Since the beginning of EUCOCO, the “policy and information” workshop has aimed to enable the movement of solidarity with the Sahrawi people to take stock of the state of progress of the struggle of the Frente POLISARIO for the total decolonization of Western Sahara and to put an end to the occupation of part of its territory by the Kingdom of Morocco, the serious violations of the fundamental rights of the Sahrawi people and the plundering of its natural resources.
The workshop is also an opportunity to define ways and means to inform international opinion about the existence of Western Sahara and to assert, before international bodies and States, the primary right to independence of the Sahrawi people. The SADR, while recognized by the African Union and many countries as a sovereign State, remains the last African colony in Africa today. This flagrant injustice against the Sahrawis is due to the Moroccan occupation, but also mainly to the serious shortcomings of Spain, a colonial Power that has not completed the decolonization process, and the United Nations, which has not respected its commitments negotiated between the Frente POLISARIO and Morocco to hold a referendum in 1990 of self-determination that would allow the Sahrawis alone, under United Nations control, to express their free choice as to their political destiny. France, a permanent member of the Security Council, continues to protect the Moroccan occupier it considers its protectorate.
In 2020, following Morocco’s latest attempts to make further territorial annexations south of Western Sahara and the lack of UN reactions, the Frente POLISARIO decided to take up arms that it had deposited in 1990 to enable the United Nations to proceed with the referendum of self-determination.
In 2021, US President Trump, in violation of international law, decreed that the Western Sahara was part of Morocco, in exchange for the Kingdom of Morocco establishing and normalizing diplomatic relations with Israel.
In 2022, the Spanish President of Government sent a letter to the King of Morocco assuring him that he supported the Moroccan proposal for a statute of autonomy under Moroccan control of the Western Sahara.
The SADR, a member of the AU and recognized by more than 80 countries, the Frente POLISARIO recognized as an official representative of the United Nations, which qualifies Western Sahara as a Non-Self-Governing Territory, has enjoyed Algeria’s unreserved support for 46 years. Except for Mr. Trump’s administration, no State recognized Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara. The International Court of Justice in The Hague confirmed this in 1975 in a legal opinion sent at the request of the UN Secretary-General to the UN General Assembly. The European Court of Justice of Luxembourg in three judgments in 2016, 2018 and recently in judgments of 29 September 2021, specified that the Western Sahara is a territory distinct from Morocco, and that the Frente POLISARIO is the representative of the Sahrawi people, Morocco has no legitimacy to represent the territory they occupy.
EUCOCO is a broad international solidarity movement which, since the beginning of the struggle of the Sahrawi people led by the Frente POLISARIO, demanded the recognition of the fundamental rights of this people to independence under the relevant United Nations resolutions that have allowed the emancipation of peoples from colonial rule. (Res. UNGA XV 14 1960).
Today, we must support these struggles, those of the Sahrawi people, such as the Palestinian people, two peoples illegally occupied by powers allied to Western interests, because their demands are legitimate and based on the very foundations of international law. These struggles, considered by some political circles to be of a different era, represent, on the contrary, an urgent and topical call to rebuild an international community based on peaceful coexistence among nations, We must respect the standards patiently built within the United Nations since the end of the Second World War. Contributing to the independence of Western Sahara, as well as that of Palestine as sovereign States, is a solidarity contribution to respect for the right of peoples to self-determination. It is also a necessary contribution to peace and cooperation on the shores of the Mediterranean, a concrete way of remembering and strengthening the role of the United Nations in its peace and development missions in the world.