Antigua and Barbuda reaffirmed, before the members of the United Nations (UN) Committee of 24 (C-24), its support for the Moroccan Autonomy Plan, considering it a “compromise-based solution” to resolve the dispute over the Moroccan Sahara.
Antigua and Barbuda’s representative, Claxton Duberry, stated in Bali at the C-24 Pacific regional Seminar (May 24-26), that the Moroccan Plan, presented in 2007, “is consistent with the international law, the United Nations (UN) Charter, and the resolutions of the Security Council (SC) and the General Assembly (GA).”
Duberry also highlighted the growing international support for the Moroccan Autonomy Plan for the Sahara as a serious and credible solution, as underlined in several Security Council (SC) resolutions since 2007, and which enjoys the support of over 100 member states.
In this context, the diplomat praised the opening of 28 consulates general in Laayoune and Dakhla to benefit from the economic and social opportunities available in the Moroccan Sahara, which is considered a hub for development, stability, and prosperity in the Mediterranean, Atlantic, and African regions.
Duberry also expressed his country’s appreciation for the efforts of the Personal Envoy of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General for the Sahara to facilitate the resumption of the political process under the auspices of the United Nations (UN), including his two visits to Rabat, Tindouf camps in Algeria, Algiers, and Nouakchott, as well as the informal bilateral consultations he held on March in New York with Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania and the “polisario.”
In this regard, Antigua and Barbuda’s representative called on Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, and the “polisario” to stay committed to the political process, to find a realistic, pragmatic, lasting, and compromise political solution to the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara, as mandated by the Security Council (SC).
Antigua and Barbuda’s also called for the resumption of the round tables in the same format and with the same participants, namely Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, and the “polisario,” following resolution 2654 of October 2022.
Duberry also praised Morocco’s constant respect for the ceasefire and cooperation with the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), calling on all other parties to follow suit in the interests of security and stability in the region and to cease all obstructions to the United Nations (UN) mission’s freedom of movement.
Referring to Morocco’s “significant” achievements in the field of human rights, Duberry cited the strengthening of the role of the National Human Rights Council’s (NHRC) regional commissions in Laayoune and Dakhla, and bilateral cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the treaty bodies, and the special procedures of the Human Rights Council (HRC).
The Antiguan diplomat also praised the socio-economic development dynamic underway in the Moroccan Sahara, thanks to the investments and projects implemented under the New Development Model for the Southern Provinces, launched in 2015, stressing that this initiative has greatly contributed to empowering populations and improving human development index in the region.
The representative of Antigua and Barbuda also reiterated his country’s “deep concern” about the situation in the Tindouf camps, particularly women and children, denouncing the violations of the populations’ fundamental rights.
In this context, Duberry stressed the imperative of carrying out peoples’ registration per international humanitarian law, the mandate of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the recommendations of the Secretary-General, and all Security Council (SC) resolutions since 2011, including resolution 2654.