Morocco’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), Omar Hilale, stressed before members of the United Nations (UN) Committee of 24 (C24) that the Moroccanity of the Sahara has been irreversibly sealed since 1975 under the Madrid Agreement.
“I would like to reiterate once again that the decolonization of Morocco’s Saharan provinces has been definitively and irreversibly sealed since their return to the mother country in 1975, under the Madrid Agreement,” stressed Hilale at the annual C24 meeting.
In this regard, Hilale noted that long before the Madrid Agreement, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) had confirmed the Moroccan character of the Sahara, as it stated in its advisory opinion that the Sahara was not terra nullius at the time of its occupation by Spain in 1884 and that legal ties of allegiance had always existed between Moroccan Sultans and the tribes of the Moroccan Sahara.
The Moroccan diplomat added that the Moroccan Sahara issue is examined by the Security Council (SC), under Chapter VI of the United Nations (UN) Charter, as a regional dispute between Morocco and Algeria, emphasizing that as a result, the Security Council (SC) is the only institution empowered to make recommendations and advocate a solution to this regional dispute, which it does every year through its resolutions, including resolution 2654 which was adopted in October 2022.
In this regard, Hilale pointed out that this resolution reaffirmed the four irreversible parameters of the solution to the Moroccan Sahara conflict, namely that the solution to the dispute surrounding Morocco’s Southern provinces can only be political, realistic, pragmatic, lasting, and compromising, emphasizing that the so-called “settlement plan” and “referendum” to which some parties are desperately clinging have been definitively buried by the Security Council (SC) and the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General for over two decades.
In this regard, the Moroccan Ambassador affirmed that the second parameter is the Moroccan Autonomy Plan, the perfect embodiment of this solution within the framework of the Kingdom’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, underlining that the Security Council has continually qualified it as serious and credible in all its resolutions, since its presentation in 2007.
The Moroccan diplomat noted that the Moroccan Autonomy Plan has since enjoyed international support of over 100 United Nations (UN) member states that consider it to be the sole and unique basis for settling this dispute, stressing that this international recognition of the Moroccan Sahara has been reinforced by the opening by 28 countries and regional organizations of Consulates General in Laayoune and Dakhla.
Hilale also stated that the third parameter covers round tables in the same format and with the same four participants, including Morocco, Algeria, and Mauritania, adding that these round tables are the only framework for bringing the political process to a successful conclusion.
Regarding the fourth parameter, the Moroccan ambassador stressed that the Security Council (SC) has been anchoring Algeria as a principal party to this regional dispute that it created and contributed to maintaining.
“Unfortunately, Algeria is constantly rejecting Security Council (SC) resolutions and refusing to return to the round tables, thus halting the political process,” lamented the Moroccan ambassador.
“The Sahara has always been Moroccan, is Moroccan, and will remain Moroccan until the end of time,” reaffirmed Hilale.