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Date of posting : May 14, 2018

Historic Participation of Moroccan Sahara Elected Officials at UN Decolonization Committee Seminar in Grenada 

 The regional seminar of the Special Committee on decolonization (C-24) of the UN General Assembly, held in Grenada on May 9-11, 2018, saw the participation, for the first time in the annals of this Committee, of two Moroccan Sahara elected officials, namely Mhamed Abba, vice-president of the Laayoune-Sakia Al Hamra region, and Ghalla Bahiya, vice-president of Dakhla Oued Eddahab.

This is a historic and unprecedented turning point within the United Nations, thus confirming the democratic legitimacy of the elected officials of the Moroccan Sahara to represent the population of the region, said a statement by the ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The participation of these two elected officials in this seminar garnered the active support of the majority of the Committee’s member countries, the statement added.

The decision to participate was taken by consensus and follows the two invitation letters addressed to the two elected representatives of the Moroccan Sahara by Chairman of the C-24, ambassador Walton A. Webson, permanent representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations, on behalf of all the members of the Committee.

Addressing the seminar for the first time, Abba, vice-president of the Laayoune-Sakia Al Hamra region, highlighted the projects of the new development model for the southern provinces, launched by HM the King in 2015, as well as the Royal Vision for the socio-economic development of this region.

Abba stressed the democratic and popular legitimacy of the elected representatives of the southern provinces to represent the populations of the Moroccan Sahara, following the regional and legislative elections of 2015 and 2016.

This participation constitutes a political and diplomatic breakthrough for Morocco in the framework of the defense of its legitimate and inalienable rights over its Sahara and the attachment of the populations of the south to the Moroccanity of the Sahara. It also enshrines the recognition by the international community of the democratic and representative nature of the elections, held in the Moroccan Sahara.

The other parties, through their relays within the Committee, have tried in vain to counter the presence of the elected representatives of the Moroccan Sahara for years. This is a blatant disavowal of an alleged representativeness of the “polisario”.

It is also another disappointment for the other parties on the international scene and at the UN level after their failure in the Security Council, following the adoption of Resolution 2414 which defeated the false claims of the “polisario” regarding alleged control of the area east of the security structure.

The two elected representatives of the Moroccan Sahara held talks and meetings in the margins of the seminar with the delegations in attendance. They briefed them on the latest developments concerning the national issue, as well as the social and economic development and political emancipation in the southern provinces.