Morocco's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, ambassador Omar Hilale, said, on Wednesday before the 4th Committee of the UN, that autonomy is the only solution to the Moroccan Sahara issue.

"The Kingdom of Morocco reaffirms its commitment to the exclusively UN political process in order to achieve a realistic, pragmatic and sustainable political solution based on compromise to the question of the Moroccan Sahara. The Moroccan autonomy initiative is the one and only embodiment of this solution," Hilale told the Committee.

The ambassador stressed that the resumption of this process must be based on the agreements reached with the former Personal Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for the Sahara, as set out in Security Council resolution 2468, notably the round-table meetings process, "with the full, active and responsible participation of all parties".

In this regard, Hilale pointed out that the current political process has been possible thanks to Morocco's presentation, in 2007, of its autonomy initiative for the Sahara region, stressing that since then, the Security Council has, in its successive resolutions, described Morocco's efforts as "serious and credible".

Autonomy, the Moroccan ambassador went on, is a solution that has already proved its worth as a means of correcting the after-effects of colonization and the often arbitrary delimitation of borders, noting that the 70 autonomy agreements concluded in the world since the end of the Second World War have enabled several conflicts to be resolved, by reconciling respect for territorial integrity with respect for regional specificities and autonomous management of local affairs.

"The autonomy solution is the most modern and democratic form of self-determination," Hilale stressed, adding that it allows a win-win solution that preserves the unity and sovereignty of States, while constitutionalizing the right of the populations concerned to self-govern democratically, with full respect for their human rights and cultural specificities.