A central component of the VIII UNPO General Assembly, held this year in Taipei, Taiwan, from 27 – 29 October, was to facilitate the discussion of specific problems facing UNPO Members, as well as potential strategies for resolving these with the help of UNPO, its Members, and its supporters.
As part of this process, a Session on the final day of proceedings, Sunday 29 October, was dedicated entirely to the presentation and discussion of resolutions submitted by UNPO Members, detailing specific problems faced by their communities, and detailing the steps that might be taken towards a peaceful and equitable solution.
The following resolution was submitted by the delegation from Ogoni and adopted by the UNPO VIII General Assembly:
The UNPO General Assembly;
Considering reports of the failure of the Ogoni process of dialogue, hopes Shell operations might resume, despite no meetings having taken place involving all of the major protagonists, MOSOP, Shell and the Government of Nigeria;
Noting that Government and Shell interests in the Ogoni oil block may have intensified to dangerous levels since the Department of Petroleum Resources announced that Shell’s license to operate in the Ogoni area would be revoked;
Disturbed that it is against this backdrop that an announcement was made on Saturday 21st October of the imminent arrival of a United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) team to commence clean up preparations in Ogoni, despite silence on the issue of the longest running oil fire in Ogoni in decades and the prevailing lack of proper consultations;
Deeply concerned that the likelihood that such an approach as us currently being used, will cause a crisis, or even a widespread security clampdown and repression in Ogoni;
Therefore, we urge The UNPO General Assembly to:
1. Call upon Shell to immediately cease all actions likely to cause or contribute to a crisis in Ogoni, specifically by ending its attempt to resume operations in face of the opposition of the Ogoni people, and ending its association with armed groups and gangs;
2. Urge Shell, in its efforts to retain the operating license for the Ogoni areas, should restrain its staff from acting in a manner likely to precipitate the crisis in Ogoni, and desist from making further illicit payments, whether to local youths, government officials, or local representatives;
3. Call upon UNEP to take due note of the recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur on Nigeria, as well as the UN Fact Finding mission to Nigeria, which made specific recommendations on consultations and processes which could lead to an environmental clean up in Ogoni;
4. Urge Shell to take independent steps to ensure that all parties are being consulted in regards to any action it takes in Ogoni;
5. Call upon Shell to immediately add its voice to calls for urgent and effective action over the oil blowout at Yorla well 13 in Ogoni;
6. Call on the Nigerian government to replace the flawed dialogue process with a more credible process;
7. Express solidarity with the Ogoni people in their renewed struggle for their rights for justice and sustainable development through non violent means;
8. Decide to closely monitor the situation.