President and CEO of Mosaic Co. We were in contact last year regarding Mosaic’s imports of phosphates from Western Sahara.
You mentioned in your mail to us, dated 19 November 2008, that 1) Mosaic believes your company’s imports to be “in full compliance with international law” and 2) Mosaic will determine in 2009 whether your will purchase any additional rock from Western Sahara.
As we outlined in our first correspondence with you on 7 October 2008, Western Sahara Resource Watch believes it is rather clear that importing phosphates from Western Sahara contributes to violating international law, as long as it is in the disregard of the wishes and interests of the people of Western Sahara. This follows the conclusion of the legal opinion of the former UN Under-Secretary General for Legal Affairs, given to the Security Council on 29 January 2002 (which we referred to in our first mail). This opinion was also elaborated further upon, by the same person, in a conference in Pretoria in December 2008: http://www.wsrw.org/index.php?cat=128&art=982
It is evident that the Sahrawi people object to such unethical trade, and therefore, that it is not in line with international law.
Several companies internationally share this opinion on ethics and law, such as socially responsible investors, among whom an increasing number have divested from fertilizer companies that hold long term import agreements for phosphates rock from occupied Western Sahara.
On this basis, WSRW would appreciate if Mosaic could explain how your company has come to the contrary conclusion as us, namely that trading with phosphate rock from Western Sahara is “in full compliance with international law”.
If you possess any information that supports your claim, we would kindly ask you to release that information.
As we wrote in a mail to you on 21 November 2008, we would also highly appreciate if Mosaic would clarify when during 2009 that a decision on further imports will be made.
David Urnes Johnson Western Sahara Resource Watch, Section Florida
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