries pact
15.12 - 2011
Reuters: EU lawmakers reject Morocco fisheries pact

Human rights activist Malak Amidane denounces EU fisheries