A group made up of several countries reiterated on Tuesday, before the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva, its unequivocal support for the territorial integrity of Morocco and for the serious efforts made by the Kingdom for the settlement of the artificial conflict over the Moroccan Sahara.
In a statement made during the 44th session of the HRC, the support group for the territorial integrity of the Kingdom hailed in particular the relevance of the autonomy initiative for the Moroccan Sahara which has been recognized by the Security Council as a serious and credible basis for resolving this regional dispute once and for all.
In this statement read by the Permanent Representative of Morocco to the UN office in Geneva, Ambassador Omar Zniber, the group, made up of 26 states, noted that "the resolution of this political dispute will contribute to the implementation of the legitimate aspirations of African and Arab peoples in matters of integration and development, a goal to which Morocco is strongly attached".
The Security Council also welcomed the initiatives taken by Morocco to promote human rights in the Sahara, while reiterating its request to register populations in the Tindouf camps, said the Group.
The countries signatories to this statement also pointed out that Morocco engaged in constructive, voluntary-based and in-depth interaction with the United Nations human rights system, in particular the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and special procedures.
In this context, 12 special procedures carried out visits to Morocco, notably to the cities of the Sahara, namely Laâyoune and Dakhla, where they had free and unrestricted access to all actors, in particular to representatives of the local civil society, noted the same source.
"It is also in this context that Morocco hosted an OHCHR technical mission, at the invitation of the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco, aimed at building the capacity for action of international institutions," said the Group.
The Sahara issue, the same source went on, is a political dispute dealt with in New York where the Security Council is making efforts towards a negotiated political solution which is mutually acceptable.
The member states of the group supporting the territorial integrity of the Kingdom pointed out that "the interaction of the member states with the Council and the High Commissioner must maintain its bilateral aspect and be preserved from any instrumentalization, because it would generate counterproductive political debates in the Human Rights Council."
In addition to Morocco, the statement is supported by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, the Sultanate of Oman, Jordan, the Comoros, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, the Burkina Faso, Burundi, Djibouti, Senegal, Central African Republic, Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, Sao Tome and Principe, Paraguay, Guatemala, Saint Lucia, El Salvador, Saint Kitts and Nevis, the Dominican Republic and the Gambia.