The Moroccan initiative comes in response to repeated requests of the United Nations Security Council and several of its key members, including the United States, that Morocco propose a solution to this longstanding problem that could facilitate the opening of negotiations for a “just, durable and peaceful” political solution.

Background:

The Moroccan initiative comes in response to repeated requests of the United Nations Security Council and several of its key members, including the United States, that Morocco propose a solution to this longstanding problem that could facilitate the opening of negotiations for a “just, durable and peaceful” political solution. 
After nearly a decade of trying to bring the Polisario and Morocco to agreement to conduct a referendum to determine the  territories future, Kofi Annan, then Secretary General, and James Baker, then Personal Envoy for the Western Sahara, reported to the Security Council that it was not possible to achieve agreement between the Polisario and Morocco on the central issue of who should be permitted to vote in a referendum.  Consequently, Annan and Baker recommended that the Security Council encourage Morocco and the Polisario to enter into direct negotiations to find a compromise political solution. The Security Council accepted the assessment of Annan and Baker that a referendum would not be possible, and began a process carried through several years of UNSC resolutions calling for direct negotiations. 
James Baker proposed two such compromise political solutions based on the underlying assumption that the proposals would allow Morocco to remain sovereign in the Western Sahara, but that the territory would benefit from a substantial autonomy that would allow it to become self-governing. Morocco accepted the first Baker proposal as the basis for direct negotiations, but the Polisario refused. The Polisario accepted the second Baker proposal, but Morocco refused since it did not allow for direct negotiations between the parties on the terms of the arrangement. 
The Moroccan proposal is the first and only proposal to come from one of the Parties to the conflict in response to the Security Council encouragements. In various forms, the Polisario has continued to insist that the referendum be held, and threatens a renewal of hostilities  and the eviction of the United Nations peacekeeping force from the territory under its control, despite the fact that the Security Council repeatedly has made clear that this solution is no longer viable.
Summary of the Moroccan Initiative: 
 
The initiative is the product of a year long internal and foreign Moroccan consultation process.  All sectors of the Sahrawi population were included in the consultations and the views of foreign governments and expert international authorities were sought before the plan was finalized for presentation to the United Nations. 
 The plan itself represents an outline for a political solution that traces what Morocco considers to be the broad scope of an autonomy arrangement for the Western Sahara. It does not go into extensive detail on its various aspects on the assumption that such specific arrangements should be the result of direct negotiations rather than the imposition of only one of the parties to the dispute. 
The plan provides for a local elected legislature that would subsequently elect an executive authority. It also would establish a separate judiciary for the autonomous region with competence to render justice on matters specific to the autonomous status of the region. The legislature would elect a chief executive. 
The formula proposed by Morocco would ensure majority representation in the legislature for Sahrawi inhabitants of the  autonomous region, while also ensuring credible legislative representation for non-Sahrawis who have been long-time residents in the territory. Residents of the autonomous region would also continue to elect representatives to the national legislature. 
The government of the autonomous region would have exclusive authorities on some issues, shared authority with the central government of Morocco on others and consultative rights on authorities that remain reserved to the central government and that effect the region. 
The autonomous government would control local administration, local police, education, cultural development, economic development, regional planning, tourism, investment, trade, public works and transportation, housing, health, sports and social welfare. It would have taxing authorities to support these functions and would continue to receive funding from the central budget as well. It would be able to establish foreign regional trade relations offices and would have consultative rights on other sovereign foreign agreements affecting the region. 
The central government would retain exclusive jurisdiction over the normal elements of sovereign authority: national defense, currency, postal, and foreign affairs and religion, over which the Monarchy has a special status in Morocco. 
The chief executive of the autonomous region would be elected by the legislature, but would be invested by and serve in the name of the Monarchy. 
The initiative also envisages transitional bodies to guide the central government and the autonomous authority through the initial stages of implementation of the plan. 
All individual rights guaranteed under the Moroccan Constitution would continue to apply to all residents of the autonomous region. 
 
 
30/09/2012