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Date of posting : June 24, 2018

Moroccan Sahara Issue Question of Territorial Integrity Not Decolonisation

The issue of the Moroccan Sahara is a question of territorial integrity and not of “decolonization”, said Morocco’s permanent representative to the United Nations, ambassador Omar Hilale, who was speaking at the C24 session in New York.

He added that the Security Council does not consider it a matter of “decolonization” but a regional dispute, which it deals with under Chapter VI of the Charter of the United Nations, relating to the peaceful settlement of disputes.
In his statement, Hilale outlined the history of Morocco’s recovery of its southern provinces and highlighted the fundamentals of the solution of the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara, which were reaffirmed by HM King Mohammed VI in the Royal Speech of 6 November 2017 celebrating the 42nd anniversary of the glorious Green March.
In this regard, the Moroccan diplomat said that the solution must be within the framework of Morocco’s sovereignty, its territorial integrity and national unity; that the process must include all the real parties involved, who were at the origin of this dispute; that the process must be under the exclusive aegis of the United Nations, in accordance with Security Council resolutions, without intervention from any other regional or international organization and that the process must focus on the political solution, away from all the peripheral issues which are often integrated into the discussions to divert the process from its main objectives.
These fundamentals, he went on, now constitute the frame of reference for the political process.
Referring to resolution 2414 adopted by the Security Council on 27 April 2018, Hilale said that its operational paragraph 2 enshrines the parameters defended by Morocco, according to which the purpose of the political process is to achieve “a realistic, pragmatic and lasting political solution to the Sahara issue, which is based on compromise”, without linking it in any way to self-determination.
Hilale presented to the C24 the development model for the southern provinces, launched by HM King Mohammed VI in 2015, worth nearly 8 billion dollars.
He highlighted the colossal public investments in all fields, aiming at the emergence of a viable and attractive local economy, which could transform the Moroccan Sahara into a bridging point with Africa and a regional hub of cooperation, prosperity and peace.
Ambassador Hilale also stressed the need to register the populations of the Tindouf camps in accordance with the 1953 Refugee Convention.
Finally, he stressed that Morocco remains committed to the political process led under the exclusive auspices of the United Nations on the basis of Security Council resolutions since 2007, adding that the last resolution 2414 reaffirmed the pre-eminence of the Moroccan Autonomy Initiative as the serious and credible solution to this regional dispute.