The Moroccan Autonomy Initiative for the Sahara region was strongly supported by a majority of member states of the Committee of 24, Subsidiary Body of the UN General Assembly. This Initiative, described as serious and credible by the Security Council since 2007, seeks to reach a negotiated and definitive political solution to the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara.
The Ambassadors and Representatives of Côte d'Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Senegal, Gabon, Grenada, Dominica, Antigua Barbuda, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Papua New Guinea have expressed, at the annual meeting of the C24 held Monday at the UN headquarters, the full support of their countries for the political process led under the exclusive aegis of the United Nations.
They stressed that the UN efforts are aimed at reaching a mutually acceptable and negotiated political solution to the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara, with the full participation of all parties, including neighbouring States such as Algeria, as recommended by UN Security Council resolutions.
The ambassadors supported the recent Security Council Resolution 2414, adopted on April 27, 2018, which clearly affirmed the need to move towards a realistic, pragmatic and durable political solution to the Moroccan Sahara issue, based on compromise.
The different speakers also reaffirmed that the Moroccan autonomy initiative is a solution of compromise, and that its pre-eminence, seriousness and credibility have been enshrined in all Security Council resolutions since 2007.
They also added that the initiative is in line with international law, the United Nations Charter and Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, stressing that it takes into account the specificities of the region, follows the logic compromise and meets the highest international standards of devolution of powers to local populations.
The ambassadors welcomed the new Moroccan Sahara Development Model launched by HM King Mohammed VI in 2015, with a budget of 8 billion dollars to improve the living conditions of the region's population, and said they are convinced that this model will create a new dynamic of development and employment, contribute to the achievement of overall development, the enhancement of the cultural dimension of the region, and the implementation of responsible governance at the service of local democracy.
In addition, the ambassadors welcomed the holding of regional elections in September 2015, and legislative elections in October 2016 in the Moroccan Sahara. These elections, organized in a peaceful, transparent and democratic way, as underlined by the UN, allowed the populations of the Sahara to choose their representatives at the local and national levels, they said.
The ambassadors lauded the participation, for the first time in the history of the C24, of elected representatives of the southern provinces as Mhamed Abba, Vice President of the Laayoune Sakia El Hamra Region and Ghalla Bahiya, vice president of the Dakhla Oued Eddahab region.
They also praised Morocco's achievements in the promotion and protection of human rights, mainly the interaction of Morocco with UN human rights mechanisms and the role of CNDH regional committees in Laayoune and Dakhla, as stated in Security Council Resolution 2414.
The ambassadors also called for conducting a headcount for populations in the Tindouf camps, in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.