UN-Sahara: Strong support of UN Committee of 24 to Morocco-proposed autonomy plan

The Morocco-proposed Autonomy Initiative for the Sahara received Monday at the UN headquarters in New York firm support of the majority of member states of the Committee of 24 (C24), a subsidiary body of the UN General Assembly.

The autonomy initiative that was submitted to the UN in 2007 is qualified as “serious and credible” in several resolutions of the UN Security Council and receives a crescendo support within the international community.

The representatives of Senegal, Gabon, Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Grenada, Dominica, Antigua Barbuda, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Papua New Guinea expressed at the C24 meeting their full support for the Moroccan autonomy plan presented as part of the political process conducted under the exclusive aegis of the United Nations for the final settlement of the territorial conflict around the Moroccan Sahara.

They likewise praised the UN-led efforts seeking to reach a mutually acceptable and negotiated political solution to the regional Sahara dispute, with the full participation of the stakeholders and of neighboring States, particularly Algeria, whose involvement in this conflict is no secret.

The annual meeting of the C24 on Monday was marked by the participation, for the first time, of two elected Sahrawis, namely Mhamed Abba and Ms. Ghalla Bahiya, in their capacity as vice-presidents respectively of Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra and Dakhla-Oued Eddahab regions.

The two representatives of the Moroccan Sahara, whose presence was greeted by several participants, explained to the C24 members how their election as authentic representatives of the populations of the Moroccan Sahara took place in transparent and inclusive polls. They also explained the prerogatives of the Regional Councils serving the Sahara populations and expounded the efforts made by Morocco to enhance the socio-economic development of its southern provinces.

Obviously, the invitation of the two elected Sahrawis to the C24 annual meeting was not appreciated by the Algerian diplomats and their Polisario protégés who have long claimed to be the “unique and legitimate representatives” of the Sahrawi populations.

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