Morocco’s ambassador and permanent representative to the UN, Omar Hilale, told members of the UN Committee of 24 (C24) that the Moroccanness 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 their motherland in 1975, under the Madrid Agreement,” Hilale stressed at the C24 annual meeting. He pointed out that long before this Agreement, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) had confirmed the Moroccanness of the Sahara, stating 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, and therefore sovereignty, had always existed between the Sultans of Morocco and the tribes of the Moroccan Sahara. The diplomat added that the issue of the Moroccan Sahara is examined by the Security Council, under Chapter VI of the UN Charter, as a regional dispute between Morocco and Algeria, noting that as a result, only the Security Council is empowered to make recommendations and advocate a solution to this regional dispute, which it does every year through its resolutions, including 2654, adopted in October 2022. This resolution reaffirmed several irreversible parameters of the solution to the Moroccan Sahara issue, notably that the solution to the dispute over Morocco’s southern provinces can only be “political, realistic, pragmatic, lasting and based on compromise”, the ambassador pointed out, emphasizing that the so-called “settlement plan” and “referendum” to which some are desperately clinging have been definitively buried by the Security Council and the UN Secretary-General for over two decades.
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