New York (United Nations) 12 October 2020 (SPS)- The Representative of Frente Polisario, Dr. Sidi Mohamed Omar, refuted allegations of the Representative of the Kingdom of Morocco to the UN, before the recent online meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement, regarding the legal status of the question of Western Sahara.
Saharawi Diplomat recalled public opinion that the Saharawi question is still treated by the UN in the Special Political and Decolonisation Committee (Fourth Committee) and the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples as a decolonisation issue.
He further considered that the “statements made by the Moroccan representative to the United Nations regarding the legal status of Western Sahara are nothing but empty talk and another example of his obsessive fixation on misrepresentation, falsification and wishful thinking that—as is clearly explained—do not stand up to scrutiny.”
Following is the complete text of the Press Release:
The Moroccan representative to the United Nations was reported to have made a statement during the recent online ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) “Bandung +65: More Relevant, United and Effective NAM against Emerging Global Challenges, including COVID-19”. The Moroccan representative demonstrated once again his obsessive fixation on misrepresentation and falsification when he falsely claimed that the question of Western Sahara was not an issue of decolonisation and that his country had “regained” the Territory in 1975 “by virtue of the Madrid Accord and in accordance with UN practice”.
It is an undeniable fact that Western Sahara is unequivocally a question of decolonisation. There are sufficient legal and historical arguments to respond to the groundless allegations of the Moroccan occupying state, including official statements made by Morocco’s representatives to the United Nations before the occupying power invaded militarily and illegally occupied Western Sahara on 31 October 1975.
For example, did Morocco not support the General Assembly resolution 1956 (XVIII) on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, dated 11 December 1963, whereby the General Assembly, in operative paragraph 3, approved the report of the Special Committee on Decolonisation and called upon the administering Powers to implement the conclusions and recommendations contained therein, which included the list of the Self-Governing Territories to be decolonised including the Spanish (Western) Sahara?
Then, did Morocco’s representative not formally state before the UN Special Committee on Decolonisation at its meeting in Addis Ababa on 7 June 1966 that he supported the granting of independence to the colonial Spanish Sahara? Did he not even insist that the independence of the Territory should not be a façade, but it must be a genuine independence enabling the people of the Territory to exercise the responsibilities of power themselves, without any colonialist presence?
After all, did the United Nations Secretary not affirm, in his last report on Western Sahara dated 29 September 2020, submitted to the ongoing session of the General Assembly, that the Special Political and Decolonisation Committee (Fourth Committee) of the General Assembly and the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples address it as a Non-Self-Governing Territory and an issue of decolonisation?
The answer to these questions is enough to refute the allegations of the Moroccan occupying state regarding the legal status of Western Sahara as a decolonisation issue and a territory of which part is under illegal Moroccan occupation in accordance with relevant General Assembly resolutions.
As for the Madrid Accord or the “Madrid Declaration of Principles” signed between Spain, Mauritania, and Morocco on 14 November, it is null and void for several reasons that cannot be listed here. However, perhaps the most important of these is the fact that the accord in question violated an imperative norm (jus cogens) of general international law, which is the peoples’ right of peoples to self-determination. Moreover, the United Nations has never considered this agreement to affect the decolonisation of Western Sahara, as demonstrated by the above-mentioned report of the UN Secretary-General.
Perhaps one of the most important legal arguments refuting the Moroccan occupying state in this regard is the legal opinion issued by the UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, the Legal Counsel on 29 January 2002 at the request of the Security Council in which he established unequivocally that “The Madrid Agreement did not transfer sovereignty over the territory, nor did it confer upon any of the signatories the status of an administering Power—a status which Spain alone could not have unilaterally transferred”. The fact that Madrid accord did not transfer sovereignty over Western Sahara, as established by the UN legal Counsel, refutes the Moroccan delegate’s claim on the one hand, and affirms that Morocco’s presence in Western Sahara is a forcible and illegal occupation, on the other.
Based on the above, it is clear that the statements made by the Moroccan representative to the United Nations regarding the legal status of Western Sahara are nothing but empty talk and another example of his obsessive fixation on misrepresentation, falsification and wishful thinking that—as is clearly explained—do not stand up to scrutiny.
Dr Sidi M. Omar
Representative of the Frente POLISARIO at the United Nations.” (SPS)