Ambassador Hilale: Moroccan Sahara Development Should Not Be Held Hostage by Political Process
Speaking at the C24 regional seminar in Grenada, Morocco’s permanent representative to the UN, ambassador Omar Hilale highlighted Morocco’s efforts and achievements in favour of the economic and social development of the southern provinces, adding that the socio-economic development of the Moroccan Sahara should not be held hostage by the political process.
This seminar, which was marked by the historic participation for the first time of two elected representatives from two regions of the Moroccan Sahara, was held on May 9-11, 2018 in St. Georges, Grenada, and was themed “the social, economic and environmental problems linked to achieving the goals of sustainable development”.
While reaffirming that for the Moroccan people, the Sahara issue is a question of national unity and territorial integrity, Hilale recalled that while this region was neglected and had no economic development before its return to the homeland in 1975, Morocco has made huge public investments in all areas mainly infrastructure, industry, services, agriculture, health, education, tourism and the promotion of Hassani culture.
The development of the Moroccan Sahara is progressing under the Instructions of HM King Mohammed VI with the objective of meeting the expectations of the local population, Hilale added.
The Ambassador emphasized that the indicators of human development in the Moroccan Sahara are higher than the national average and have enabled the opening up and upgrading of the Saharan provinces, recalling the launch by HM the King in 2015 of the new model of development for the southern provinces with a budget of nearly 8 billion dollars.
Extensive regionalization is now a tangible reality with its respective institutions and prerogatives, allowing Saharan inhabitants to manage their own local affairs in a democratic, participatory and inclusive way, Hilale insisted.
As for the political process, Ambassador Hilale recalled that Morocco remains committed to the political process conducted under the exclusive auspices of the United Nations, on the basis of Security Council resolutions since 2007.
In this regard, he said that the latest Security Council resolution 2414, adopted on April 27, 2018, reaffirmed the parameters of the political solution which must be pragmatic, realistic and of compromise.